he raw material wood is in high demand on the world market. This is causing skyrocketing prices and an extreme shortage of renewable building materials. More and more often there are long faces among do-it-yourselfers who want to design a wooden terrace, and among house builders who tremble about their cost calculation for the roof structure.
The German Federal Statistical Office is already sounding the alarm: The prices at the commercial level would continue to shoot up: In March, coniferous timber was almost 21 percent more expensive than in the previous year. The international markets also confirm the price boom: on the Chicago stock exchange, the prices for construction timber have more than tripled, writes the online portal “agrarheute”.
A brief flying visit to our newspaper at the local forester Ulf Wahlers in the local pine forest , at the Fricke carpentry and in the Visselhöveder hardware store paints a corresponding picture for the German timber market from harvesting to building the wood, which is already being traded almost like gold.
The wood from the forests of the Rotenburg district is one of the foundations for the local wood industry. For example, German forester Ulf Wahlers in Hastedt is still working on the damage caused by the thunderstorm last year and pulling the last of the pine trunks out of the heavily damaged forest. The pine trees that are still usable are lying ready in batches on the dirt road to be loaded onto the next train to the customer of the Waldkonsulting company in Austria. To do this, the trees are cut exactly to length so that they also fit into the wagons at the Visselhöveder timber station .
The hardwood trunks made of oak that the storm had broken in Hastedt, however, have long been processed into rustic table tops or parquet in the Feldmeyer sawmill in Hemsbünde. The poor quality pine trunks end up as chipboard in industry, but can of course only have a small positive effect on the shortage on the timber market .
Handicraft businesses such as carpenters, joiners and roofers are particularly dependent on the reliable supply of construction timber. The effort in the Fricke carpentry in Wittorf is significantly greater – both financially and in terms of time. Where supplies could previously be ordered at short notice , long-term planning now has to be made. “Now we have to order the wood weeks in advance so that there is always enough on site,” said boss Katharina Fricke.
Because the warehouses are empty everywhere, the calculation of the construction projects is becoming much more demanding – the procurement prices are no longer valid for the long term. “This week’s price may be completely different the next. But we will come to terms with this situation and it will go on and on, “says Fricke, who knows that wood is becoming more and more popular as a building material,” solely because of its sustainability “.
Joachim Hesse, head of the Visselhöveder hardware store , immediately feels the strong demand for wood: “Some customers are surprised by the current prices and prefer to buy elsewhere. But the next day they are back with me with the trailer and load up. ”After all, he can only pass on the prices from the wholesale trade . At a normal price level, business would also run much better because the deliveries would then arrive reliably in Visselhövede. “Now it is the case that only a half-loaded truck from the supplier rolls into the yard.” In addition, the organizational effort is enormous when it comes to the number of customer inquiries, but at the end of the day sales are no longer stuck with the entrepreneur. “Many discussions with customers are necessary,” says Hesse. After all, he still has some stocks, but given the price level, there is a relatively high risk of re- ordering larger quantities in the future . “If the prices fall, I have the expensive wood lying around in the hall.”
Hesse identified “a very strong demand for the raw material in the USA and especially in China ” as the cause of the increase . However, if the Canadian suppliers were to fully serve the US market again with the currently valuable commodity, the development could quickly decline again.