Wood Business

Industry News Markets
Northern Europe lumber exports up 16%

June 23, 2013, Seattle, Wash. – Sweden and Finland’s sawmills have increased its’ shipments of lumber to markets outside of Europe by 16 per cent in the past five years.

The Wood Resource Quarterly reports that the two countries’ non-European exports have increased from 27 per cent in 2007 to 43 per cent in 2012, with the biggest changes being seen in shipments to Northern Africa, Middle East, Japan, China and the U.S.

Finnish sawmills currently export more than 55 per cent of their shipments to non-European markets, with Japan and Egypt having become the two largest markets in 2012, ahead of the traditional markets of the U.K., France and Germany. During the first four months of 2013, Finland was the second largest softwood lumber supplier to Japan behind Canada, but ahead of Sweden, Russia and the U.S.

The MENA countries (Middle East and Northern Africa) have become an important region for Swedish sawmills in the past 10 years, with the export value increasing from $160 million in 2002 to $730 million in 2012. This region accounted for 28 per cent of the total export volume (23 per cent of the value) for Sweden in 2012.

Lumber demand has fallen during the first few months of 2013, yet the MENA countries will continue to be major buyers of wood products from Sweden in the future.

Although the volume of shipments in Sweden is relatively small, exports during the first four months to China were up 130 per cent. Volumes shipped to the improved U.S. wood market were more than four times higher this year than in the same period in 2012.

The Wood Resource Quarterly expects that the worlds two largest lumber-importing countries, China and the U.S., are likely to increase the import volumes of softwood lumber from both Finland and Sweden in the coming years as the demand for wood products goes up.