The log market in Austria is currently impacted by the bark beetle infestation and the coronavirus crisis in June.
The sawmill industry in Austria is gradually reducing the production cuts determined by the coronavirus crisis. Nevertheless, the demand for local spruce sawn timber remains subdued.
Massive price reductions
In the damaged areas of Upper and Lower Austria, however, increased removal of the logs provided has reduced the forest camps and temporarily ensured phytosanitary relaxation. However, there were sometimes massive price reductions. The price level for the main spruce range BC 2a + in Lower Austria is € 55 / m3. The highest prices are reported in Styria at € 76 / m3. The pine market is de facto dead. Only the larch defies the crisis and is in demand at attractive prices.
Too much industrial wood
The storage capacities for paper, pulp and board industry are exhausted. Despite efforts to create additional external storage facilities, the demand for softwood roundwood is very low. The forest camps are far from being dismantled. The currently strict sorting of sawlogs is shifting additional quantities towards industrial logs and exacerbating the quantity problem. The prices are usually below the harvest costs.
Energy wood is hardly in demand
In the energy wood market oversupply meets a lack of demand. Quantities outside of existing contracts cannot be marketed. Due to the lack of demand for industrial logs, quantities are shifting here too and are weighing on the energy wood market.
Weather slows beetles
The currently cool and wet weather in Austria only delayed the development of the bark beetle. Therefore, extreme caution is still required! It is recommended to regularly check the stocks and to take forest protection measures immediately if there is fresh infestation.
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