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The German sawmills are responding to the tense situation on the timber market with record production and a falling export quota in the first quarter of 2021.

The German Sawmill and Wood Industry Association (DeSH) emphasizes the efforts on the part of the industry, warns of the consequences of the logging restrictions and appeals to other industry players to make their contribution to defusing the market.

“The increases in production in the first few months of this year show the efforts of the German sawmill and wood industry to meet the high demand on the wood market”, explains Jörn Kimmich, President of DeSH, the record sum of more than 7 million m3 of sawn timber in the first quarter of this year – an increase of one million m3 compared to the same period in the previous year.

Contrary to widespread fears, the export quota fell further in the first three months of the year. While exports to the US have increased significantly, export volumes to China have decreased significantly. The vast majority of 60 percent of total German exports remain in neighboring countries within the European Union.

At the end of the first quarter, the German wood market was able to sell 5.8 million. m3 of sawn timber and thus 20 percent more than in the previous year are made available for processing.

“The current figures show the efforts of the sawmill and wood industry to supply the domestic market with additional sawn timber. We are working to the limit of our capacity and are trying to continuously increase it in order to calm the market,” Kimmich emphasizes.

Felling restrictions thwart the market situation

The effects of the legal logging restrictions for fresh spruce have aggravated the market situation since the last few weeks and run counter to increasing demand: “The efforts of the industry to normalize the market by expanding production are counteracted by the logging restrictions. A lack of raw material supply will inevitably reduce production and ultimately have negative effects for everyone along the value chain, from forest ownership to handicrafts. Improvements urgently need to be made here, ”Kimmich appeals. While the sawmills expect a shortage of fresh wood in the course of the year, some forest owners are already complaining about restrictions and uncertainties that prevent them from participating in the rising prices of round wood.

Appeal to all market participants

In a joint declaration, the German sawmill and wood industry has now turned to the other industry players and appeals not to worsen the situation any further. Holding back deliveries or building up stocks counteracts any easing in the market. The sawmill industry is continuously working on expanding its production for the use of wood in Germany. “Like everyone else, we would like to continue to strengthen the German market, where everyone benefits from the value of the unique raw material wood. For this, an open dialogue between all those involved about long-term strategies is inevitable, ”summarizes Kimmich.

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