Finnish strike erodes sawmills’ export revenues15 March 2010
The Finnish stevedoring strike is eroding export opportunities for the country’s sawmilling industry, according to a senior industry official.
The warning from Antro Säilä, senior vice-president of business environment and innovation at the Finnish Forest Industries Federation (FFIF), comes after sawn timber deliveries were already reduced by about a fifth in February, due the FFIF says, to the threat of a transport sector strike.
Now, with the strike into its second week, the FFIF fears sawn timber deliveries will be prevented from reaching their markets just as spring construction activity kicks off.
“The sawmill industry’s export revenues have dried up as customers will only pay for delivered goods,” said Mr Säila.
He said better weather was permitting all types of logging sites to be harvested and mills needed to continue with their wood procurement as well as harvest timber they purchased earlier before warmer conditions arrive – even though revenue flows were fading away.
“This is an extremely tough situation for an industry just beginning to recover from the economic downturn. It should be borne in mind that wood raw material procurements account for up to 70% of the sawmilling industry’s costs.”