April 9, 2013 / 11:53 AM / in 5 years

Finnish paper exports to fall on shift to online media -report

HELSINKI, April 9 (Reuters) - Finland’s paper exports are set to fall this year and next as more European consumers and advertisers abandon print and turn to online media due to economic uncertainty, a research firm said.

Finland is home to Europe’s biggest paper producers, UPM-Kymmene and Stora Enso. The forest industry accounts for some 15 percent of Finland’s total exports.

Pellervo Economic Research forecast Finnish paper exports will drop 1-3 percent this year from 7.3 million tonnes in 2012, and fall a further 1-4 percent in 2014. It previously forecast flat volumes for this year.

Europe’s recession has accelerated a fall in paper demand as advertisers and consumers shift from print to electronic media.

Paper companies have tried to deal with the fall by shutting down mills and cutting capacity, and the report said more cuts are likely.

“The paper industry will continue to close down capacity in Europe this year and the next,” said Pellervo economist Matleena Kniivila.

The capacity cuts are expected the lift the average Finnish export price of paper by 2 percent this year and by 2-3 percent in 2014, she added.

Finnish paper mills export around 90 percent of what they produce, mostly to other EU countries.

Finland’s exports of pulp, paperboard and sawn timber are seen rising up to 5 percent this year, the report said. (Reporting By Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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