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The European Hardwood sawmill industry gets together
trade associations

31 October 2006

The European Hardwood sawmill industry gets together

From 25 until 26 October 2006, following an invitation from the Romanian Association, representatives of the European hardwood sawmill industry from France, Romania, Germany, Belgium and Austria discussed about today’s situation in the European hardwood markets. “Globalised markets call for more information exchange” – says the hardwood speaker of EOS, René Maechler. To sustain this statement he made the following observations:
The hardwood sawmill industry in Europe follows the evolution in the softwood sector. The demand for oak has been quite dynamic for some time, and now also a better outlook for beech sawmilling can be observed. The beech log prices for C-wood have risen between 15 and 20% in the last year due to the higher demand for energy wood. Furthermore there is a clear increase in transport cost. These trends make it necessary for the sawmills to adjust their market prices for sawn beech lumber. The same goes for oak, since the first standing wood auctions in France and Belgium brought along a further 20% cost increase. Mostly the lesser qualities (C/D suited for parquet) have hereby increased.
In many European regions problems with the availability of raw material are occurring in the hardwood sector. Therefore the central demand to give priority to regional supply of raw material over supra-regional marketing. Seeing the increased capacity building of the hardwood sawmill industry, the export of raw material must be reduced, in order to guarantee the inter-European supply of the sawmills in the future.
Furthermore, the European hardwood sawmill industry delegation has had the opportunity to a technical information exchange and work visits to local hardwood sawmills. The European hardwood sawmill industry will meet again in November 2007 at the second European hardwood conference in Baden Baden.