Published on : Tuesday, October 1, 2013
The latest survey findings by the Wood Resource International LLC reveal that the consumption of log and timber harvest has witnessed substantial changes. The extent of timber harvests, wood consumption, log trade and sawlog prices in the Central Europe have seen certain changes during the last ten years as the production of log and consumption has shifted from the western regions to the countries in the east. This new development has definitely impacted the log flows along with sawlog prices in the concerned region.
However according to UNECE, the harvests of timber in Europe have remained practically unchanged for the last three years, accounting to 370 million m3 annually. But at the same time a closer look at the timber harvest trends for the Central Europe reveals an interesting development as the average annual harvests in the “Central West” region (Austria, Germany, Italy and Switzerland) were 15 % higher in the five years between 2003 through 2007 than between 2008 and 2012. During the same period, the timber removals in the “Central East” region (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia) increased four percent, and this region now harvests more than the “Central West”, a reversal from the historical position.
The log trade flow in Central Europe has changed the past decade with the “Central West” region having become a larger net importer of logs the past five years as compared to the previous five-year period, and the “Central East” region exporting more logs the past few years than prior to this time.
According to the report the biggest change was observed in Germany, which traditionally had been a net exporter of log but as far as the recent changes are concerned it became a net importer in the year 2009. Sawlog prices in Germany and the neighboring Czech Republic have followed each other fairly closely the past 15 years, however at different levels, according to the report.