European timber associations expect “shock in the wood product value chains”


The European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois) and the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS) have warned in a joint statement that a "a shock in the wood product value chain" is to be expected due to the Ukraine war.

In a joint statement released in Brussels, they said: "The European timber industry is watching with great concern Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the correlated economic and financial implications. European sanctions against trading with Russia and Belarus are expected to produce a shock in the wood product value chain. The war in Ukraine is already impacting transport and supply chains in several countries."

Together, the two associations represent more than 20 European and national organisations from 14 countries, representing more than 180 000 companies and an annual turnover of EUR 152 bn, as well as around 35 000 sawmills in 12 countries across Europe.

After a meeting of the two associations, it had been determined that Russia's invasion of Ukraine posed a real threat to peace and security in Europe while direct consequences on the timber business should be expected. At the same time, the European timber industry understands the decisions on a trade ban between Europe and Belarus. The industry foresees that similar measures will be be applied to Russian wood products.

According to the associations, the trade ban will cause "serious consequences" for the supply of the European market. According to official statistics, slightly less than 10 per cent of the sawn softwood consumed in Europe in 2021 originated from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. In the hardwood sector, oak goods from Ukraine made up a significant quantity. Shortages are therefore expected, the statement says.

Commenting, Silvia Melegari, Secretary General of CEI-Bois and EOS said: “Beyond the human tragedy that this conflict is causing, the European Timber Industry will be negatively affected by a shortage of wood products. Although companies are already working in order to cope with the current situation, it is undeniable that our sector will need immediate interventions by national governments and European institutions on how to prevent a critical logs shortage. The European wood industry hopes for a rapid and peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.”

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