The Austrian forestry industry is facing a challenging time, as sawn timber sales continue to be sluggish, resulting in reduced sawing capacity and storage reaching capacity limits. This has led to a restrained demand for softwood logs in the country. The removal of roundwood from the forest has also been delayed due to weather-related restrictions and quotas, further exacerbating the situation.
As a consequence, prices for softwood logs have been lowered or are under pressure, and new contracts are being concluded on a short-term basis. The demand for pine logs has come to a complete halt, unless specifically ordered by the customer. Already produced quantities are being redirected to industrial roundwood. On the other hand, larch remains unchanged at its high level, with demand exceeding supply.
The industrial roundwood sector has also been impacted, with a decrease in demand for sawmill by-products such as sawdust and wood chips. This is due to the reduction in sawing capacity, which has led to a decrease in the production of these by-products.
The Austrian Federal Forests (Österreichische Bundesforste) have reported that the situation is expected to improve in the coming months, as the weather improves and the removal of roundwood from the forest becomes easier. However, the industry is still expected to face challenges in the short-term.
The forestry industry is an important sector for Austria, with over 47% of the country’s land area covered by forests. The industry provides employment to over 170,000 people, and contributes significantly to the country’s economy. The challenges faced by the industry are therefore of great concern.
The Austrian government has taken steps to support the industry, including providing financial aid to forestry companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The government has also announced plans to increase the use of wood in the construction industry, which is expected to provide a boost to the forestry sector in the long-term.
Despite the current challenges, the forestry industry in Austria remains resilient. The industry has a long history in the country, and has faced and overcome challenges in the past. With the support of the government and the resilience of the industry, it is expected that the forestry sector will recover and continue to play an important role in the country’s economy and society.