Importers of US hardwood lumber start first quarter of new year with cautious optimism
Following the marked restraint in purchasing in Germany and the neighbouring European countries in the fourth quarter of 2011, a variety of German importers and agents are expecting relatively brisk business activity in the first quarter of 2012. In view of the continuing exchange-rate losses of the euro against the US dollar since the end of October and the economic imponderables connected with the financial crisis in the euro region, the stocks held by importers as well as the distributive trade and industry were evidently reduced more heavily at the end of 2011 than in the preceding years. In many cases hardly any orders have been placed since the middle of November. Under these circumstances and in view of what is still a comparatively good orders position in the relevant sectors of industry in Germany, the majority of market players are expecting to see major top-up purchases in the weeks ahead.