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Wood Products Prices in UK and Europe

16 – 30th Jun  2023

Report from Europe  

 Sharp decline in European wood flooring demand
After a booming year in 2021, production and consumption of wood flooring in Europe was more resilient than expected in 2022 but has declined sharply in the opening months of this year in the face of increasing costs and higher interest rates.

These are key conclusions from the latest annual statistical report published on 20 June by the European Parquet Federation (FEP), the organisation which unites European parquet manufacturers, national parquet federations and suppliers to the industry.

While the FEP report highlights that tropical timber now accounts for only 2% of the face veneers used for the manufacture of parquet flooring in Europe, the report provides valuable insights into the status of the wider market for hardwoods in Europe. It highlights, for example, the continuing huge preference for the “oak-look” by European consumers.

Last year, 82.1% of parquet flooring manufactured in Europe was faced with oak, an increase compared to 81.9% in 2021. Last year, ash and beech maintained their positions as the second and third most favoured species, with 5.3% and 2.5% respectively.

FEP note that, having forecast a significant decrease in European parquet flooring consumption in 2022 earlier this year, consolidated figures from FEP members reveal a more moderate decline of only 2.8% to 87.1 million square metres. Despite the decline, consumption last year was still at the second highest level in the last ten years.

A decline in parquet flooring consumption was reported in most European countries last year but Germany, the largest single market was a notable exception reporting growth of 8%.

This compares to falls of 11% in France, 1% in Italy, 8% in Spain, 23% in the Netherlands, 12% in Belgium, 12% in Sweden, and 8% in the “Nordic cluster” (Denmark, Finland, and Norway).

According to FEP, the fall in wood flooring consumption which started last year and has continued into 2024 was the result of “staggering energy bills and inflation” which in turn led to very low consumer confidence and spending on building projects being diverted away from interior design towards activities focused on improved insulation. Additionally, most renovation work that began during the pandemic is now complete.

FEP report that European production of parquet flooring decreased by 5% to 92.3 million square metres in 2022. However, this followed a gain of 7% the previous year and was still the second highest level of production since before the 2007-08 financial crises.

In terms of product type, the balance of European parquet flooring production has hardly changed in the last 10 years. Multilayer is dominant, accounting for 83% of production volume, followed by solid (including lamparquet) accounting for 15%, and mosaic accounting for 2%.

Poland consolidated its’ position as the largest location for parquet flooring production in Europe during 2022 with production growth of 4% to 13.9 million square metres last year. Other leading production countries in 2022 were Austria (+1% to 10.8 million square metres), Sweden (-18% to 9.8 million square metres), and Germany (-11% to 7.3 million square metres).

Considering the market outlook in 2023 and 2024, FEP note that “as expected the boost coming from renovation has reached an end while the decrease in new buildings construction, reflecting increasing costs and interest rates, has started to have tangible and negative effects”. FEP estimate that parquet consumption in Europe in the first quarter this year was down 20% to 30% compared to the same period last year.

FEP go on to suggest that “existing issues, which have been reinforced by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the measures taken by the EU, are still present: supply of strategic raw materials such as wood, inflation, energy crunch... purchasing power and thus consumption have been impacted by the situation as well as the global competitiveness of European industry”. However, FEP “cautiously forecast” that activity “will pick up again after the summer break”.

The following additional details of the current market situation in individual European countries were provided in the report of the FEP Board of Directors meeting held at the BAU 2023 trade fair in Munich in May:

Austria: Inflation, rising interest rates and incomes are hampering activity in Austria where parquet consumption fell by 25% during the 1st quarter 2023. The building sector is not giving any sign of relief.

Benelux: decreases by 15% and 5% of parquet consumption are reported for The Netherlands and Belgium respectively.

France: the parquet market declined by 12% in 2022 with good performance in the first half of the year being followed by a sharp decrease during the third and fourth quarters, which continued and even accelerated during the 1st quarter 2023. Construction starts are falling and this will impact on demand for the next two years 2024-2025. There has also been a 35% reduction in retail sales at DIY stores so far this year.

Germany: consumption of parquet was down 30% in the first quarter of 2023. Activity in the new build sector has fallen dramatically. The renovation wave has also ended and there is considerable uncertainty over future activity in this sector when so much work was brought forward during the pandemic.

Italy: after a decline last year, Italian parquet consumption fell by a further 10% in the first quarter of 2023. Activity has fallen in both the new build and renovation sectors, particularly with a significant reduction in government support through the “super bonus” scheme (which allows owners to deduct “green” home renovation costs from taxes). Lack of supply of birch plywood due to the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia is also problematic for Italian parquet manufacturers. Italian manufacturers expect no uptick in activity in the second half of 2023.

Nordic cluster: While the Norwegian market is still in relatively good shape and Finland is stable thanks to ongoing renovation works, Denmark is experiencing a significant decrease in parquet consumption as new build activity has declined significantly.

