Current issue: 54(2)
The aim of the present study was to explain how the Finnish paper industry increased its production and its exports, broadened its markets and managed to show a profit in its activities during the period between the two world wars, despite the restrictive international commercial policies then prevailing, and despite the economic depression of the thirties. Newsprint has been treated as a subject for detailed examination.
The study is based on a comparative investigation of the price received by the paper mills for their paper and the costs of production. Since the market price of paper fell during the twenty years in question, one must examine how the mills responded to the reduction in selling price. Technically the study ranges from the valuation of the standing timber to the handing over of the finished product to the buyer. Between 1929 and 1933 the cost of producing newsprint fell by 387 marks per ton.
The most significant factor in maintaining competitive power was the technical development and increased output brought about in the mills. That alone accounted for half the savings achieved. The reduction in the buying price of wood and in delivery costs accounted for about a third of the difference in production costs, and other factors for the remaining fifth. In addition, the devaluation of the Finnish mark was crucial. Measures taken to reduce costs were effective in so far as the paper mills, with only one or two exceptions, maintained their competitiveness in international markets and managed not only to retain but also to extend their markets.
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