The volume of roundwood consumed by the Finnish forest industries continued to decrease in 2020. Total consumption decreased by six per cent from 2019 to 67 million cubic metres. The volume of domestic roundwood processed was seven per cent lower than in the previous year, while the volume of imported roundwood remained unchanged. Half of all roundwood was used by the chemical pulp industry.
“2020 was an exceptional year in the forest industries. Large-scale strikes in January–March reduced production in all branches. Challenges in the competitiveness of the forest industries, structural changes in the pulp and paper industries, and the coronavirus pandemic also had an impact on the manufacturing of forest industry products, and therefore on the consumption of different wood assortments,” says Tuomas Niinistö, Senior Statistician at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
In 2020, the forest industries processed a total of 67 million cubic metres of roundwood, down by six per cent from the year before. The consumption of roundwood was at its highest in 2006, when it amounted to 76 million cubic metres.
Consumption of imported chips and dust increased, while that of other assortments decreased
The forest industries consumed 57.3 million cubic metres of domestic roundwood, down by seven per cent from 2019. The volume of all assortments decreased, apart from imported chips and sawdust. The total consumption of imported roundwood, however, remained at the previous year’s level at 9.7 million cubic metres.
In 2020, a total of 4.4 million cubic metres of chips were imported into Finland, of which the forest industries consumed 2.6 million cubic metres. In addition, 0.2 million cubic metres of imported sawdust were consumed.
“Based on the difference between the total volume of imported chips and the volume of imported chips used for the production of forest industry products, 1.8 million cubic metres of imported chips were consumed in energy generation. This was 13 per cent higher than in 2019,” Niinistö says.
According to Niinistö, the consumption of roundwood in all the most significant branches of the forest industries decreased in 2020, as in the previous year. Nearly half of all roundwood, 32.5 million cubic metres, was consumed in the chemical pulp industry, showing a decrease of eight per cent from 2019.
“The volume of roundwood consumed in the mechanical pulp industry decreased by seven per cent to six million cubic metres. The consumption of roundwood decreased relatively the most in the plywood and veneer industries, by ten per cent,” Niinistö says.
In the sawmilling industry, the consumption of roundwood decreased by three per cent to 25 million cubic metres. However, the sawmilling industry’s proportion of the total consumption of roundwood increased by one per cent.
The amount of forest industry by-products and wood residues, mainly comprising sawmill chips and dust, consumed in the production of forest industry products was 8.8 million cubic metres, down by nine per cent from the previous year. Of this, three quarters were consumed in the chemical pulp industry.
The highest processing volume in South Karelia
As in the previous year, one fifth of roundwood, or 13.5 million cubic metres, was consumed in the region of South Karelia. It was followed by the regions of Kymenlaakso and Central Finland, with a processing volume of 7.4 million cubic metres each.
Information about the statistics
The annual consumption of roundwood by the forest industries is largely based on data collected by the Finnish Forest Industries Federation from its member companies. Luke collects the remaining information directly from companies that consume wood. The consumption of roundwood by small sawmills has been identified through separate surveys conducted approximately every ten years.