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Despite the COVID restrictions, the wood industry in Austria got through the 2020 pandemic year well. The almost 1,300 wood processing companies in the building products, furniture, panel, sawing and ski industries as well as in other wood processing companies generated a production volume of 8 billion euros last year. 

Since summer 2020 there has been a dynamic global demand for wood products of all kinds, especially for building products. In connection with weather-related restrictions in the supply of raw materials around the turn of 2020/21, stocks for saw logs in Austria emptied faster than usual. This led to short-term delivery bottlenecks and longer delivery times. The price indices collected by the Association of the Austrian Timber Industry since 2001 show an increase from a low level since August 2020 of 21 percent for sawn timber (sales) and 29 percent for roundwood (purchase) until March 2021. The indices are based on anonymous surveys of member companies.

“The current price dynamics and the supply situation show how important the raw material supply is for our industry. In Austria we need active and sustainable forest management that increases the timber harvest in the local forests. Wood deliveries from our neighboring countries are also necessary for value creation in Austria. The current situation is the best counter-argument to the idea of ​​closing large areas of forest for timber harvesting, ”explains Dr. Erlfried Taurer, Deputy Chairman of the Association of the Austrian Timber Industry,l and clarifies:“ For the Austrian timber industry, supplying long-term customers in the home market is a priority. The already declining exports in 2020 increased only slightly in the first quarter of 2021 with high production. “

Dr. Andreas Ludwig, Deputy Chairman of the Association of the Austrian Timber Industry, adds: “The construction industry is currently experiencing a boom around the world. With the first wave of COVID, many governments acted very quickly and issued economic and subsidy programs that had a very positive impact on the construction industry. There is a broad and dynamic demand for building materials of all kinds, with raw material prices rising sharply in all segments, especially for iron and steel as well as rubber and plastics. So we don’t have a so-called wood crisis, but a massive demand for building materials and intermediate products in industry. The global economy put an emergency on the brakes in 2020 and is now going full throttle again. “

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