Development in sales of Baltic lumber weaker than expected
Until well in to the second half of April, the sales opportunities for Baltic softwood lumber on the main sales markets did not increase as sharply as sawmill representatives had initially expected. A generally inadequate level of demand continues to coincide with an inflated supply of lumber. The cuts made in output by the Scandinavian and central European sawmilling industries have not yet led to any noticeable easing in the markets. Representatives of Baltic sawmills are saying that under these circumstances there is fierce competition for lumber orders. In April, Baltic shippers only achieved roughly 50% of the originally planned increases in sales. In March, suppliers had still been working from the assumption that they would be able to use growing demand in the euro countries in April for price increases of up to €15/m³ on those in the first quarter. So far, however, prices have only been able to be raised by €5-10/m³ at best. Prices have remained stable as well in some cases.