The International Wood Day by the EOS Member Fachverband der Holzindustrie Österreichs

On the 2nd of September the International Wood Day took place within the framework of the Klagenfurt Wood Fair. Around 400 participants, coming from the both Austrian and international wood sector, took part in the event.

The International Wood Day was organized by EOS Member Fachverband der Holzindustrie Österreichs. A presentation on the softwood market development from a European perspective was given by EOS President Mr Sampsa Auvinen, while EOS Board Member Mag. Herbert Jöbstl delivered a presentation on the Austrian wood Industry.

The press release issued at the end of the event was about the following points:

1. There are positive developments of turnover in Austria thanks mainly to deliveries to Germany and Japan. The situation in Italy, which is a very important market for Austrian sawmills, also improved, though there were some difficulties in the second quarter.

2. The share of wood constructions in Austria is constantly increasing. There is no contradiction between modern architecture and building with wood.

3. Main challenges are connected to the unreliable availability of raw material, which was due, inter alia, to adverse economic conditions. It is important to emphasize that the Austrian sawmill industry believes in a law-abiding utilization of forests, which is sustainable for the environment. The industry is a reliable partner of forest owners.

4. The Austrian industry is made up of around 1.350 enterprises with over 25.000 employees. A large chunk of the enterprises (around 1.050) are sawmills. Internationally, Austria is in the top ten of softwood producers. As far as exports are concerned, Austria is sixth – a remarkable value.

The Austrian Sawmill Industry heaves a sigh of relief – positive development in the turnover

In the sawnwood markets the main features of the first part of the year was that the turnover was stable or even slightly improving thanks to the German market. Courtesy of positive development in the exchange rate, the situation improved even in the trade with Japan. On the other hand, the persistently unstable political context of the Middle East led to slightly negative developments in those markets. The Levant, however, remains an important area for the Austrian sawmill industry. The first quarter of the year was positive even in Italy, which continued the good trend of 2015. The second quarter was instead more difficult.

In short, sales in Austria and Germany are positively developing, the wood working industry reports a good utilization in prefabricated wood buildings. The share of wood construction is steadily increasing – wood can do it! Modern architecture and building with wood are for a while not mutually exclusive things.

The Sawmill industry is concerned about the supply of raw material

The internal supply of roundwood is behaving in various ways. The heavy precipitations in the first part of the year were an obstacle for the wood transportation outside the forest; at present, the damaged wood amount is smaller than expected. Such wood has negative effects on the provision; in the summer months and at the beginning of the autumn there are traditionally supply problems with fresh wood deliveries; for the sawmill industry, however, it is essential to rely on a continuous delivery of raw material. In the coming months the sawmill industry expects a similar level of production as in the comparable period of the previous years.

In the views of the industry, there is hope that the small forest (Kleinwald) mobilizes its forces and recognizes that only law-abiding used forests can be sustainably used ones. The Sawmill industry is a dependable partner of our Austrian forest owners.

Significance of the wood industry in Austria and abroad

The Austrian industry is made up of around 1.350 enterprises with over 25.000 employees. A large chunk of the enterprises (around 1.050) are sawmills; the remaining businesses are active in the furniture, construction, panel, and ski industry. Internationally, Austria is in the top ten of softwood producers. As far as the export is concerned, Austria is sixth – a remarkable value, which is mainly achieved by SMEs.

An essential feature of the wood sector is the stable occupational level over the last ten years. For that, it is responsible the strong export orientation mainly of the medium enterprises. As the enterprises become established where the raw material is available, the wood industry gives a remarkable contribution to the added value at regional level and above all offers a stable workplace.

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