These are turbulent times for the wood industry: while the world market prices for sawn timber are falling again slightly, they are rising rapidly for firewood – i.e. for wood chips, logs or pellets. For fear of an imminent gas stop, more and more private customers are turning to wood or pellet stoves.
It’s all very crazy, a constant ups and downs – new developments every day, says Wolfgang Hutter, head of the specialist group for the wood industry in the Salzburg Chamber of Commerce. The Ukraine crisis, raw material bottlenecks and fears of a gas freeze hardly allow serious assessments for the wood sector. “You have to see where things are headed now and how long it will take,” says Hutter.
Demand for sawn timber currently lower
According to Hutter, the prices for sawn timber are stagnating somewhat – less is being built, and the demand is correspondingly lower: “It is quite clear: the building materials have become too expensive. This isn’t just for wood. If you look, steel and concrete have also become so expensive. Everything has become so expensive that, of course, many private individuals, but also public institutes, are now saying: Wait a minute, we’ll wait with the investments and push it back a year.”
Demand for energy wood will increase until autumn
On the other hand, there is no maintenance with purchases such as wood or pellet stoves, emphasizes Franz Lanschützer, Managing Director of the Salzburg Forest Association. Making oneself energy independent is currently the big topic. He also expects a high demand for energy and firewood, i.e. Lanschützer, in the coming weeks.
“We recommend that forest owners go more into the production of firewood ready for use there, because demand will certainly increase and that’s an income that you can certainly earn on the farm,” says Landschützer. Currently, the price for one cubic meter of firewood is between 110 and 120 euros.