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Timber sales more quiet than normal in 2011

Finnish Forest Industries Federation member companies purchased 25.3 million cubic metres 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 some one billion euro in stumpage fees.

Aggregate procurement volume from private forests by all purchasers came to about 34 million cubic metres 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.

Purchase volumes down, prices increasing
Sawlog purchase volumes were down 26% and pulpwood procurements 22% from the previous year. Sawlog purchases came to 10.3 million cubic metres and pulpwood procurements to 14.1 million cubic metres.

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 €53, spruce sawlogs €54 and birch sawlogs €41 per cubic metre in December, while the average stumpage price of pine and birch pulpwood was €15 per cubic metre and spruce pulpwood fetched €18 per cubic metre.

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 metres 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 over 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.

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