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Storms cost International Paper $40-50 million: CEO

The barrage of winter storms has had a severe impact on business at International Paper, Chairman and CEO John Faraci told CNBC on Friday.

The weather has cost the company $40 million to $50 million in January and the first few days of February in lost production, lost sales and higher energy prices, he said.

"It's really geographic specific," he added. "When it gets in the Southeast, that's what really mucks things up, because they don't have the infrastructure to deal with bad weather."

(Read more: All of that snow is dragging down US growth)

In a "Squawk Box" interview from the Sochi Winter Olympics, Faraci said: "When I left [for Russia] I thought it was over."

John Faraci, International Paper Chairman & CEO.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
John Faraci, International Paper Chairman & CEO.

Faraci said IP's single largest investment outside the U.S. is a massive pulp plant in Siberia, because a third of the world's soft wood is there. "And Siberia is right next to the biggest market for just about every paper product in the world, which is China," he said.

As for China, "the Chinese economy is probably growing at 7 percent. Wouldn't we like 7 percent growth in the United States?" Faraci asked.

While slowing down compared to five years ago, China's current growth rate represents greater expansion because its economy is bigger, he added.

(Read more: A double dose of love for China's retailers)

By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere. Follow him on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC.

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