Timber export tariffs to rise 5 times

Russian timber export tariffs will rise to 75 dollars per cubic metre from January 1, 2009 as the government seeks to turn around the industry.

Tariffs have already risen from $US 6 to $US 22 dollars and will hit $US 75 from the start of next year.

“Russia holds around a quarter of the world's timber reserves and yet produces only 7.5 million tonnes of paper products annually. That compares with Sweden and Finland, which have much lesser reserves but produces 12 and 14 million tonnes of paper,” Andrey Belousov, Deputy Economic Development Minister, said.  

Raising the export tariff on unprocessed timber may complicate Russia's admission to the WTO, but the government is also inviting international investors to start new timber joint ventures in Russia.