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  European sawmilling boss shares long-term reasons for optimism about the prospects of the timber market
[Jan 4, 2024]

The CEO of one of Europe¡¯s largest sawmilling groups has told the market and customers to avoid pessimism at the start of 2024 and shared long-term reasons to be optimistic about wood¡¯s market prospects.

Pfeifer Group CEO Michael Pfeifer, talking in a pre-Christmas online panel discussion, said 2023 had been marked by challenges, with significantly more difficult trading conditions compared to several previously good years for the wood industry.

¡°Due to known problems such as high interest rates, inflation and a reduced willingness to invest, we have to assume that 2024 will not be an easy year for the wood industry either,¡± Mr Pfeifer added.

¡°Above all, the slump in the construction sector with a sharp decline in the number of building permits will require us to have perseverance and strong solidarity.

¡°However, there are enough reasons not to fall into pessimism. More and more studies are proving that the future belongs to wood as a building material and energy source.

¡°Wood products that bind climate-damaging CO2 in the long term and offer many other climate protection benefits through the substitution effect are trendy worldwide and will be in even greater demand as part of the EU's Green Deal.

¡°All experts agree that the increased use of wood from sustainably managed forests will play a key role in the fight against climate change.

¡°The current downturn will definitely be followed by an upswing and the long-term prospects for the wood industry are positive.¡±

Pfeifer Group has around 2,600 employees in four countries, with an annual turnover in the region of €1.4bn.

Pfeifer produces sawn timber and planed goods, concrete formwork panels, formwork girders, cross laminated timber (CLT), glued laminated timber, glued solid wood panels as well as pallet blocks, briquettes and pellets.