Spain: parquet consumption in Spain is estimated to have declined 5% in the 1st quarter of 2023. Renovation activity is slowing significantly while construction of new buildings is also now declining fast. Inflation is hampering consumption.

Sweden: the outlook is negative with the parquet market already down 15% in the first quarter and activity continuing to fall. Negative factors are rising interest rates and energy costs, as well a decline in e-commerce and increase in travel expenses.

Switzerland: one of the very few countries in Europe where the rate of inflation is still relatively low (2.5% - 3.5%). Swiss parquet demand increased by 5% in 2022 with growth continuing into the last quarter of the year. Demand in the first quarter of 2023 is also stable driven by both private and public consumption. Nevertheless, a downturn is now expected.

EU Regulation on deforestation-free products enters into force
On 29 June 2023 the EU Regulation on deforestation-free products entered into force (EUDR). Under the Regulation any operator or trader that places regulated commodities on the EU marke, or exports from it, must be able to prove that the products do not originate from recently deforested land or have contributed to forest degradation.

The regulated commodities include wood products alongside soy, beef, palm oil, cocoa, coffee and rubber. The EUDR repeals the EU Timber Regulation. As of 29 June 2023 operators and traders have 18 months to implement the new rules. Operators classified as small or micro enterprises (SMEs) which have up to 250 employees and annual turnover of up to €50 million have 24 months to comply.

The final legal text is available at:

A summary of the legislation with links to other information sources was previously provided in ITTO Market Report for 1-15 April 2023 (Volume 27 Number 7).

Another useful reference for the tropical timber industry is the brochure comparing the EUDR with the EUTR prepared jointly by ATIBT and LCB which is available at:

In addition to providing this guidance the ATIBT report that intensive work will be undertaken during the next 18 months by the European Commission, in consultation with Member States and other stakeholders, to prepare for its implementation. This will include the following activities:

Definition and development of guidelines and tools to comply with the requirements of the EUDR: the European Commission has decided to establish 2 working groups (including at least one representative of the timber sector):
"Traceability" group (including due diligence requirements) "Smallholder Inclusion" group

These groups will assist the “multi-stakeholder platform” in gathering information and elements that can be used to interpret the requirements and facilitate the implementation of the regulation. Participants in these groups will be members of the platform. (Note that members of the platform comprise the Commission, Member States Authorities and “stakeholders”, all the latter being identified as “European” or “European/International” trade and business associations and NGOs. Third Country (i.e. non EU) government representatives are also invited to attend sessions of the platform involving stakeholder input. However, trade associations and civil society organisations without specific European representation are not invited to these sessions.)

Country risk benchmarking: the European Commission will classify countries, or certain regions, as low, standard or high risk within 18 months of the regulation coming into force. Products from “low risk” countries will be subject to a simplified due diligence procedure. Controls on operators will vary according to the risk level assigned to the source country of regulated commodities.

The development and operationalization of the information system (Register) to allow operators to submit their due diligence declarations for each consignment of regulated commodities placed or exported from the EU market and to verify declarations that are already registered. This register will be interconnected with the customs, and accessible to the Member State competent authorities to establish their controls.

Preferred by Nature (formerly NEPCon), an NGO and certification organisation, has been organising a series of events, both online and in-person, to dive deeper into the EUDR requirements and how companies can comply with them. More details are available at

Coverage of the most recent event held in June in Berlin is provided at:

Indonesia, Malaysia and EU to establish joint task force on supply chain traceability and transparency
A joint Indonesia/Malaysia mission met with leaders of the European Union in Brussels at the end of May to discuss the EUDR. As a follow-up to this Dr Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director-General for the Environment of the European Commission, visited Indonesia and Malaysia 26 - 28 June 2023 to meet with government officials.

In a press statement the European Commission says the following: “The meetings resulted in the agreement to establish a Joint Task Force comprising representatives from the governments and relevant stakeholders from both countries, including relevant commodities associations, smallholders, workers associations, and civil society organisations, amongst others to enhance dialogue on supply chain traceability and transparency.

Indonesia and Malaysia agreed that this Joint Task Force with the European Commission will focus on the relevant commodities in both countries in particular palm oil, wood, rubber, coffee, and cocoa. When needed, matters may be addressed based on the country-specific approach in an inclusive and transparent manner under the framework of the Joint Task Force.

The Task Force will examine the situation for relevant commodities in Indonesia and Malaysia within the scope of the EUDR for the EU market.

All three partners will appoint a single point of entry and immediately discuss and conclude the TOR of the Joint Task Force.

With regard to palm oil, the Secretariat of CPOPC will facilitate and coordinate with the respective officials in Indonesia and Malaysia, together with the Directorate-General for the Environment of the European Commission to ensure the progress and advancement of the Joint Task Force to achieve the desired outcomes and a win-win solution for the successful implementation of the regulation by all parties”.

The first meeting of the Joint Task Force is scheduled for early August.



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