The doctoral dissertations of the former Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) and Aalto University Schools of Technology (CHEM, ELEC, ENG, SCI) published in electronic format are available in the electronic publications archive of Aalto University - Aaltodoc.

Analysing Sawnwood Supply Distribution in Finnish Sawmilling Industry with Database Approach

Jussi Virtanen

Dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Science in Technology to be presented with due permission of the Department of Forest Products Technology for public examination and debate in Auditorium V1 at Helsinki University of Technology (Espoo, Finland) on the 20th of September, 2005, at 12 noon.

Dissertation in PDF format (ISBN 951-22-7819-7)   [4387 KB]
Dissertation is also available in print (ISBN 951-22-7818-9)


The thesis analyses sawnwood supply in the Finnish sawmilling industry using the database approach. The analyses help to understand the supply and demand of sawnwood between customers and sawmills. In the analyses two databases were used to examine the supply of sawnwood. In addition, the following three criteria were used: 1) quantity, 2) price and 3) quality. The study focused on a sample of 63,774 sales of over 19 million m3 sawnwood from 1995 to 2000. Quality in the thesis is defined in terms of dimensions, quality classes, end moisture contents and user segments. The coniferous species in the sample were Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and Norway spruce (Picea abies). Additionally, time series data about the consumption of coniferous sawnwood from the years between 1961 and 2002 was used in the study. The most essential new result of the thesis was that the features of sawnwood as a commodity product were clear in the sample from 1995 to 2000. Nevertheless, the marketing and the operations of the Finnish sawmilling industry at the time emphasised the features related to special and customer products.

In 2002, the global consumption of coniferous sawnwood (CSW) was 283 million m3. The same year in Finland, the consumption of sawnwood increased to 1.02 m3 per capita, the highest in the world. Finland experienced a structural change in the sawnwood consumption between the periods of 1961-1996 and 1997-2002.

From 1995 to 2000, sawnwood supply and sales from Finnish sawmills were largely limited to only a few volume dimensions. For pine, 20% of the number of dimensions encompassed 91% of volume and 90% of value. For spruce, 20% of the number of dimensions covered 82% of volume and 83% of value. The Pareto principle assumption applied to the distribution of sawnwood dimensions from the quantity (m3) and value (€) perspectives. There was a sawnwood market trend towards smaller batch sizes. It was observed that the end moisture content class MC 18% has a dominant position – over 90% – in the end moisture content distribution. The results supported the view that sawnwood supply consists mainly of a limited number standard products. Dimensions had big differences specific to country and species of timber. The basis price system worked by dimension, quality class and species with a defined basis of pine 50 × 150 mm U/S or similar. This system was used in the pricing of sawnwood in the Finnish sawmilling industry in 2000.

In the analyses, the supply of sawnwood was divided according to end moisture content classes, countries, dimensions and segments. In the supply analyses, standard dimensions and qualities were linked with the standard moisture content classes as MC 18%. The results showed that the supply was greatest for standardised sawnwood. The supply and demand for special qualities increased particularly for pine. There was a correlation between sawnwood export countries, moisture content classes and end-user segments. The results showed that sawnwood user segmentation was still unfinished.

The thesis seeks to present such methods that give relevant information to sawmills and other segments of the forest cluster. These useful methods include logistic regressions and other statistical tools. Applying these tools can give new insight into business management as well as the dynamics of the demand for sawnwood and other wood products.

Keywords: sawnwood, supply, demand, consumption, analysis, pine, spruce, price, logistic regression, linear regression, length, sawmill, end moisture content, quality class, user segment

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© 2005 Helsinki University of Technology

Last update 2011-05-26