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After a year of slight contraction in 2018, the European parquet market improved in 2019. Unfortunately, this positive result and the good start of the year observed at the very beginning of 2019 have to be balanced with the upsurge of the Covid-19.

In a nutshell, the situation is getting worse when going from north to south of Europe which was hit earlier and harder by the pandemic. Italy, Spain, but also France or Belgium have been locked down for weeks.

Non-German speaking parts of Switzerland and Austria were also confronted to this kind of situation. On the other hand, the activity never really stopped in Germany and some shops, such as DIY, were open. And no drastic confinement measures were taken in Scandinavia where life remains as normal as possible.

Although the situation is now slowly improving, relatively more quickly in countries less impacted by the lockdown measures, a return to pre-Covid-19 sales level is not expected in the short to medium term. Uncertainties also remain concerning a potential 2nd wave now or next fall.

With other Forest-Based and Woodworking Industries European associations, the Federation of European Parquet is calling for a strong EU recovery plan in line with the EU Green Deal’s and new Circular Economy Action Plan’s principles which are generally favourable to wood products such as parquet.

A return to Business As Usual, meaning a dependence on fossil-based and/or energy intensive resources and products, is simply not an option. More specifically, regarding the construction activity, the so-called Renovation Wave should be one of the most important engines of the recovery.

The present crisis is an opportunity for the EU to make its increasing recognition of the positive role played by wood products tangible and to translate it into supportive policies for the wood industry!

The European Parquet Market improved moderately in 2019

After a year of slight contraction in 2018, the overall consumption figures of parquet in Europe upturned for 2019. The consolidated data provided by the FEP – European Federation of the Parquet industry – member companies and affiliated national associations are showing an increase by 1.2% of the global European market in 2019 compared to 2018. The revised figures for 2018 are now pointing to a market contraction of less than 1% in 2018 compared to 2017.

As usual, the results show some variation from country to country. The market improvement is mainly due to increases of parquet consumption observed in Germany, Poland, France, and Italy. On the other hand, Scandinavia is reporting declines.

The production in FEP territory rose by 1.6% and exceeds the 78 million square meter threshold. It is important to note that, as of 2007, production and consumption figures for Italy have been revised according to the new method used by the Italian national federation – Federlegno Arredo. The European production outside FEP countries is at an estimated 14.2 million square meters – 8.7 million square meters produced in EU countries and 5.5 million square meters in European non-EU countries.

The total production in FEP territory increased by 1.6% to a volume of 78,003,330 m². Taking into account the total production in Europe (FEP countries + non-FEP countries in Europe) implies that production in 2019 rose slightly by 0.7% and exceeded 92 million m².

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