Woodworking industry turnover growth levels off

20.09.2017 − 

Following higher rates of increase in the entire periods of 2014 to 2016, turnover of the German woodworking industry increased by 1.7% to €17.675bn in the first half of the year. According to figures of the Federal Statis-tical Office compiled on a quarterly basis by HDH, sector turnover in the comparative period of the preceding year increased by 4.4%. The second half of the year had then developed along slightly weaker lines vis à vis the preceding year and, as a consequence, a turnover in-crease of 2.4% to some €34.966bn was recorded for the entire period of 2016. The years 2014 (+2.9%) and 2015 (+3.1%) developed along slightly strong lines. For the entire period of 2017, HDH expects a turnover in-crease in the order of 1-2%.

The slower rate of growth in the first half of the year is primarily due to weaker development in the furniture in-dustry. This sector only increased turnover by 0.5% to €8.991bn. In this connection, the increase of 1.7% to €2.894bn achieved on the export market was constrained by stagnation on the domestic market (-0.1% to €6.097bn). Turnover of the timber industry, by contrast, in which the HDH statistics consolidate the subdivi-sions of sawmills, wood-based panels, parquet panels, construction-related area, timber packaging and other timber products, increased by 3.2% to €8.105bn. The domestic market (+3.3% to €6.089bn) and export (+3.0% to €2.015bn) increased at similar rates. In the entire period of 2016, with an increase of 3.2% to €17.957bn, the furniture industry developed along significantly stronger lines than the timber industry, which recorded a 1.2% increase to €15.829bn.

With regard to the subdivisions of the timber industry recorded separately in the HDH statistics, the construc-tion-related area – which includes, for example, the manufacture of windows, doors, staircases and other con-struction components made of wood as well as prefabricated timber housing – achieved the highest turnover increase in the first half of the year; at €2.716bn the preceding year’s figure was surpassed by 7.8%. The tim-ber packaging division developed along similarly strong lines with a 6.7% turnover increase to €353.9m. In-creases in volume achieved due to the level of export business remaining high were overshadowed, however, because of extreme price pressure, according to HPE. Turnover generated by the sawmill division increased by 3.8% to €2.225bn. In the wood-based panels division, by contrast, turnover remained 0.6% below the pre-ceding year’s figure at €2.465bn. Turnover with parquet panels decreased by as much as 7.4% to €137.4m, according to the HDH statistics.

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