The mood in the German timber industry has stabilized at a low level after the crash in the previous month. After the initial shock of the Russian attack on Ukraine, the industry is showing resilience. While the current order situation is still perceived as good by companies, they anticipate tough times ahead given rising material prices and ongoing supply chain problems.
The companies’ assessment of the current situation improved slightly in April 2022 to +45.5 points (previous month: +44.7 points). The outlook for the next 6 months, on the other hand, brightened slightly, the current value is -27.6 points (previous month: -36.1 points). Overall, the Main Association of the German Wood Industry (HDH) economic indicator rose slightly in April to +5.8 points (previous month: +0.2 points).
In view of the different impacts on the individual segments, the mood in the timber industry remains mixed. Companies in all segments and especially in the construction-related area of the wood industry (+56.1 points), in prefabricated wood construction (+55.9 points), in the wood-based materials industry (+50 points) and in the sawmill industry (+45.2 points) appreciate ) rate their current business situation as positive. However, the expectations in all segments indicate a negative development in the coming months. In particular, the furniture industry (-12.2 points), prefabricated wood construction (-8 points) and the wood packaging industry (-4.9 points) are currently pessimistic about the future.
From the point of view of the HDH, this is due not only to the expected negative effects of the Ukraine war on demand, but also to the rising material prices and the worsening problems in material procurement. The delivery problems currently affect adhesives, fittings, steel as well as plastics and packaging. In addition to wood and wood-based materials, almost all other raw materials and primary products in the wood and plastics industry are becoming more expensive. A significant easing of the supply and price situation is not to be expected in the coming months. A possible suspension of Russian gas deliveries to Germany also remains a risk factor.