Södra says that more than 90% of its members’ forest area damaged by the Gudrun and Per storms will be replanted by autumn 2009.

The total area cleared on Södra members’ forests from mid-2004 to mid-2008 was 164,000ha, with the figure for the Götaland region being some 320,000ha – seven times the normal harvesting rate.

“The cleared area proved to be larger than our previous estimates,” said Göran Öralnder, head of forest management at Södra.

Clearing in the areas hardest-hit by the storms represented 15-20% of the forest area. Worst affected were the Ljungby and Alvesta-Växjö districts.

The cleared area also includes harvesting of bark beetle infested trees and forest remnants.

Meanwhile, Södra is extending the period for its contracting premium for normal sawlogs to October 15. The SKr23 per m³ premium was introduced in late May.

Södra said the extension was designed to keep up a good pace in harvesting assignments.

“There is some uncertainty prior to year-end, particularly in sawn timber where we’re only seeing inventory transfer with no increase in consumption,” said Urban Eriksson, Södra director of forestry.

“Fluctuations in exchange rates will also influence how the production rate develops.”