Timber sales plunged to a record low last year, according to the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

Procurement amounted to just 21 million m³ of felled timber, down from 38.5 million m³ in 2008.

Only in 1991 were purchase volumes from private forests any lower. Last year procurement from private forests was 16.4 million m³, a little over half the volumes recorded in 2008.

Federation senior vice-president Anders Portin said the forest sector needed a complete reorganisation to clarify the roles of those involved and to increase the supply of forest-related services.

“We need fresh operating models and active entrepreneurs who can supply forest owners with convenient services because this would spur timber sales,” he said.

Sawmills suffered short supply of logs while roundwood imported from Russia fell by three-quarters causing more pressure on domestic timber. The stumpage price of softwood logs fell by an average of 20% while birch log stumpage prices were down 27% and pulpwood 16-20%