Mesta Wood improves first half profits

4 August 2016

Finnish sawmiller Metsa Wood increased its profits in the first half of 2016 and predicts the market balance and sales prices of sawn timber “to improve as a whole” going forward.

The group’s wood products division recorded first half sales of €437.9m (2015: €452.2m), with operating profits excluding non-recurring items of €20.2m (2015: €18m).

The deliveries of spruce and pine sawn timber to North Africa increased markedly from the corresponding period in the previous year, and the deliveries of spruce sawn timber to Asia, and China in particular, were at a materially higher level than in the comparison period.

Metsa Wood said the oversupply in pine sawn timber was gradually balancing out. However, the profitability of sawing operations weakened as a result of the considerably lower prices of sawn timber. Average prices were reduced due to the low price level in North Africa, in particular.

The delivery volumes and sales of Kerto LVL products grew markedly due to deliveries to Australia and North America, in particular. The delivery volumes and sales of both birch and spruce plywood decreased from the comparison period.

“The market balance of board products in Europe has been weakened by the increase in imports from Russia,” it said. “The production of birch and spruce plywood was adjusted in the second quarter.”

The market balance and sales prices of sawn timber are expected to improve as a whole. The market situation in North Africa will create uncertainty in the demand for pine sawn timber. Demand in the Chinese market is expected to quiet down seasonally.

It said demand for Kerto LVL wood products is expected to continue to be brisk, but competition in plywood products will remain fierce.