Report: Exports of sawn timber strong, timber construction increasing

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 1.12.2016 10.03 | Published in English on 1.12.2016 at 13.59
Press release

Exports of sawn and planed timber have continued to grow, and their value totalled about €1.6 million in 2015. Exports of sawn and planed timber represented 65 % of all exports of timber products. Exports of processed wood products have been modest.

The increase of timber construction opens new business opportunities to companies in the wood products sector. Profitability in the field has been weaker than in the rest of industry and, apart from a few exceptions, no significant investments have been made in the field in the past few years.

The above facts are revealed in the wood industry sector report published by the Business Sector Services of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment on Thursday, 1 December 2016. The report has been compiled by Pasi Loukasmäki, Sector Manager at the Kainuu Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.

– The wood product and sawmill industry will continue to be an important business sector in Finland. The positive characteristics of wood as a carbon-binding raw material offer new opportunities for the development of wood products. Investments in the bioeconomy will support this development. Wood is the most important material regarding the implementation of the bioeconomy strategy, says Loukasmäki.

A significant increase in the use of wood resources is one of the big goals in the business sector. An increase in the use of wood can be justified by ecological and economic reasons. The production of renewable energy will also increase when more energy is created as a side product in the processing of wood products than required in the processing of wood.

The wood products sector needs new entrepreneurship and bold product development

The development of new products plays a key role in the development of the wood products sector. In future, wood products can be used to replace more and more products made from fossil-based raw materials. Such replaceable products can be found in all business sectors. New customer interfaces are therefore needed in the development work. 

The capability of the wood products sector to reform has traditionally been weak, and only a small amount of resources has been used, for example, in product development. In future, companies in the sector should acquire new expertise and invest in product development.

– Companies in the wood products sector should aim to develop their products and operation in order to have opportunities to increase their volumes with export products. New profitable applications and demand on the market must be found for wood materials, stresses Loukasmäki.

New wood-based products and their production processes require the development of new technology. New entrepreneurship, on the other hand, is required for new ideas. Promoting these measures will require extensive and open-minded development work and cooperation.

The wood industry sector report and the industry’s SME barometer will be available online as of 1 December 2016 at www.temtoimialapalvelu.fi.

Further Information:
Pasi Loukasmäki, Sector Manager, Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, tel. +358 44 362 5888 or [email protected]  
Esa Tikkanen, Development Director, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 040 5459 or [email protected]