After several years of reduced timber trade between Finland and Russia, Finnish industrial interests now see brighter days coming. The Russian inclusion in the World Trade Organization is likely to result in a cut in Russian export tariffs on round timber and consequently make the raw material more competitive for Finnish importers.
According to Finnish paper and pulp major UPM, the Russian WTO deal will give a doubling of timber exports to Finland within only a couple of years, YLE reports.
The industry also believes that the WTO regulations will lower Russian import tariffs on papers and carton, and consequently facilitate an increase in Russian imports of processed Finnish wood products.
As previously reported, Russia in 2008 introduced a major increase in export tariffs on round timber, resulting in a sharp drop in the country’s timber exports. The tariff policy was met with sharp criticism from Finland, which over a number of years had bought cheap timber from neighboring Russian regions. Russia originally intended to boost export tariffs on timber up to €50 per cubic meter. However, after a wave of criticism, the country agreed to postpone the raise and left the tariff level to €15 per cubic meter.
The raise in tariffs was necessary for the stimulation of domestic timber processing, Russian authorities argued.