The Pellervo Economic Research of Finland forecast that pulp and paper production in Finland will decrease remarkably in the next two years, local media reported Thursday.
The institute predicted that Finland's paper production will drop by 6 to 7 percent this year and 4 to 5 percent in 2016. For this reason, it is more likely that some paper machines in Finland will be shut down, it added.
Weak economic growth in Europe and the replacement of paper by electronic means was expected to slow down Finnish exports in the forest industry.
The research institution estimated that Finnish exports would grow strongly next year, but the export value of the paper industry would not change much.
A report conducted by the Stationers' and Newspaper Makers, a London-based company, forecast that the global demand for paper will fall dramatically by 32.5 percent by 2020.
The Finnish paper industry, a pillar for the country, has been hard hit in recent years. According to Finnish Forest Industries, 10.4 million tons of paper and paperboard was produced in Finland in 2014, about 1.7 percent less than in 2013.
In particular, the demand for printing and writing papers continued to decline in developed markets, said the trade association, adding that Finland produced almost 6.1 million tons of printing and writing papers in 2014, down by 3.4 percent from the previous year.
The pulp and paper sector is one of the most important industries of Finland, accounting for about 2 percent of its GDP and half of its exports.