Timber production and processing in Russia has grown for the first time in five years, according to research and analysis company Lesprom Industry Consulting.

Timber production saw a 0.3% increase during the first half of 2004, while processing rose by 0.5%.

Lesprom analysts say the rise is due to the introduction of long-term forestry rents and the increase of export duties on raw timber. Timber production was also boosted by the establishment of new timber enterprises.

The transition by some companies from timber production and export to processing has also influenced growth.

Lesprom said that overall the Russian timber sector production growth was 5.1% within the first six months and no significant changes are anticipated.

And leading analyst Inna Kvaskova said: “The adoption of the new Forestry Code is unlikely to influence the structure of the timber sector by the end of 2004.”