The price of furniture and lumber in Germany has been rising for months. There are also massive delivery bottlenecks. Now there is a threat of delays in the construction of houses and increases in furniture costs. And an end to the wood crisis in Germany does not seem to be in sight.
In the warehouse of the German Holzbau Fichtl company from Windach near Lake Ammersee, the beams should be stacked up to the ceiling. But now there is emptiness here. Replenishment – not in sight.
Company boss Stefan Fichtl used to be able to order the raw material for his wooden houses one week in advance, now he has to wait up to eight weeks for delivery. He expects the situation to become even more difficult over the next few weeks and months.
Companies are desperately waiting for wood deliveries
Master carpenter Roland Endl from Winzer near Deggendorf has the same problem. Wood that he needs for his daily work is hardly available, he says. Even veneered panels or white chipboard are out of stock and can be delivered after Easter at the earliest. And that too is uncertain. You have to constantly adapt the daily work process to the availability of the goods. But if you constantly have to interrupt work and start over, this is ineffective and costs money, says Roland Endl.
The wood goes to the USA
The reason for the delivery problems throughout Germany is that a lot of processed wood is currently being sold to the USA. Because the US pays higher prices than the traders in Germany, the wood goes abroad. Handicraft businesses in Germany that are dependent on the goods are left behind.
There is a risk of delays in house construction
The delivery bottleneck could also lead to delays in house construction in the future, warns Alexander Kirst from the Bavarian Carpenters Association. The higher the proportion of wood, the greater the risk.
Timber price shoots up
Another problem, says Kirst, is the rising price of industrially processed wood. A year ago, tradespeople would have paid around 250 euros for a cubic meter of solid structural timber, now the price is around 450 euros. In the past month alone, the price has risen by 30 percent. Master carpenter Stefan Fichtl even reports price increases of up to 60 percent since autumn.
Furniture more expensive – losses for companies
For his company, this means additional costs of an estimated 120,000 euros this year, which he cannot pass on to the customers. They paid what was in the contract.
Master carpenter Roland Endl, on the other hand, also has short-term orders, which he can then calculate with the current wood price. The cupboard may then cost the customer a little more than it did a few months ago.
The worst thing for him is the uncertainty as to whether he can even do jobs. Like many other craftsmen, the carpenter hopes that the situation will ease somewhat in the coming months.
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