Softwood markets in France have been experiencing constant fluctuations in prices for Douglas fir since 2020, making it difficult for even the most knowledgeable professionals to predict future trends. Jean-Philippe Bazot, a forest operator and sawmill owner from Morvan who presides over the France Douglas association, admits that the lack of visibility in the market has made it tough to make short-term predictions. Despite his expertise, he refuses to make any predictions due to the unexpected events that have occurred in the past two years.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the softwood market in France, as it has on many other industries. The pandemic has caused a slowdown in the construction industry, which is one of the main consumers of softwood products. This has led to a decrease in demand for softwood products, resulting in a decrease in prices. However, with the easing of pandemic restrictions and the resumption of construction projects, there is hope that the market will rebound.
In addition to the pandemic, other factors are affecting the softwood market in France. One of the major factors is the increasing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly products. This has led to a shift towards using softwood products, which are more environmentally friendly than other materials. As a result, the demand for softwood products has been increasing, which has led to an increase in prices.
Another factor that is affecting the softwood market in France is the growing competition from other countries. Softwood products are imported from countries such as Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, which offer lower prices due to their lower labor costs. This has led to a decrease in demand for French softwood products, which has resulted in a decrease in prices.
Despite the challenges facing the softwood market in France, there are reasons to be optimistic about the future. The French government has implemented policies to support the forestry industry, including tax incentives and subsidies for forest owners. In addition, the government has encouraged the use of softwood products in construction projects, which has helped to increase demand for these products.
Overall, while the softwood market in France may be difficult to predict, there are signs that the market will rebound in the future. With the easing of pandemic restrictions and the growing demand for sustainable products, there is hope that the market will continue to grow and thrive.