Investments in the Russian forest sector have grown steadily since 2015. There has been growth, especially in the pulp and paper industry, where ruble-denominated investments have grown annually by about 30 percent from the previous year. The largest investor has been the Ilim Group, which completed the modernization projects of the Bratsk paperboard mill and the Ust-Ilimsk pulp mill in 2019.
In 2019, EUR 1.5 billion was invested in the pulp and paper industry *. Investments in the wood products industry increased slightly until 2017, after which they have been around EUR 1 billion annually. Investments in forestry have also grown at an annual rate of 30 percent. Last year, EUR 630 million was invested in wood harvesting and silviculture.
During January-March 2020, ruble-denominated investments in the forest sector increased by 24 percent compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.
In the 21st century, investments in the Russian forest industry have been evenly divided between the wood products industry and the chemical forest industry. In Finland, for example, almost 80 percent of investments have been made in the pulp and paper industry. Between 2000 and 2018, about EUR 13.5 billion was invested in the Russian pulp and paper industry, and EUR 13.7 billion in Finland, respectively.
The share of foreign investments in the Russian forest industry has varied between 3-5 per cent in 2017-2019. According to the statistics, an average of EUR 30 million has been invested annually in the wood products industry from foreign sources, and EUR 25 million in the pulp and paper industry. (large and medium-sized enterprises)
* 1 €=72,32 RUB (Average rate of the Central Bank of Russia in 2019)
Sari Karvinen, Luke