Industries warn of high energy costs

High international demand means that the Swedish raw materials industry could be entering a new golden age, according to a new report. But it also warns that future prosperity of the industry is threatened by high energy costs.

Demand for Swedish timber and iron ore has been driven up by markets in eastern Europe and Asia, the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise said in a report presented on Tuesday.

“The raw materials industry is an important part of the business world, particularly in an age of globalization,” said the confederation’s energy and climate policy spokeswoman Birgitta Resvik.

But, warned Resvik, high energy costs are threatening the sector.

“The future prospects for the raw materials industry is good, but the sector is sensitive to changes in energy costs.”

“We must not allow over-ambitious and misdirected environmental policies to pull the rug away from under the feet of companies,” she said.

She was backed up by Karl-Åke Johansson, CEO of mining firm Lappland Gold Miners.

“Energy costs account for 25 to 30 percent of the total production costs, so big price rises have negative effects on our results,” he said.