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Wood Products Prices in Europe

01 – 15th Jun 2022


Report from Europe  

  European sawn hardwood production at highest level
since 2008

According to the European Sawmiller Organisation (EOS)
production of sawn hardwood in Europe was significantly
impacted by the coronavirus crisis in 2020 with a strong
decline particularly in France and Germany. Overall, sawn
hardwood production declined from around 6 million cu.m
in 2019 to just above 5.5 million cu.m in 2020.

However, in 2021 the situation dramatically improved
with a 13% increase in production to close to 6.3 million
cu.m. This was the highest level of sawn hardwood
production in the EOS countries since 2008 and came on
the back of a sustained increase in demand. Production is
forecast by EOS to decline by 3% this year, back to
around 6 million cu.m.

The downturn in production comes at a time when sawn
hardwood stocks are already at a low level and is due to
log supply shortages rather than a downturn in demand.
EOS suggests that ¡°national and European legislation is
curbing the availability of raw materials while many
hardwood species remain underutilized¡±.

According to EOS, hardwood supply challenges in Europe
are being compounded by high levels of log exports to
China, an issue which has been particularly prominent in
France and Belgium where shortages of oak log are

Furthermore, hardwood companies that rely on foreign
trade are negatively affected by the geopolitical situation:
long-distance exports are hampered by high freight rates,
pandemic-related tension in China and rocketing fuel

Rebound in European wood flooring demand
According to data published at the FEP General Assembly
and Parquet Congress 2022 held 9 and 10 June in
Hamburg, the European market for wood parquet flooring
was at the highest level for a decade last year. While FEP
had anticipated an increase in parquet consumption as the
market recovered from disruption caused by the COVID
pandemic the previous year, the rebound in 2021 was
stronger than expected.

FEP figures show that European parquet consumption
increased by 6.2% in 2021 following a slight 1.6% gain
the previous year. There was particularly strong growth in
the first quarter compared to the same period in 2020.
During the rest of the year, demand continued to grow but
at a slower pace as consumers began again to direct more
expenditure to other activities such as leisure and travel.

Nevertheless, renovation, and adaptation of homes to new
ways of working and living after the pandemic, continued
to act as significant drivers of parquet consumption

Consumption of parquet increased in almost all European
countries in 2021 according to FEP. Countries such as
Italy and France, which were unable to offset losses during
the spring 2020 lockdown and reported declines in parquet
consumption for the year 2020 as a whole, reported
particularly large increases in parquet consumption in
2021 compared to 2020.

Croatia, Romania and Switzerland also reported
significant increases in parquet consumption while
Portugal is focusing more on exports.

In contrast, countries where parquet consumption
recovered more ground in the second half of 2020,
generally reported lower market growth last year. This was
the case for Scandinavia, Austria, Spain, and Germany.

Parquet production in FEP countries increased even more
rapidly than European consumption last year, rising almost
7% to 82.6 million square metres, a level not seen since
before the 2008 financial crisis. Production in all European
countries, including non-FEP members, increased by
nearly 8% to close to 98 million square metres.

The largest European producing country in 2021 was
Poland, followed by Sweden, Austria and Germany.

Last year, as in previous years, the vast majority of
European wood flooring production (83%) comprised
multilayer flooring, with 15% comprising solid wood and
2% comprising mosaic. These proportions were largely
unchanged compared to 2020.

In terms of species preference, the European parquet
sector continues to be overwhelmingly dominated by oak
which accounted for 81.9% of all floor facings compared
to 81.8% in 2020. Ash and beech now make up most the
rest of the volume, respectively 5.3% and 2.8% last year.
Tropical wood species made up only 2.1% of flooring
manufactured in FEP-countries last year, down from 4%
five years before and 15% in 2008.

In terms of wood¡¯s position in the total European market
for floor coverings in 2021, FEP estimate that wood
parquet accounted for around 5% of total consumption of
1.95 billion square metres. Of other materials, textiles
supplied 39% of the market in 2021, stone/ceramics
supplied 22%, vinyl 20%, laminates 12%, and other
materials 3%.

The share of wood has remained broadly level at 5% in the
last five years. Vinyl¡¯s share has risen from around 15% in
2017, mainly at the expense of laminates, stone/ceramics
and textiles.

While these figures apply only to flooring, the role of floor
coverings in determining the look and feel of a room, and
the desire of most consumers to match styles, means they
reflect wider fashion trends in the European interiors

Oak shortage drags down wood flooring production
According to FEP, European parquet markets have
diverged in 2022. While Italy, Scandinavia and Spain have
seen continuing increases in demand, the markets in
Benelux, France and Switzerland have been flat while
sales in Austria and Germany have been declining. To a
large extent, this last trend is driven by supply side
problems as producers have struggled to fill orders due to
wood shortages.

