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COFFI expects lower softwood lumber production

26.11.2020 − 

In 2020, according to the figures available so far, softwood lumber production in Europe, the EECCA region and North America is expected to decline by an estimated 1.6% to a total of 251.0m m³. For 2021, however, the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI) has already forecast a 0.9% increase to 253.3m m³ again. The figures presented at the 78th session of COFFI, which was held in Geneva on 4 to 6 November, indicate that production in Europe is to decline by 0.9% to 107.0m m³, whilst production in North America is expected to decrease at a more significant rate of 4.3% to 97.2m m³. Softwood lumber production in the EECCA region, according to the estimates available, will increase by 0.8% vis à vis last year to 41.5m m³. With regard to Europe, however, the current COFFI overview does not include data for Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Italy and Lithuania. Based on the preceding year’s figures, these countries produce a total softwood lumber volume of approximately 4.6m m³. In comparison with the previous year, figures were also not disclosed for various EECCA countries (Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Ukraine, Uzbekistan), here, production amounted to some 3.9m m³, according to the figures recorded last year. The current evaluation therefore only refers to the data published by COFFI and, in absolute figures, therefore deviates from the results published last year.

The majority of European countries expect that softwood lumber production in 2020 will be lower than in the previous year. Above-average declines are anticipated particularly in Finland (-9.3% to 10.3m m³), Sweden (-2.3% to 18.2m m³), Austria (-4.3% to 9.9m m³) and Great Britain (-12.6% to 3.0m m³). In contrast, the German delegation expects that production, at 24.0m m³ (23.5m m³), will be 2.1% higher than in 2019; after the first half of the year the increase in Germany was still around 5.3%. For 2021, however, the Europeans already forecast a comparatively significant increase in production by 2.9% to 110.1m m³, which would even surpass the level recorded in 2019.

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