Skip to content

Russian Timber Backlog at Finnish Border

Large amounts of timber have been felled in Russia and brought to the border with Finland since September last year, to await delivery to Finnish pulp and paper mills. This has taken place in spite of a lack of timber supply contracts.

Image: YLE / Sauli Antikainen

Russian wood supply organisations have felled and stored an estimated 6-10 million cubic metres of timber near the Finnish border, in hopes that Finnish wood processing companies would continue to buy Russian wood, after Russia decided to cancel the latest hike in its export tariffs on raw timber.

The aim of the tariffs has been to discourage exports of raw timber, in hopes that it might serve as an incentive for the development of Russia’s own pulp and paper industry.

Most of the current backlog of Russian wood at the Finnish border has not yet been spoken for, and the ongoing recession has reduced demand from the Finnish wood processing industry.

The quality, and the price, of the felled Russian wood are falling with time; it will probably be sold to Finland eventually, when the price has gone down enough.

Negative Impact on Demand for Finnish Wood

The glut of Russian wood is hurting Finnish forest owners, who are finding it harder to get a good price for their timber.

“If the industry takes this amount of Russian wood into use, it will not have to launch domestic wood trade, and it will be able to keep the price level lower than it has up to now,” says Urho Keränen, executive director of the Kainuu forestry association.