Strict restrictive measures in most EU countries and indeed across the world have more or less restricted production, which has a knock-on effect on sales and consumption. However, export-oriented wood processing and furniture production expect the EU’s stringent restrictions to be eased, as many businesses in the field have temporarily or even permanently lost both foreign and domestic orders.

A modern, technologically and commercially organized, globally competitive European wood industry sends raw materials and supplies all over the world. Exports of raw materials to the Far East have significantly increased over the last 30 years and the continuity of these deliveries has, owing to these unprecedented circumstances, been called into question.

The coronavirus crisis is forcing EU wood importers, exporters wholesalers, retailers and furniture manufacturers to reconsider their own sources and supply chains, depending on market demand. The self-sufficiency of industrial production is one of the topics to dominate early 2020, and this could mark a major turning point for the international exchange of goods and services.

Reduced purchasing power has become the uncomfortable norm thanks to the pandemic.

The ”start date” of the resumption of production activities and the gradual normalization of wood demand will certainly be very different across various EU countries. During the second half of April, a number of countries with advanced wood processing industries in the EU have been spending time considering a decision on dates for May, such as the mitigation of restrictive measures, and the resumption of production and the opening of specialized retail stores and other department stores. Production has been continuing in the Far East, most notably in China, which is well known as the world’s largest importer of wood.

The good news is that wood processing production are on the list of many governments’ priorities for the easing of anti-epidemic measures. The coronavirus pandemic has seen some extremely strategic management decisions be put at stake for the furniture and wood industries in the EU.

The purchasing and need for furniture, and therefore the demand for primary wood processing products, depends on the needs and desires of consumers and their purchasing power, and this has been further reduced. The question of when this trend might come to an end is still up in the air.

Industrial companies have been applying strict safety measures at work, and these are now being supplemented significantly to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19). In an environment threatened by something as menacing as a global pandemic, the preservation of personal health and common material interests is very much in the interests of both employers and employees.

Medium and small sized wood processing factories are complex and changeable organisms, with numerous business relationships existing in the sales/export and supply/import chains. Any interruption of the production process in a single factory for several days causes a material and logistical damage.

The interruption of industrial production in a country for several months causes a level of material and social damage that is difficult to measure, and the problems being experienced by many small and micro furniture manufacturers in this crisis are particularly complex.

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