The ongoing price spiral on the German lumber market is putting more and more companies in the industry under increasing pressure.
Prices can change almost every day
The scarce availability of some ranges is an additional stress test for the companies, as the Federal Association of Wood Packaging, Pallets, Export Packaging (HPE) eV reported in a current industry survey. “Prices can change almost every day”, is how HPE managing director Marcus Kirschner describes the tense situation.
Currently, not all product ranges are available for the industry, and some companies have to plan a delivery time of up to four months. Pallet timber, plywood and special cuts are particularly affected. The booming timber construction industry in Germany, the exorbitant demand for wood in North America and the collapsed supply chains from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe are further exacerbating the demand for wood from German sawmills. Some wood packaging manufacturers report that they have already cut back or even temporarily interrupted their production due to a shortage of materials.
These statements are also reflected in the current industry survey, for which 106 companies were asked about their economic situation. According to this, the companies state that they expect the greatest challenges for the next six months in the price development in wood purchasing (71%), in the wood availability of the product ranges (60%) and in compliance with the delivery promises of suppliers (47%).
When asked about the purchase of their most popular ranges, the companies stated lumber as the range with the highest price changes (24%). The price increase for plywood is around 21%. But the prices for the OSB range required for packaging have also increased significantly (18%). According to Bloomberg, this is also reflected in the lumber futures, which rose to over $ 1,000 per 1,000 board feet for the first time on February 18. Ultimately, the results make it clear that the current price development in wood purchasing, in addition to wood availability, represents an enormous challenge for companies in the wood packaging industry.
“If the development continues in this form in the coming months, which, according to the industry survey, can be expected for at least the next six months, it can no longer be completely ruled out that certain pallet and wooden packaging manufacturers will no longer be able to produce sufficient means of transport,” warns Kirschner. “Since the willingness to pay is always very low on the cost-sensitive wood packaging and pallet market, in the current situation it is all the more important that suppliers, companies and customers reflect on their long-term business relationships. Only in this way will it be possible collectively to master the current challenges for the benefit and benefit of all. “
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