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The Swedish forest industry has increased its exports of wood products and pulp so far this year. To the USA, which is normally a modest buyer of Swedish forest industry products, exports have almost doubled in one year.

The Swedish Forest Industries’ (Skogsindustrierna) latest market report, which analyzes developments up to and including November this year, states that the Swedish forest industry has increased its exports, despite declining global trade and declining GDP.

”The companies have been flexible and increased trade with countries where there has been a demand. Above all, we see an increase in exports to the United States. This is largely due to the fact that the USA has looked after other trading partners than Canada, which more or less shut down its production this spring,” says Kerstin Hallsten, chief economist at Skogsindustrierna.

Exports of wood products and pulp to the United States have almost doubled in 2020, albeit from modest levels. Today, the United States accounts for five percent of the total exports of forest industry products.

Swedish wood products have done particularly well. Here, exports so far this year have increased by nine percent compared to last year. Deliveries have been higher than production, so now the sawmills have low stocks and can also sell at high prices.

”I had expected a high production rate during the autumn, but note that it instead fell in October, probably linked to a high level of sick leave. We are now seeing increased global production, so Swedish sawmills will have to expect increased competition going forward,” says Christian Nielsen, analyst in wood products at Skogsindustrierna.

Domestic deliveries of wood products have decreased by five percent so far this year. The construction trade has been strong, but it has not fully succeeded in compensating for reduced demand from elsewhere, such as small house manufacturers.

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