The sawmilling industry in the Nordic region has seen its markets improve in demand and pricing during the past year. Export volumes declined in early 2018 as compared the same period in 2017, but prices increased, reaching the third highest level seen in the past decade (in local currencies).

Sawmills in Finland and Sweden have increased their presence in different markets in 2018, with Swedish sawmills predominantly expanding sales in Europe, and Finnish exports increasing to the Middle East and Japan, according to WRQ.

Both countries reduced sales to China during the typically slow season of January and February when the Chinese New Year is celebrated. The Nordic countries have filled the gap in supplying to China after Canadian suppliers pulled back.

In Q1, lumber volumes from Finland and Sweden accounted for 12% of total Chinese softwood imports, a doubling of their market share compared to 2015.

Russian lumber exports reached an all-time-high volume of 28 million m3 in 2017, up 10% from the previous year, a doubling of exports from ten years ago.