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Finland Pulp, Paperboard Output Grows in First Half

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Pulp and packaging paperboard output in Finland increased during the first half of this year, according to the Finnish Forest Industries. Printing and writing paper output remained steady from 2014 levels, but softwood sawn timber production shrank. Upcoming industrial policy decisions reportedly will have a significant impact on the competitiveness of Finland's forest-based sector.

"A comprehensive societal agreement is needed alongside very moderate pay rises in the next few years if we want Finnish competitiveness to recover. This would enable us to narrow the gap that has developed between Finland and our key competitor countries. Promoting favorable operating prerequisites for the forest-based sector, the most important component of the bioeconomy, makes it possible to realize the expectations that have been placed on the bioeconomy as a driving force for overall economic activity," said Timo Jaatinen, director general of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

"Concrete action is needed to spur the bioeconomy. Measures with rapid impact must be taken in order to get timber flowing and safeguard the industry's raw material supplies. The emissions trading compensation included in the Programme for Government should also be introduced quickly. In addition, infrastructure investments must target basic road maintenance, the lower-level road network and boost the efficiency of track transports that strengthen the bioeconomy," Jaatinen added.

The forest-based sector plays a significant role in the generation of export revenues for Finland. Forest industry products accounted for 21.7% of national exports in January-May. About 5.3 million metric tons of paper and paperboard was produced in Finland in January-June, just under one percent more than in the corresponding period of 2014
Approximately 3 million metric tons of printing and writing paper were produced in Finland during the first half of the year. Output was almost unchanged from the corresponding period of 2014.

Paperboard production for packaging continued to grow steadily, with about 1.6 million metric tons of paperboard produced in January-June, some 5%-plus more than one year earlier.

Pulp production increased in the first half of the year. Finnish pulp production totaled 3.6 million metric tons in January-June, almost 3% more than in the corresponding period of 2014.


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