In the second quarter of 2022, most Baltic sawmills were able to utilise their cutting capacities due to satisfactory demand. Companies also built up their lumber stocks, as they anticipated supply shortages on European sales markets following expiry of the transitional periods for imports from Russia and Belarus on 10 July and 4 June, respectively. However, importers especially in the Netherlands, Belgium and France actually ordered significantly more lumber from Russia and Belarus than originally planned. In the following weeks, volumes received by importers were not sold as expected. Due to increased stock levels and restrained demand, Baltic sawmills are reducing production in the third quarter.
Production volumes of Estonian sawmills increased continuously up to and including May. After a decline in January (-5% to 185,020 m³), the previous year's volume was exceeded by 2% in both February (201,919 m³) and March (219,280 m³). According to the Estonian statistics authority (Tallinn), double-digit increase rates were achieved in April (+13% to 235,639 m³), May (+30% to 256,802 m³) and June (+35% to 207,580 m³). Accumulated over the first six months, production increased by 12% to 1,306m m³ (Jan.-June 2021: 1.168m m³).
The value of rough sawn and planed lumber produced by Latvian sawmills and industrial planing mills in the second quarter increased by 25% to €483.5m (358.3m). In the first quarter, the preceding year's figure had been exceeded by 31%. In the first half of the year, the production value amounted to €874.5m (684.2m).