Many Swedish sawmills are now running at full speed again, partly because exports of softwood lumber to the UK have recovered.
“The construction industry in Sweden and UK has closed down a bit, but this is compensated by people wanting to renovate and build,” says Jörgen Lindquist, business area manager at Södra Woods.
At the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, Södra introduced short-term permits at the sawmills in Orrefors, Mönsterås and Hamina in Finland. But during the month of May, the two first-mentioned sawmills returned to normal production, and on June 1, the sawmill in Finland did as well.
An important reason is that sales at the British building department stores are going very well, but also that Södra has gained new export market shares.
”We have increased our deliveries to the US market, the US in particular, and also some to Asia,” says Jörgen Lindquist.
According to Eurostat data, Swedish wood products to China have increased by 59% in the first quarter as compared to the same period in 2019. Also, deliveries to the United States almost tripled during the period. The advantage of Swedish sawmills is that they have not been forced to suspend their operations during the outbreak as compared to other competitors from other countries.
Also the Swedish forest company Vida is running fully again in mid-May at the two sawmills where previously laid off staff.
Similarly, the Swedish sawmill company Setra states that it has recovered from a weakening of reduced order intake in April and May, and is now back to normal production.
Business Area Manager Jörgen Lindquist expects Södra Woods to continue at the same rate in the coming time.
“It is primarily driven by the construction trade where many people choose to put their holiday cash in to rebuild in their house, rather than traveling to Greece or Italy,” says Jörgen Lindquist.
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