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Abstract

The forest industry in several Nordic countries is heavily dependent on the timber supply of the nonindustrial private forest owners. This study focused on the behaviour of forest owners on the timber market when they chose a timber procurement organization. The study was made with a survey among forest owners that during the year 2011 notified the Swedish Forest Agency that a final felling would be performed on their forest property by way of their timber procurer. The survey was answered by 418 forest owners (79% male and 21% female). It was found that there was no difference in age distribution between the forest owners in the sample compared to the total age distribution of forest owners in Sweden. Harvesting was more common on large properties. Half of the forest owners had made timber deals with other timber procurement organizations before. Earlier research suggested that forest owners do not analyse the market, but this study suggest that a change may have occurred. Although a majority of the timber deals were made on the initiative of the forest owner, 17.2% of the deals were based on a tender of the forest owner and this concerned mainly large timber deals. One in four of the forest owners experienced problems, mainly related to how the harvesting operation was performed. Female forest owners, absentee owners and share owners experienced significantly more problems. The results indicate that the forest industry may need to intensify their efforts to learn and understand forest owners better, especially with the new generation forest owners, to maintain their level of timber procurement from the private forest sector.

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