The current supply and price situation is also an increasing burden for many German industry companies.
Sales in the German wood industry rose by 9.1% in March 2021 compared to the same month of the previous year. This was a turnaround and the decline in sales in the first two months of 2021 was compensated.
In January, sales fell by 7.9% compared to the same month last year, and in February by 0.5%.
“The current situation is really extraordinary. Most companies have good order books, but sourcing materials is difficult. There is less planning security for companies, ”said Johannes Schwörer, President of the Main Association of the German Timber Industry (HDH). “Business expectations for the next six months are becoming increasingly gloomy.”
In the first quarter of 2021, the German wood industry generated a sales increase of 0.6% compared to the same period of the previous year. The significant increases in sales in the sawing industry (+27.1%) and wood-based materials industry (+7.9%) are mainly due to a significant expansion in production (+17.8% and +6.5%) and only partially due to price effects . The export volumes of softwood lumber did not grow at the same rate as the production index. It can therefore be assumed that more sawn timber remained in the currently tight domestic market. Sales in the construction-related area of the wood industry (+ 0.2%) remained roughly at the previous year’s level. The furniture industry (-7.7%) and the wood packaging industry (-4%), on the other hand, had to cope with significant losses in sales.
The current supply and price situation is also an increasing burden for many industry companies: “If the price increases and supply bottlenecks for raw materials and intermediate products continue, this can put a strain on the liquidity of some industry companies,” reports Schwörer. “In particular, the costs for steel, solid structural timber, panel materials and plastics are rising continuously. Especially in times of coronavirus, they represent an unforeseen additional burden for companies and make price agreements and delivery promises more difficult. “
In the German wood industry, it is primarily the processors of sawn wood products and panel materials such as the furniture and packaging industry as well as wood construction who report delivery problems with primary products. The furniture industry, for example, is not only worried about the rise in prices; important intermediate products (wood-based materials, metal components, upholstery materials and plastic parts) are also more difficult to obtain.
“We see a similar situation in the plastics processing industry. Here there are restrictions on the ability to produce and deliver because plastic deliveries are missing or delayed. The tense situation on the global shipping routes also contributes to the difficult situation, ”said the HDH President. All known products in the plastics processing industry are affected: standard plastics such as polyethylene (PE-LD / PE-LLD and PE-HD), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polystyrene (PS); through to engineering plastics such as B. acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyamides (PA) and polycarbonate (PC). Similar developments can be seen in high-performance plastics in the electrical and electronics industry and the automotive industry.
“Worldwide there are disruptions in supply chains due to pandemic-related production downtimes. At the same time, many national economies have launched economic stimulus programs to support the pandemic-ridden economy. It is now important that the international deliveries of goods level off again. In this exceptional global situation, only careful behavior on the part of all market partners currently helps, ”concludes Schwörer.