Select Page

With a survey, the German Sawmill and Wood Industry Association (DeSH) asked its member companies about the current and expected effects of the war in Ukraine on the availability of wood, logistics, electricity prices and the development of construction activity. The results show that the German wood industry is primarily affected by rising energy costs and a lack of transport capacities, but can reliably provide products for the domestic market thanks to the efficient processing of the regional raw material wood.

Russia’s war against Ukraine and the economic sanctions are having an increasing impact on the German economy. The current DeSH survey of its member companies shows that the sawmill and timber industry can largely maintain its production of wood products based on domestic resources, but that the increased costs for energy and a lack of transport capacities are also having a more noticeable impact here. “The sawmill and timber industry processes its wood from regional sources in the immediate vicinity of the respective location. This independence from imports and long transport routes plays a key role in this situation for climate protection and domestic value creation. Because the availability and use of wood is decided here on site,” explains DeSH General Manager Lars Schmidt. “This is both a privilege and a responsibility for politicians. Because in order to have this opportunity, the active use of hardwood and softwood from local forests is the basis.”

Impact on energy and logistics

“Nevertheless, the far-reaching logistics bottlenecks are also affecting the sawmill and timber industry. In particular, the lack of truck drivers, rising freight rates and a lack of capacity affect more than 40 percent of the companies surveyed. At the same time, energy prices have risen sharply. More than half of the companies surveyed state that the cost of electricity has increased by more than 20 percent. “Of course, this affects the entire industry and has direct effects on the production of energy-intensive materials such as glass or steel,” continues Schmidt. “While the availability of construction-related products, such as steel, is currently causing uncertainty in addition to rising production costs, the market for construction timber from Germany is proving to be largely robust.”

Wood creates independence and security

Responses to construction activity are also expected by those surveyed. In Germany, for example, a decline of around 15 percent is expected. In addition to uncertain framework conditions, the lack of availability of preliminary products, machines, pipes and skilled workers are decisive. Against this background, local resources create security: “The sawmill and wood industry is a reliable partner for the construction industry and wood is a future-oriented material. Its provision through active forest management, processing in regional value chains and use in construction show that the independence and sustainability of our economy can be ensured even in times of crisis,” emphasizes Schmidt in conclusion.

The post German sawmill industry feels the effects of the war, especially in terms of energy prices appeared first on Timber Industry News.