01.02.2007 - Europes hurricanes will not affect timber prices 29.09

The amount of damage done to Europe’s forests by the hurricanes Per and Kyrill has been determined. According to the European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR), the hurricanes Per and Kyrill felled a total of 53 850 000 cubic metres of wood. However, the amount of wood felled by the storms will not exceed this year’s harvesting target. The damage from the storm will not affect timber prices, as the demand for wood is strong.

Germany was affected most by the storms (almost 25 million cubic metres of felled wood). The storms also did a lot of damage in Sweden and the Czech Republic (12 million cubic metres each), Austria (2.5 million cubic metres) and Poland (1.5 million cubic metres). The damage is smaller in Latvia (500 000 cubic metres), Lithuania (300 000), Slovakia (150 000 cubic metres), Romania (130 000 cubic metres), France (120 000 cubic metres) and England (50 000 cubic metres).

As the amount of wind breakage is not too high, EUSTAFOR expects prices on the timber market to remain stable. “Although 54 million cubic metres of solid wood is a huge amount, it represents just 12% of the annual harvest and can easily be absorbed,” said Thomas Uher, President of the European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR). “Because of the strong demand, the timber industry is likely to absorb and process this material within a very short period of time”.

Forestry enterprises have started to clear away the trees felled by the storm, in order to prevent infestation with bark beetles. According to EUSTAFOR, a major portion of the storm damaged trees will be removed by summer. “We know that it is more difficult to harvest storm-felled wood. Therefore we expect slightly higher harvesting costs for timber producers this year. This is the most significant effect that the hurricanes have had on forestry,” Mr. Uher said.

EUSTAFOR (European State Forest Association) analyses and studies the developmental conditions of forestry, in order to create prerequisites for the development of sustainable forestry in Europe’s state forests. The Association provides its members with necessary information (especially regarding EU regulations and directives) and represents the joint interests of state forests in Brussels. In addition, EUSTAFOR organizes the exchange of ideas and contacts between European state forest organizations. EUSTAFOR started operating in spring 2006. Most members of the European Union are represented in the Association. Since 3 May 2006, RMK (State Forest Management Centre) is also a full member of the Association.

Forests comprise 43% or 166 million hectares of Europe’s area. The average proportion of state forests is close to the relevant figure in Estonia – 40% of forestland.

Additional information:

Mr. Erik Kosenkranius
Executive Director of EUSTAFOR (European State Forest Association)
E-mail erik.kosenkranius@eustafor.eu
Tel. +372 49570 4559