Sluggish Timber Sales Continue in March
Finland, April 7, 2011 - The forest industry purchased one million cubic metres of timber from private forests in March, almost a third more than in February. Birch pulpwood must be imported, because the supply in Finland is insufficient.
Demand for timber is good and there’s particular interest in stands, which can be harvested in summer.
The aggregate January-March purchase volume, 2.8 million cubic metres, was down more than a fifth from the corresponding period of 2010.
Sawlog procurements came to 0.9 million cubic metres, almost a third less than in the corresponding period of 2010. The volume of pulpwood procurements, 1.7 million cubic metres, fell 17% from the corresponding period of 2010.
Sawlog prices buoyant
The average stumpage price of softwood sawlogs increased 2% from February, while the average price of birch sawlogs was up 3%. On average, pine sawlogs fetched €53 and spruce sawlogs €54 per cubic metre. The average price of birch sawlogs was €44 per cubic metre.
The stumpage price of softwood pulpwood increased 1% and the price of birch pulpwood was unchanged. The average stumpage price of pine and birch pulpwood was €15 per cubic metre, while spruce pulpwood fetched €18 per cubic metre.
Timber is also imported to Finland from abroad. For example, supply of short-fibrous birch pulpwood in Finland is insufficient to satisfy demand on Finnish pulp mills.
Demand picking up for summer felling sites
The impact of thaw weakening on the road network is forecast to be normal or even less severe than normal at some locations. Nevertheless, thaw weakening will restrict access to timber harvesting locations. Stands, which are close to major roads, are needed during the thaw weakening period. Stands that can be harvested this coming summer are also in demand.
Japanese reconstruction may boost sawn timber exports
Japan is an important export destination for Finnish sawn timber, accounting for more than 10% of overall sawn timber exports. Finland exports higher-grade sawn timber and processed wood products in particular to Japan. Demand for sawn timber will increase on the markets once Japan starts to rebuild from the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami, and this might lead to increased export deliveries in Finland as well.