Helsinki, Finland, 13 January 2012 -- Finnish Forest Industries Federation member companies purchased 25.3 million cubic meters of wood from Finnish private-owned forests in 2011. This is almost a quarter less than in 2010, when summer storms boosted timbers sales.
Timber stumpage prices increased from the previous year. The industry paid Finnish forest owners about EUR 1 billion in stumpage fees.
Aggregate procurement volume from private forests by all purchasers came to about 34 million cubic meters in 2011.
Timber sales got off to a sluggish start at the beginning of 2011, but picked up speed as summer approached. After the holiday season, sales activity rose to the highest level achieved all year and then calmed down as the end of the year drew nearer. The storms that ravaged forests in Finland right after Christmas did not yet affect timber sales volumes in December.
The early part of the year was good from the viewpoint of timber harvesting, but the rainy autumn and early winter made felling and transport more difficult. The late arrival of frost in the autumn shortened the winter harvesting period by 1-2 months.
Sawlog purchase volumes were down 26% and pulpwood procurements 22% from the previous year. Sawlog purchases came to 10.3 million cubic meters and pulpwood procurements to 14.1 million cubic meters.
On average, the stumpage prices of softwood sawlogs were up 3%, birch sawlogs 8%, pine pulpwood 4%, and spruce and birch pulpwood 2%. On average, pine sawlogs fetched EUR 53, spruce sawlogs EUR 54, and birch sawlogs EUR 41 per cubic meter in December. The average stumpage price of pine and birch pulpwood was EUR 15 per cubic meter and spruce pulpwood fetched EUR 18 per cubic meter.
The share of purchases for delivery, in which the forest owner delivers bought timber to a spot along a transport route, increased from 17% to 18%. Purchases for delivery accounted for some 4.7 million cubic meters of timber procurements, with pulpwood being the object of sale in more than three quarters of transactions.
Regeneration felling sites provided more than half of the aggregate volume of purchased timber, while thinning sites accounted for a little more than a third and first-thinning sites for 14% of all timber purchases. Three quarters of all sawlogs came from regeneration felling and, correspondingly, two thirds of pulpwood originated from thinning sites.