German Timber Prices

German Timber prices plummet – sawmills take defensive pricing measures

German Timber prices have fallen massively in recent weeks. Often, forest owners report, normal use is no longer possible. In addition, storm damaged timber and beetle wood are putting pressure on the market. Quite a number of sawmills offer forest owners only a beetle/D/ BC mixed price or the spruce/beetle wood price.

Lumber prices fell sharply in July and August. Most sawmills are trying to slow down the sharp decline in prices by reducing the quantities offered. The demand for needlesaw roundwood has collapsed accordingly.

At the same time, the sawmills report a lack of sales opportunities in almost all assortments. In Germany as well as in Europe and overseas, the demand for sawn timber is extremely weak. The main reason is the collapsing demand for construction timber and the worsening construction crisis.

Added to this are rising interest rates and the general economic crisis with a drastic increase in insolvencies. The sum of these factors is having a noticeable effect on timber prices.

Mixed prices for spruce wood – fresh felling often stopped

According to report of forest owners, the price of the leading assortment spruce A/C 2b+ has dropped by 20 to 30 euros per cubic metre (m) in recent weeks. Roundwood from pine sawing can hardly be sold any more.

A number of sawmills also offer forest owners only a beetle/D/ BC mixed price or the spruce/beetle wood price. Many forest owners are therefore significantly reducing their fresh wood volumes. Regionally, fresh wood felling has been stopped completely. On the other hand, the maintenance shutdowns of sawmills, which are common in the summer months, were often extended.

The paper, pulp and board industries are also reported to be very well stocked in most cases. Demand for softwood industrial roundwood is correspondingly low, and prices are also softening, forest owners report.

Often no normal use possible

The sales crisis for sawn timber is likely to continue in the coming weeks. In the case of unexpected amounts of damaged timber due to the recent storms or beetle infestation, the sales problems may even worsen.

For this reason, many forest owners’ associations are warning against carrying out any normal harvesting for the time being. However, the sharp decline in the price of roundwood for sawing should curb normal harvesting by itself.

The reduced volume of sawmill by-products due to the reduction of the sawmill industry’s cutting volumes should relieve the market in the medium term and lead to a certain stabilisation of prices for industrial and energy roundwood.

Massive crash in sawnwood prices

The price situation on the sawn timber market remains very confusing and varies greatly from region to region. Existing contracts are sometimes cancelled by buyers. There are hardly any new contracts and only at strongly reduced prices for short periods.

Only occasionally do forest owners report prices of 85 to 90 Euros per solid cubic metre (FM) for spruce in BC quality from a centre diameter of 20 cm and beetle wood prices for 2b+ of 60 to 64 Euros/FM net.

Several sawyers offer prices for spruce in BC quality of only 74 to 79 Euro/Fm and for beetle wood only 53 to 56 Euro/Fm.

With the price drop for spruce, sales of pine have almost come to a standstill. For pine BC quality, the few price reports are between 50 and 54 EUR/fm and for D qualities between 49 and 53 EUR/fm.

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