The use of sawn softwood timber in Finland doubled between 1994 and 2004, according to the Finnish Forest Association.

Annual consumption of softwood timber grew from 2.71 million m3 to 5.6 million m3 during the period.

This represents more than one cubic metre per member of the population – the highest per capita figure in the world.

The growing domestic demand has helped Finnish sawmills to survive in a market characterised by chronic over-production.

The sector’s gross value has also doubled, while employment numbers have gone up by 10,000.

Mikko Viljakainen, WoodFocus Finland’s director of building systems, attributed the domestic growth to wood promotion campaigns and new timber building technologies.