The Swedish forest industry’s trade with other countries has been made more difficult by the coronavirus pandemic.
A survey conducted by the Confederation of Swedish Enterprises revealed that a majority of the forest industry companies in Sweden that answered the questionnaire are affected by the outbreak of covid-19. 80 percent believe that trade with other countries had been made more difficult. ”This picture is also confirmed in our direct contacts with the member companies,” says Kerstin Hallsten, chief economist at the Forest Industries.
Initially, it is primarily border crossings for goods within the EU and container cargo to Asia that have accounted for the biggest disruptions. This has resulted in longer delivery times and higher delivery costs.
”We are also concerned about how demand is being linked to the pandemic. As many as 70 percent of companies have noticed a decrease in sales or order bookings compared to a year ago. About ten per cent have noticed reductions of more than 50 per cent and around 20 per cent said sales have decreased by 20 to 49 per cent,” says Kerstin Hallsten.
The government has launched a number of crisis packages to reduce the negative effects that will arise on the economy, in particular the measures taken to stop the spread of infection. In the survey, companies were asked what measures they are considering using. Almost 80 percent of companies believe that they will benefit from a reduction in employer contributions. About 40 per cent of state that they will apply for short-term permits with state wage subsidy.
Although about 40 percent of the companies that answered the survey state that they have financing or liquidity problems, only just under 10 percent state that they intend to use measures linked to loans. About 20 percent state that they have or plan to notify staff in the near future.
The Swedish Enterprise Business Survey was conducted between March 24 and March 30. The survey includes 95 companies in the forest industry.
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