Finnish forest industry’s exports stumble momentarily

10 april 2015 Weak economic growth will slow down exports of the Finnish forest industry. Never-theless, investments on production capacity will increase export volumes of pulp, paper board and sawmilling industries already this year. Exports will grow stronger next year. The production capacity of the largest business area according to export value, paper industry, will fall substantially both years. / PTT

Paper production to decrease significantly
The production of paper in Finland will reduce this year 6–7 percent and 4–5 percent next year. The previously announced and recent machine closures, weak economic growth in Europe and replacement of paper by electronic communication devices will reduce exports this year. Machine closures are still possible in Finland.

The output of paper board will increase in Finland this and next year as demand remains rather good and the production capacity is expected to grow. The effect will be particularly high next year when the new capacity will already be in full use. Weak economic situation in Russia will cause uncertainty for the paper board industry.

Pulp capacity expanding
The export of pulp from Finland will increase this and next year. Capacity expansions support this rise. The increase in exports will however be lower than the higher capacity would enable. The market situation of softwood pulp still remains rather stable in the long term.  As a result of the weakening of the euro the average export prices will rise this year 7–9 per cent, but will fall clearly next year.

Sawnwood market balance unstable
The market outlook for sawn timber remains challenging. The strengthening of the euro against the Swedish crown has weakened Finnish exports’ competitiveness. The demand in many export markets has also slowed down compared to last year, resulting in that the risen end-product stocks have remained unchanged. Production of sawnwood will decrease this year by 3–4 percent. Only a small increase in export amount is estimated for the whole year. Continued poor building activity in Finland will result in reduced sawnwood demand. The average export price of sawnwood is expected to slightly decrease this year.
Sawnwood production will rise next year by 3–5 percent, as both domestic and export supplies will grow a few percent compared to the present year. Profitability of sawing will be increased by a moderate rise in export price.

PTT Report

Further information
Paper, paperboard and pulp: Forest Economist Matleena Kniivilä, +358 40 164 8078, matleena.kniivila@ptt.fi
Sawnwood: Forest Economist Jyri Hietala, +358 40 164 8151, jyri.hietala@ptt.fi

 

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