ETTF and EOS Joint Press Release: The Impact of Covid-19 on the Timber Market
On April 15, the European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF) and the European Organization of the Sawmill Industry (EOS) organised a joint conference call which aimed to take stock of the effects of the covid-19 crisis in the timber market and try to gauge what the situation will be in the coming months. Representatives from eleven European countries contributed to a lively discussion which enriched participants knowledge about the crisis and its impact. Without doubt, the impact of the coronavirus outbreak is having wide-ranging and severe impacts upon the timber value chain. There are however significant differences among European countries: where the coronavirus has taken a heavier toll, the economy has been hardest hit. The construction sector, a fundamental market for the timber industry, has taken a hit in countries such as Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom and France, and also in businesses located elsewhere which are particularly exposed to this group of countries. In other parts of Europe, such as in Scandinavia, Germany, and the Netherlands, the local construction sector has been doing better. A crunch period might be on the cards also for these countries in Q3. Sectors connected to logistics, such as pallets, are performing comparatively better than sectors connected to manufacturing, such as furniture industries. To meet struggling demand double-digit production curtailments have been introduced by mills, with reductions in Scandinavia comparatively milder than in Central Europe. It is expected that the Do It Yourself (DIY) sector will prop up the market as people spend more time at home, especially as DIY markets mostly remain open currently and hence are supporting sawmills and trade. Overall, it is likely that countries that are navigating this crisis with less casualties will turn more inward and direct their sales to their local market in the coming months.
Copy of the Press Release is available HERE