2017 was the year Finland’s domestic roundwood suppliers did a roaring trade

Finnish softwood logs

The Finnish roundwood trade boomed in 2017 as sales from non-industrial private forests totalled 43 million cubic metres, a five per cent increase compared to 2016. Half of the total sold was pulpwood. Of the different types of roundwood, spruce logs and pine pulpwood were traded the most, 11 million cubic metres each.

The standing sales of roundwood totalled 36.7 million cubic metres in 2017. Their relative share of the Finnish roundwood purchased by the forest industry increased from the previous year by three percentage points to 85 per cent. In standing sales, approximately half of the roundwood were logs. In turn, the delivery sales (6.2 million m³) were mostly made up of pulpwood, with logs only representing 27 per cent.

Real prices of roundwood fell marginally

The average stumpage price for pine logs was EUR54.9 per cubic metre; for spruce logs it was EUR57.8 per cubic metre. Pine pulpwood in standing sales cost EUR15.9 per cubic metre, while the price paid for spruce pulpwood was EUR17.7 per cubic metre, according to senior statistician Aarre Peltola of the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

The nominal prices of roundwood increased from the previous year, but the real stumpage price level still decreased by one per cent. Spruce logs were the most sold item in standing sales at 10.5 million cubic metres, followed by pine pulpwood at 8.9 million cubic metres.

In 2017, the average delivery price of pine pulpwood was  EUR27.7, that of spruce pulpwood was EUR30.1 and that of birch pulpwood was EUR 28.0 per cubic metre. Like the stumpage prices, the real delivery prices also decreased from the previous year. Pine pulpwood was the most sold item in delivery sales at 2.4 million cubic metres, followed by birch pulpwood at 1.3 million cubic metres.

Roundwood at its most expensive in regeneration felling

The method of felling also affects the stumpage price paid for the wood.

The stumpage price for logs harvested by regeneration felling was two per cent and for pulpwood, 12 per cent higher than the average stumpage price. The price for logs harvested by thinning was 15 per cent and for pulpwood, eight per cent lower than the average stumpage price. Wood harvested in the course of a first thinning fetched 29 per cent less than the average stumpage price, Peltola said.

86 per cent of the logs purchased in standing sales and 49 per cent of the pulpwood purchased in standing sales originated from regeneration felling stands.

Background on the statistics

Data collection expanded in 2016 when it also started covering forest management associations and certain medium-sized forest industry companies. The volumes of wood reported by the parties providing information are recorded in the statistics. The figures represent over 90 per cent of the wood purchased by the forest industry from non-industrial private forests.

The expansion of the data collection caused a break in the homogeneity of the time series, which is why the current wood trade volumes are not comparable with the figures in the statistics up to 2015. The years 2016 and 2017 are comparable with each other.