FEP comments that this problem of short wood supply is
expected to extend into all European markets in the
coming months. The supply problems, which began with
the serious supply chain disruption during the COVID
pandemic, have become more acute since the start of the
war in Ukraine.

A large proportion of the wood raw material and semifinished
products used by European parquet producers
were previously sourced from Ukraine, Russia and
Belarus. According to FEP, European supplies of wood
from these countries have been impacted by (in
chronological order):

 Lack of workforce in Ukraine
 International payment difficulties with Russia
 Transport/logistics difficulties with both
 EU ban of all chapter 44 (wood & wood
products) imports from Belarus
 Russian countermeasures including a ban on
exports to EU and other¡¯hostile¡¯ countries of
44.03 products (Wood in the rough, whether or
not stripped of bark or sapwood, or roughly
 PEFC¡¯s and FSC¡¯s consideration of wood from
Russia and Belarus as ¡®conflict wood¡¯
 Wood originating from Russia and Belarus
¡®practically¡¯ not EUTR (European Timber
Regulation) compliant
 NGOs¡¯ pressure to stop any wood trade flow with
Russia and Belarus
 FSC¡¯s suspension of wood coming from
Ukrainian war areas
 EU ban of all chapter 44 (wood & wood
products) imports from Russia

The FEP notes that ¡°due to the already very tense situation
on the wood markets and the ecological responsibility, it is
not possible for the [parquet] sector to fully diversify
sources of wood to other species and/or other countries¡±.
The European parquet industry, through FEP, is therefore
lobbying the EU authorities for temporary safeguarding,
mitigation and support measures to the sector.

Specifically it is asking that the EU introduce a measure to
restrict oak logs from the region, such as a quota and for
¡°coherent policies allowing higher mobilisation of existing
European wood resources (Forestry Strategy, Biodiversity
Strategy) as long as principles of Sustainable Forest
Management are applied¡±.

Longer-term FEP has acknowledged the need ¡°to explore
sustainable (and recyclable) substitutes and alternatives to

European Commissioner says deforestation regulation
is a "top priority"

According to a statement by European Environment
Commissioner Sinkevičius when he met with the
European Parliament ENVI Committee on 30 May "the
proposed regulation on deforestation will be one of the top
priorities for our cooperation in the coming months".

Commissioner Sinkevičius said that "Global events and
alarming deforestation rates in the greatest rainforest of
the Earth remind us of the urgency of the task and I know
that this Committee and this Parliament as a whole, share
the sense of urgency".

Commissioner Sinkevičius went on to express the hope
that "once both co-legislators have finalised their positions
we can launch the trilogues under the Czech Presidency of
the Council and reach an agreement as soon as possible¡±.

Note: the Czech Presidency of the Council will be held between
1 July and 31 December 2022. Trilogues are informal tripartite
meetings on legislative proposals between representatives of the
Parliament, the Council and the Commission. Their purpose is to
reach a provisional agreement on a text acceptable to both the
Council and the Parliament.

From the EC perspective, Commissioner Sinkevičius
expressed a desire for ¡°An agreement, which allows us to
effectively tackle the [deforestation] problem and which
therefore needs to be ambitious and needs to retain the
core features of our proposal: the due diligence obligations
for operators and large traders, the strict traceability, the
coverage of legal and illegal deforestation, and the
benchmarking system".

In other developments related to the proposed
deforestation regulation include:

A comprehensive summary of the draft legislation, the
starting positions of the European Council and European
Parliament, and the positions of key stakeholders, has been
published by the European Parliament Research Service in
April 2022 at:

Another briefing by European Parliament Research
Service issued in April provides an analysis of the
strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's
impact assessment (IA) accompanying the legislative


Industry bodies have been issuing statements commenting
on the draft legislation and on amendments proposed by
the European Parliament ENVI Committee, including by
the European forest-based Industries at:

Palm Oil Sector Organisations at:

Raft of new EU measures to deliver on the European
Green deal

Much of the recent policy focus in the forest products
sector has been on the EU¡¯s draft deforestation regulation.
However, a notable feature of Commissioner Sinkevičius¡¯
presentation to the European Parliament ENVI Committee
on 30 May and another presentation he delivered on the
same day to EU Agricultural Ministers was to highlight
that the deforestation regulation is just one of a raft of
proposed measures to deliver on the European Green Deal.

