Russia: Growth of timber production insignificant due to forest fires
Source: Interfax News Agency, 30 November 2001
The production of timber and paper products in Russia when this year ends will have expanded 2% over last year, head of the Industry and Science Ministry’s department for industry and innovation policy in the country’s timber industry Boris Bolshakov has told Interfax.
Sector output in January-October was up 2.4% year, Bolshakov said. There was the effect of the introduction of new and reconstruction of existing capacity, and the addition of new types of product–particle board with surface finish, sealed packaging cardboard, enameled paper and other paper products. Cardboard production was up 12.6% to 1.81 million tonnes during this period, and paper output grew 3.5% to 2.839 million tonnes.
The year as a whole should see cardboard output at 2.15 million tonnes (up 8.3% year-on-year) and paper output at 3.41 million tonnes (up 2.6%), Bolshakov predicted. But commercial lumber output will only be 81 million cubic meters, a mere 0.5% increase over last year. In the first ten months, the output of this particular product slipped 0.8% from the level of January-October of last year.
Growth in the production of commercial lumber will so insignificant not only due to working asset insufficiency, but also because of forest tax rates having gone up in Russia an average of 80%, as well as forest fires, the extinguishing of which drew away a lot of loggers and equipment, Bolshakov explained.
He went on to say that lumber output this will be 18.9 million cubic meters, 5.3% less than last year. The main reason for the drop in output was “disadvantageous changes on the home market for Russian exporters and a drop in domestic demand for products made from wood” such as windows, doors and furniture, he added.