New benefits for spring wood trade

Metsä Group will pay a bonus of at least one euro per cubic metre for all wood trade carried out with its current and new owner-members between 1 February and 30 April 2023. A price guarantee will also be offered on wood trade during this period, which may increase the price of wood retrospectively.
  • Wood market review
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EVP, Metsä Forest

The positive momentum has continued in the wood market, and in the early part of this year, purchases from private forests by members of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation have exceeded those of the previous three years. The weekly prices of pine and spruce pulpwood have increased by around 35 per cent and those of logwood by 14 per cent year on year.

We are currently interested in purchasing thinning sites available for summer harvesting and wood from delivery sales received in the winter and spring. We are also happy to purchase regeneration felling sites. The campaign bonus and price guarantee are offered to our current owner-members and to forest owners who join Metsä Group as owner-members between 1 February and 30 April 2023 and engage in wood trade with us by the end of April. We also offer new benefits to our current contract customers during the campaign. Ask more about our campaign from our local forest expert.

In southern Finland, the harvesting conditions were very challenging in January and early February. From time to time, we had to move to stands marked for summer felling. Nevertheless, our harvesting volumes increased from the previous year, and our wood stocks grew as planned. The winter season continues to be active, and the employment outlook for our contractors is strong. We are gradually increasing harvesting with an eye on the start-up of the Kemi bioproduct mill in the third quarter of this year. Tests on the mill’s wood logistics and automated wood reception will begin next month.

We have replaced wood imported from Russia with Finnish and Swedish wood. We have also reduced our purchases from the Baltics because of the region’s high wood prices. However, a notable change has taken place in the Baltic wood market, and the price of softwood fibre in particular has decreased sharply. In Sweden, the situation of softwood pulpwood has also stabilised during the winter.

Our new ERP system for wood supply and forest services was completed in February. The two-year project, completed as scheduled, will enable us to offer even better digital forest-owner services to our owner-members. The first round of reforms to our digital services will be completed in the near future.

Sustainable forest use has been actively discussed. Progress is being made in the extensive research project on forest biodiversity and the impact of past biodiversity efforts, which is conducted by the Finnish Forest Industries Federation and the Finnish Sawmills Association. The first results are promising. Among other things, they indicate that the volumes of decaying wood, sturdy aspen, blueberry and lingonberry are on the rise. The structural forest properties important to biodiversity have also developed positively. Thus, we can conclude that forest owners have carried out the right measures in the 1990s and the 2000s to date. We need more research data of this kind so that discussions about sustainability can be conducted based on facts.

In terms of climate change, it is essential that we reduce the use of fossil raw materials and replace them with renewable raw materials. In climate policy discussions, the solutions provided by the forest sector should be considered as a whole. The principal measures for increasing the carbon sink of the combined land sector include boosting the forest sink through appropriate and well-timed forest management, increasing the share of enduring carbon storing wood products, and reducing global soil emissions and deforestation instead of restricting felling.

The National Forest Strategy and new Nature Conservation Act were approved in December. The act on the new forestry incentive scheme (metka) was approved in January. The goal is for the new act to enter into force on 1 January 2024. Kemera subsidies offered under the current Sustainable Forestry Financing Act can still be applied for this year.

In our changing world, we must secure the prerequisites for forestry to safeguard future profit from forest assets. We would be smart to jointly take action that preserves the respect for our industry. Our recyclable products made from renewable raw material store carbon, offer solutions to global problems, and replace fossil products. Let’s work together to take care of the world’s best managed forests so we can leave them to the next generations in an even more vibrant and diverse condition.

EVP, Metsä Forest
Juha Jumppanen, EVP, Metsä Forest, is responsible for Metsä Group’s wood procurement and forestry services. He has worked his entire career at Metsä Group. He started in the forestry service business, and since then he has gained experience in harvesting, industrial customer relations, member services and wood trade. Continuous improvement and the development of customer experience and employee satisfaction are particularly close to his heart.