Stora to Buy Local to Avoid Tariffs

Finland's Stora Enso, Europe's largest papermaker, will retool its Imatra paper and board mills so that they can use domestic wood and avoid Russian wood tariffs, chief executive Jouko Karvinen said Wednesday.

The company may also temporarily curtail production at its Enocell pulp mill and Sunila joint-venture pulp mill, Karvinen said at the company's annual investors' meeting in Helsinki. No new decisions on permanent reductions have been made, he said.

The Russian export tariffs are scheduled to rise to 50 euros per cubic meter at the beginning of next year, effectively doubling the price of imported wood. Stora has reduced the use of wood from its easterly neighbor to about 10 percent of consumption from one-third two years ago, Karvinen said.

"Our objective is to become strategically independent of Russian roundwood imported into Finland," he said. "A compromise on the Russian wood duty would be an upside for Stora."