The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the condition of the wood industry in Poland, which after temporary problems, including with the availability of the raw material, it is back to functioning at full capacity. However, the industry still suffers from, among others problems with finding employees, the monopoly of the State Forests, which provide over 90% raw material for the domestic market, and fierce competition, which drives up wood prices.
The pandemic and the economic slowdown have had a heavy impact on the timber industry in Poland. From March to June, many sawmills closed their gates, and there was a significant slowdown in production. In recent months, there has been a big recovery, and at the moment all sawmills are working at full speed. The problem is that the supply chains have been disrupted. They either lost suppliers or the suppliers have capacity constrains. Therefore the situation is different then before the pandemic.
However, the expectations and predictions are that in the coming time the Polish sawmill industry might crash again strongly and there will be a slowdown again similar to spring.
In recent years, the wood industry in Poland has been one of the driving forces of the economy, the main exporters and investment engines. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the related recession upset its condition, which was also compounded by problems with the availability of raw material. The sector is almost entirely based on domestic wood resources, and the main supplier of this raw material is the State Forests National Forest Holding, from which over 90% of the wood comes from supplies to domestic wood processors. From the beginning of the year, market conditions forced foresters to reduce timber harvest by 23% in March and by 50% in April.
Currently, most Polish sawmills are working at full speed, prices on the raw material market in the country are quite high. Selling prices of lumber, which had been falling for two years, have now stopped falling. The prices for by-products such as wood chips or edgings continue to fall.
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