In combination, these measures aim to make the EU's
climate, energy, transport and taxation policies fit for
reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by
2030. Many of these measures have potentially farreaching
implications for EU trade in all forest products.

A centrepiece of these measures, according to
Commissioner Sinkevičius, is the Ecodesign for
Sustainable Products Regulation, which "will allow us to
replace our current ¡®take-make-replace' economic model,
which not only depletes our resources, pollutes our
environment, damages biodiversity and drives climate
change, but also makes us too dependent on resources
from elsewhere".

Alongside this Commissioner Sinkevičius reported that
"preparations for the revision of the Packaging and
Packaging Waste Directive are well under way, with a
view to making all packaging reusable and recyclable by
2030. And work also continues on the new legislative
initiative to tackle false Green Claims made by companies
on environmental impacts and performance".

Under another programme, REPowerEU, the Commission
is proposing measures to save energy, diversify supplies,
accelerate the clean energy transition, and smartly
combine investments and reforms. Bioenergy, much
derived from wood, is a key component of the renewable
energy mix in the EU, currently representing about 60%
according to Commissioner Sinkevičius.

Commissioner Sinkevičius noted that bioenergy ¡°is a
domestically available and stable energy source, but we
need more sustainable sourcing¡± and that ¡°our estimates
show a moderate but steady increase of biomass use until
2030. If we prioritize the use of non-recyclable biomass
waste and agricultural and forest residues, we can ensure
the production of sustainable energy in line with

On the other hand, he suggested that ¡°the current situation
needs to change¡± because ¡°the way we currently use
biomass is contributing to a reduction in carbon sinks and
stocks, bad conservation status for forest, air pollution, and
deforestation in third countries¡±.

As a result the EC ¡°proposed to reinforce the sustainability
criteria of the Renewable Energy Directive in July last
year, obliging Member States to apply the principle of
cascading use¡±.

New rules for sustainability of construction products
sold in the EU
A ¡®Green Deal¡¯ measure not mentioned directly by
Commissioner Sinkevičius on 30 May is the proposed
revision of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR)
published in March this year. This revision has particularly
far-reaching implications for timber sold in the EU Single
Market as it will establish new requirements for provision
of environmental data for all products sold into the EU
construction sector.

The CPR aims to ensure that construction products can
freely circulate within the Single Market, achieving this by
laying down harmonised EU standards for construction
products and rules on the CE marking of these products.
The existing harmonised rules focus on technical
properties such as fire, insulation, and structural
performance. A key aim of the CPR revision is to extend
rules to cover sustainability aspects of construction

According to the proposed revised CPR, construction
product manufacturers will have to deliver environmental
information about the life-cycle of their products and
comply with several obligations, including:

 Design and manufacture a product and their
packaging in such a way that their overall
environmental sustainability reaches the state of
the art level;
 Give preference to recyclable materials and
materials gained from recycling;
 Respect the minimum recycled content
obligations and other limit values regarding
aspects of environmental sustainability;
 Make available, in product databases, instructions
for use and repair of the products;
 Design products in such a way that re-use,
remanufacturing and recycling are facilitated.

To prove that products meet the EU requirements, the
manufacturer will be required to draw up a declaration of
performance and a declaration of conformity and affix the
CE marking. The manufacturer will draw up technical
documentation describing the intended use and all the
elements necessary to demonstrate performance and

This technical documentation will include the mandatory
calculation of environmental sustainability assessed in
accordance with harmonised technical specifications.

The required technical specifications are expected to align
closely to EN 15804+A2, the latest EU standard for
performing a life-cycle assessment (LCA) and producing
an Environmental Product Declaration for construction


LM       Loyale Merchant, a grade of log parcel  Cu.m         Cubic Metre
QS        Qualite Superieure    Koku         0.278 Cu.m or 120BF
CI          Choix Industriel                                                       FFR           French Franc
CE         Choix Economique                                                        SQ              Sawmill Quality
CS         Choix Supplimentaire      SSQ            Select Sawmill Quality
FOB      Free-on-Board     FAS            Sawnwood Grade First and
KD        Kiln Dry                               Second 
AD        Air Dry        WBP           Water and Boil Proof
Boule    A Log Sawn Through and Through MR              Moisture Resistant
              the boards from one log are bundled                      pc         per piece      
              together                      ea                each      
BB/CC  Grade B faced and Grade C backed MBF           1000 Board Feet          
              Plywood   MDF           Medium Density Fibreboard
BF        Board Foot F.CFA         CFA Franc        
Sq.Ft     Square Foot              Price has moved up or down

Source:ITTO'  Tropical Timber Market Report

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