The log price level saw an even more significant change last year. In Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Austria, the average price of spruce B, 2b was only 77 €/m³ in 2019, i.e. it was 10 €/m³ or 12% lower than in the full year 2018. The last time a lower average price level was registered was in 2009 (73 €/m³). The situation on Central European log yards changed in November and December. Supply decreased rather quickly and in some places there is already a lack of logs. As a consequence, log prices increased. According to Timber-Online’s surveys, they went up by about 3 €/m³ within two months. In December, spruce B, 2b cost between 67 and 83 €/m³ in Austria and between 67 and 77 €/m³ in Bavaria. In Baden-Württemberg, B, L2ab prices ranged from 68 to 75 €/m³. At the end of the year, there was a decrease in prices of 8% (Austria) to 11% (Baden-Württemberg) compared to the turn of the year 2018/2019.
When it comes to finished products, solid structural timber (KVH) did not recover from the price slump at the beginning of last year. Since KVH is “blended” with quite a lot of damaged wood, it was fully affected by the downward trend of the raw material. In December, the price for solid structural timber fell by 8% compared to the same month of 2018. There was a recovery only in the first half of the construction season. Since August, the price has again been falling considerably.
Last year was much more balanced for glue-laminated timber – partly because the raw goods price remained rather stable. The price of laminations for glulam decreased by 8% compared to the previous year. According to Timber-Online’s surveys, they cost between 185 and 192 €/m³ in December (fresh, free of charges).
In Italy and Germany, glulam in visible quality cost only 2 to 3% less compared to 2018. Lately, prices of glulam in visible quality ranged from 387 to 403 €/m³ in Italy. In Germany, they ranged from 387 to 403 €/m³. On both markets, there were no changes compared to November.
Sales of various glued timber products were satisfactory in 2019. Solid structural timber benefited from the positive development of the prefabricated house market, while glulam profited indirectly from the CLT boom. Both trends are likely to continue in 2020.
Ziegler Group’s entry in the glued timber production (takeover of Tecsol) is going to have medium-term effects. It is expected that Ziegler is going to focus more on CLT. This takeover is thus going affect mainly the CLT market.
Lately, it became known that several machines, which are suitable for the production of glulam, were bought. One can assume that there is going to be a significantly higher glulam production capacity in Germany from 2021 onwards.
When it comes to sawn timber, unsurprisingly, sideboards saw the biggest changes in price. Due to the big quantities of damaged wood, cutting increased and so did the volume of by-products. Also, the slowdown in the economy affects the packaging sector first. The price of 17 mm chipper sideboards (free border) fell by 24 €/m³ or 16% compared to December 2018. At the end of last year, customers heard “Please wait” for the first time in a while, when requesting sideboards. Not all assortments were available immediately.
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