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Weekly digest #3 2022

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Germany’s timber traders achieved a 16% increase in sales in 2021.

Company comparison of the German Timber Trade Association (GD Holz) revealed an increase in sales of almost 16%. Sales in the product groups of sawn timber, planed goods and wood-based materials have risen particularly sharply, each with an increase of more than 20%. The increases are mainly price-related and only a small part of higher sales. 

There are also clear differences between the distribution channels. The turnover in the timber wholesale trade has increased very strongly by 18%. Growth in retail is negative -7%. Sales in the timber retail trade rose sharply by 20% in 2020, so that there is a considerable base effect here.

The expectations of the participants in the company comparison with regard to sales development in the first quarter of 2022 are cautiously optimistic in wholesale, with the majority expecting sales to be at the previous year’s level. A similar picture emerges for the timber retail sector, although 20% of those surveyed expect lower sales than in the first quarter of 2021.

The sales situation for products from the wood trade is also viewed very optimistically in 2022. Procurement issues will remain an important topic for the industry this year, as well as the political framework. The GD Holz continues to see great opportunities for timber construction and the trend towards refurbishment and renovation with timber products.

German KVH increased in price by 77.3% in 2021

The producer prices for individual building materials such as wood and steel in Germany rose on average in 2021 more than at any time since the survey began in 1949. Solid structural timber rose by 77.3% compared to the previous year’s average, roof battens by 65.1%, and construction timber 61.4%. Chipboard recorded a price increase of 23%.

Despite rising prices, more permits for new buildings have recently been obtained in Germany – also as a result of government incentives. From January to November 2021, the number of building permits for new residential and non-residential buildings rose by 4.5% year-on-year to around 145,000, the highest figure since 2006.

Italian woodworking technology sector reports good Q4/ 2021 as reported by Acimall.

The association of Italian woodworking technology manufacturers indicated a positive performance for Q4 2021 for the Italian woodworking technology sector. According to the report, although the October to December 2021 period was “quieter” than the previous quarters, orders still increased by 41% over the same period of 2020, resulting from a 60% growth on the domestic Italian market and 38.6% increase on the international scenario.

Conversely, provisioning problems impact the production, and there are price increases and delays in the supplies of raw materials and components, which might extend their effect into the first part of 2022.

The quarterly survey on a statistic sample of companies also indicated that the orders book is equal to 6.1 months, a trend that had not been recorded for a long time. Price variation in 2021 amounted to 5.2%.

Timber import volumes into UK returning to regular winter pattern, according to the Timber Trade Federation statistics.

Timber and panel product import volumes continued to show a steady decline in Q4 2021 as more “regular” demand returns to the UK market. The latest TTF statistics found the volume of timber and panel products imported into the UK declined by 158,000m³ in November 2021 as compared to October 2021.

Despite these declines, with 768,000m³ of timber and panel products imported into the UK in November 2021, the total volume of imports reported in 2021 exceeds 11 million m³.

Most products categories are also nearing record import volumes in 2021 even as they enter more regular trade patterns, including the usual winter decline.

Softwood import volumes fell to 471,000m³ – a 90,000m³ reduction from the previous month – and this trend was carried across product categories ranging from particleboard to oriented-strand board (OSB) and medium-density fibreboard (MDF).

The fall in the volumes of imports in Q4 2021 also likely reflects the state of supply lines in the structural softwood market which appeared to be largely saturated at that time. As the weather improves and demand for timber climbs, we can expect to see timber imports rebound in our trade statistics, which is a regular pattern for the timber industry. Over the coming year we expect to see a comparatively stable market – but this doesn’t mean there won’t be any squeeze on the supply chain particularly amidst rising international demand.

Other sources report that In 2021, United Kingdom’s imports of lumber declined 21.4% y-o-y to 7,461.2 thousand m3, the average price of lumber jumped 141.6% to $471.1 per m3 and the value of imports soared 90.0% to $3,515.1 million. 

UK decreased imports of lumber from Sweden by 9.4% y-o-y. Sweden’s share amounted to 33.0% of United Kingdom’s total lumber imports in 2021. Sweden is United Kingdom’s biggest lumber supplier with second-ranked Latvia at 20.5% of total imports, while Finland takes 12.1% and Germany 9.1%. 

Supplies from Latvia increased by 22.3% to 1,528.8 thous. m3, supplies from Finland increased by 9.2% to 905.6 thous. m3. 

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peat

White peat

white peat
Sphagnum white
peat

White Peat – Used as a basis of many substrates.

Baltic Peat Moss is a relatively young white peat, partially decomposed sphagnum moss (Sphagnum is a genus of approximately 380 accepted species of mosses, commonly known as “peat moss“) that can retain between 10 to 12 times its own weight in water.

Structure of peat at the magnification of the electron microscope:

Total porosity, about 95%¾
Big specific surface area, about 200 m2/g¾
High liquid binding ability, 600-800 l/m3¾
Low volume weight, about 160-180 kg/m3

Milled sphagnum is an ideal germination medium

Milled sphagnum is a fine grade of sphagnum moss. In texture it resembles a coarse grade of chunky
peat moss. Milled sphagnum holds moisture well and is an excellent choice for seeding mixes.