The current sales opportunities for Austrian sawn and laminated timber products on the global markets are optimal in January. Prices are reaching record levels.
The processing in the Central European and Austrian sawmill industries are correspondingly high. On the other hand, for various reasons, logging in Austria has not really picked up speed. The import of roundwood has also become more difficult and expensive.
Accordingly, the Austrian sawmills are currently having a below-average stock of softwood sawlogs. With the exception of Tyrol and Vorarlberg, prices for the main assortment spruce sawlogs B/2b, continued to rise. The difference in price levels between the bark beetle damage areas of Lower and Upper Austria and the rest of the country is still there, but has decreased significantly. Pine can be sold at unchanged prices, while demand for larch is unbroken.
The oak remains the most popular type of hardwood. Accordingly, it also provides the majority of this year’s valuable wood submissions in Lower and Upper Austria. There is also increased domestic demand for ash and maple. Severely weakened beech lumber markets in the Far East are dampening demand and prices for red beech. The phytosanitary situation of the ash is also hindering sales to China and Vietnam.
The situation on the softwood pulpwood market is mixed. While in Carinthia and Salzburg the rather small amounts can usually be sold without any problems, in the rest of Germany marketing is difficult and strictly limited. In the absence of a purchase in Austria, one or the other export option is the only valve to prevent forest storage and the threat of quality devaluation. In the case of pulpwood, efforts are made to accept quantities offered despite full stocks. Due to the lack of demand, quantities are shifted to energy wood.
On the energy wood market, with the exception of larger customers in Carinthia and sales opportunities in Salzburg, large supply continues to meet low demand. Quantities outside of the contracts are hardly deductible. To what extent the currently prevailing lower temperatures will bring relief remains to be seen. Firewood that is marketed in combination with a corresponding service achieves very good sales opportunities and good prices, especially in urban areas.
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