New industry investment appearing in Russia
The stated objective of the Russian log export tax was to reduce raw log exports and stimulate construction of the domestic log-processing industry. During the last four years, this objective has been a major impetus for the building of numerous additions to existing log-processing plants and new greenfield sawmills, plywood/veneer mills, engineered board plants and pulp mills.An interesting aspect of many of the major new projects underway/announced in Eastern Russia is that they involve Russian capital rather than foreign investment. The two major exceptions are China, which has been a large investor in new Chinese-type sawmills along the Russian/China border, and Japan, which is participating in a few large joint-venture projects with Russian firms to produce larch veneer and/or plywood in the Russian Far East for the Japanese market.
In 2009 and 2010, log-processing projects worth over US$2.1 billion have been announced (excluding pulp and paper and forest infrastructure, and logging development). These projects include expansions/modernizations of existing production facilities, as well as new greenfield mills. The announced projects include new log-processing capacity of about 1.6 million m3 that has been completed in the last two years and an additional 3.2 million m3 of capacity to be completed in the next two to three years.
It is estimated that the current capacity of Chinese-owned sawmills in Eastern Russia is well over two million m3 and growing at a rate of more than 10% per year. Most of the lumber produced by Chinese-owned sawmills is shipped to China; of the four million m3 of lumber imported by China from Russia in 2010, more than 50% was produced and exported by Chinese-owned sawmills.
Source : Source: International Wood Markets Group