The euphoric mood of a still very young and relatively small sector was very noticeable at the Mass Timber Conference in Portland. More than one thousand CLT experts and interested parties were... Read more ...
The market is currently waiting for new productions. CLT demand will also not be fully met in 2018.
And this is exactly what happened. This year, demand increased more strongly than producers were able to extend their capacities. Central Europe's CLT output gained around 15% this year, and market growth probably even surpassed this. The internal logistics that manufacturers implement is constantly improving - from appropriately filling up stocks in the winter up to just-in-time delivery, where "just-in-time" refers to timely deliveries to construction sites. Also this year, manufacturers needed around ten to 14 weeks between order entry and delivery. Delivery times only sped up now, towards the end of the year, averaging around eight weeks.
Such delivery times make it easier to increase prices: Selling prices could be raised by 5 to 7% depending on the country.
Currently, the market is eagerly awaiting new productions. For lack of delivery capacities, quite some sales opportunities were lost. This is why plenty of new capacities are underway: Up until 2020, the largest European producers alone will increase their joint capacities by 1 million m³/yr. This means that growth in demand until then should range around 28% per year to ensure a balance between supply and demand.
New demand records in 2018
Even without prophetic skills it is safe to say that 2018 will be yet another year with a new CLT demand record. The upcoming year won't yet add (larger) new productions to the mix. This is why it can be assumed that not all needs in terms of demand will be met to their full extent.
With every successful construction project, Europe gains another testimonial for CLT. It follows that there is no end in sight with regards to the demand growth - the volume in demand is increasing exponentially.