Finland's paper and paperboard production in Q1 unchanged year-over-year, at 2.7 million tonnes; pulp production up 1.2% at 1.8 million tonnes; printing and writing paper production flat at 1.6 million tonnes; production of wood products increased: FFIF

HELSINKI , May 15, 2014 (press release) – In the first quarter of the year, forest industry exports and production showed signs of recovery. The forest industry announced new investments in Finland.

“UPM’s announcement regarding an investment at its Kymi pulp mill started off a series of investment news. Metsä Group’s Äänekoski investment and Stora Enso’s Varkaus investment, both announced in April, confirm that the sector has a strong desire to revitalise itself and to grow as well as strengthen its position in the bio-economy market,” says Director General of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation, Timo Jaatinen.

Paper and paperboard production unchanged, pulp and fine paper exports grew

Paper and paperboard production in the first quarter of 2014 amounted to 2.7 million tonnes, which corresponds to the production volume in the year ago period.

Printing and writing paper production totalled 1.6 million tonnes, which is almost the same amount as in January-March 2013. In the early part of the year, paper exports were slightly higher than a year ago. Fine paper exports in particular increased 3.2% compared to the corresponding period a year earlier. The reduction in European graphical papers consumption has slowed down and demand fell only 2.2% in the first part of the year.

In early 2013, paperboard production increased almost 20% compared to the previous year. In January-March this year, paperboard production volumes remained at about the same level as in the year ago period and totalled 750,000 tonnes, which is less than one per cent less than in the first quarter of 2013.

In January-March pulp production totalled 1.8 million tonnes, which is 1.2 per cent more than in the corresponding period in 2013. Pulp exports grew 10.2% from the year ago. The increase in the market price of pulp, which started in autumn 2012, continued.

Timber trade lively in the first part of the year

The Finnish Forest Industries Federation’s member companies bought 8.5 million cubic metres of timber from private forests in January-March. This is 25% more than in the corresponding period in 2013. Log and pulpwood procurement volumes increased to 3.9 million and 4.3 million cubic metres respectively. There were no major changes in stumpage prices.

The forest industry’s development and the realisation of its investments require sufficient, steady and cost competitive timber availability in the long-term.

Wood products and plywood production increased

Demand for wood products showed signs of recovery in some European countries while the strong demand seen in Asia last year tailed off. Domestic demand was very low due to the low level of residential construction.

Wood products production in the first quarter of 2014 totalled about 2.7 million cubic metres, which is five per cent higher than last year. Plywood production amounted to approximately 310,000 cubic metres, which is 15 per cent more than in January-March 2013. Export deliveries in January-February in both product segments were higher than in the previous year.

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