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    Russian lumber industry exports earnings grow 21.4% in 2005

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    BALAKHNA, Nizhny Novgorod Region, June 26 (RIA Novosti) - Export earnings from the Russian lumber industry grew 21.4% year on year in 2005 to $8.5 billion, a deputy industry and energy minister said Monday.

    "In 2005 investment in the lumber industry was 39.6 billion rubles [$1.5 billion], which is 8 billion rubles [$295.8 million] more than in 2004," Andrei Reus said at a joint session of the Industry and Energy Ministry and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.

    Reus said the loans from foreign banks made up 20-25% of the industry total.

    He added that Russia possessed the world's largest renewable forest reserves, and that the country annually exported 41.8 million cu m of lumber, or 35.4% of the world timber market.

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