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Log transportation can now begin in the Baltics

18.01.2018 − 

The current frost situation is enabling transportation of logs in storage along forest roads and in collection depots in the Baltic region to gradually get underway, If the frost persists, felling operations are to begin as well in the next few days.

The weather-related obstructions existing since August 2017 largely brought log felling and transportation to a standstill in Latvia and Estonia in the fourth quarter. Under these circumstances, the forestry associations had called upon the governments of both countries even before the turn of the year to declare force majeure for the forest industry.

At a crisis meeting headed by the minister of agriculture, Janis Duklavs, on 28 December, the Latvian government declared the current situation a natural disaster limited to the forest industry with immediate effect. The purpose of this is to protect forest companies from currently unfulfillable demands from their creditors. At the meeting, the pronouncement of a force-majeure declaration was refused, however. Instead, the government says it can cope with the present situation with the legislative instruments at its disposal.

On 11 January 2018, the Estonian minister of the environment, Siim Kiisler, also rejected his country’s forestry organisation’s calls for a force-majeure declaration. Although felling in Lithuania had also been impeded by the weather in the fourth quarter, the Lithuanian state forestry ad-ministration generally fulfilled its contractual delivery obligations. Private forest owners, on the other hand, put out considerably fewer logs for collection than previously agreed.

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