Extreme ups and downs
After the solid structural timber price had reached its all-time high of €700/m³ in June 2021, it fell to €335/m³ in November 2021, only to rise to €550/m³ in April 2022, which was the highest price recorded last year. Then, the price kept falling month after month and in November 2022, it finally came close to the €300/m³-mark for the first time in over two years. While some market participants deliberately did not offer their product for less than €300/m³ and others even refused to go any lower than €320/m³, there were companies which did sell solid structural timber for €280/m³ in November.
At the end of December, manufacturers reported constant or higher sales prices of well over €300/m³, depending on the respective level the companies started from. In addition to higher demand, these price increases (and others announced for January) are also the result of impending increases in raw wood prices.
Actual situation better than sentiment?
Manufacturers of solid structural timber describe 2022 as an extremely challenging year, in which “the annual results were generated in the first few months”, which “altogether were not great, but not bad either”.
As for the first quarter of 2023, the industry expects good capacity utilization and a further increase in prices. Hardly any market participant wants to make longer-term forecasts because of the uncertain situation. However, manufacturers are surprised by the positive order situation of many timber construction companies and prefabricated house manufacturers. There is consensus that sentiment is apparently more negative than the actual market development.