In 2020, the value of exported Finnish forest industry products totalled EUR 10.4 billion, covering 18% of Finland’s exports of goods. Paperboard’s role in exports has long been increasing. Wood imports increased by 7% from the previous year to 12.6 million cubic metres.
In 2020, the value of exported forest industry products decreased by 14% from the previous year in real terms (deflated using the wholesale price index). Industrial actions reduced forest industry production and exports at the beginning of 2020.
Earnings from forest industry exports come mainly from pulp and paper industry products. Their export value decreased to EUR 7.86 billion (down by 16% from the year before). Examined by product group, both paper and paperboard accounted for 27% of the value of exported forest industry products. Pulp made up 18%, while converted paper and paperboard products remained at 4%.
“Other coated paperboard was the most important export product in the pulp and paper industries, and also in forest industries as a whole, accounting for 17% of the value of forest industry exports. This group includes multi-ply paperboard coated with kaolin and paperboard coated with plastic,” says Eeva Vaahtera, senior statistician at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
The downward trend continued in paper exports: The export value of fine paper and magazine paper decreased by almost one third from the previous year. Bleached sulphate pulp was the most important pulp industry product, accounting for 16% of forest industry exports (down by 22% from the year before).
The export value of wood-products industries decreased by 7% from the previous year to EUR 2.50 billion, with sawn goods being clearly the most important product group, accounting for 15% of the total export value of forest industries. Compared with the previous year, the export value of sawn goods decreased by 7%.
China accounted for 41% of earnings from bleached sulphate pulp exports
“The most important export countries for Finnish forest industries were the same as in the previous year. Of total earnings from forest industry products exports, 14% came from Germany, a tenth from China, and 7% from the United Kingdom,” says Vaahtera.
When examining the most important individual export products, one fifth of earnings from other coated paperboard exports came from Germany. China accounted for 41 per cent of bleached sulphate pulp exports. Of the export value of sawn goods, Japan covered 11%.
Wooden furniture accounted for one fifth of imported forest industry products
The value of imported forest industry products was EUR 1.38 billion, down by 5% from the previous year in real terms. Wooden furniture accounted for one fifth, converted paper and paperboard products 19 % and paperboard 12%. The most important trading partners were Sweden (kraftliner and converted paper and paperboard products), Estonia (wooden furniture) and Russia (sawn goods and plywood).
Chips imports increased
In 2020, Finland imported 12.64 million cubic metres of wood, up by 7% from the previous year. Pulpwood accounted for more than half of all imported wood. Chips accounted for 35% and logs only 4%. Fuelwood, impregnated wood and wood residues made up the remaining 8%. Chips imports increased by 11% from the previous year, while pulpwood imports remained unchanged. The total value of wood imports was EUR 0.50 billion.
As nearly always before, the most wood was imported from Russia (76%). It was followed by Estonia and Latvia, with both accounting for 9% of the import volume.
A total of 1.66 million cubic metres of wood were exported from Finland, down by 17% from the previous year. Of this, 83% was exported to Sweden.