Business Trends Abroad

Share this...

Nyle - NHM - August 2023 Banner Ad 1

Europe – In October 2023, compared with last September, which is the most recent data available at presstime, seasonally adjusted production in the construction sector decreased by nine-tenths of a percent in the Euro Area (EA) and by six-tenths of a percent in the European Union (EU), according to first estimates from Eurostat.

Last September, production in construction grew by eight-tenths of a percent in the EA and by seven-tenths of a percent in the EU.

Compared with October 2022, production in construction decreased by seven-tenths of a percent last October in the EA.

Last October, when compared with September 2023, civil engineering decreased by 1 percent in the (EA) and building construction by eight-tenths of a percent.

In the EU, building construction decreased by six-tenths of a percent and civil engineering increased by five-tenths of a percent.

Among “member states” of which data is available, the largest monthly decreases in production in construction was recorded in Slovenia (down 6.1 percent), Germany and Slovakia (down 2.2 percent) and France (down 2 percent).

The highest increases were observed in Romania and Sweden (both up 3 percent), Spain (up 1.4 percent) and Austria (up 1.3 percent).

In the EA in October 2023, compared with October 2022, building construction decreased by seven-tenths of a percent and civil engineering by two-tenths of a percent.

In the EU building construction decreased by eight-tenths of a percent, while civil engineering increased by 1.8 percent. Among “member states” of which data is available, the largest annual decreases were recorded in Finland (down 7.3 percent), Sweden (down 4.6 percent) and Belgium (down 3.5 percent).

The highest increases in production in construction were observed in Romania (up 9.2 percent), Spain (up 8.3 percent) and Poland (up 7.5 percent).

Austria – The Austrian Wood Industry Association has welcomed measures decided by the federal government to strengthen timber construction.

The measures were discussed at the meeting of the Council of Ministers last December.

“We are pleased that the federal government is once again emphasizing the importance of wooden construction and wood products in achieving climate goals,” explained Herbert Jöbstl, chairman of the Austrian Wood Industry Association.

“The storage of carbon in long-lasting products made of wood is particularly important.

“The federal government is committed,” he continued, “among other things, to relying more on wood in public construction, for example in schools and kindergartens, and recommends that states and municipalities use additional funds from the Future Fund for wood construction.

Especially in view of the weak construction sector, this package of measures is also a good economic policy decision. A more extensive use of wood strengthens regional value chains, the economy, jobs and climate protection.”

Vietnam – According to preliminary statistics provided by Vietnam General Department of Customs recently, Vietnam’s Wood and Wood Product (W&WP) exports reached $1.3 billion, up 1.4 percent compared to October 2023 and up 11 percent compared to November 2022.

Of this, WP exports contributed US$880 million, up eight-tenths percent compared to October 2023 and up 15.7 percent year-on-year.

In the first 11 months of 2023 exports of both W and WP are estimated at $12.2 billion, down 17 percent over the same period in 2022. In particular, WP exports are estimated at $8.3 billion, down 19 percent over the same period in 2022.

Vietnam’s imports of wood raw materials in November 2023 amounted to 406,300 cubic meters, worth $133 million, up 10 percent in volume and 10 percent in value compared to October 2023.

However, compared to November 2022, there was a decrease of 16 percent in volume and a decrease of 24 percent in value.

In the first 11 months of 2023, imports of raw wood are estimated at 4,054 million cubic meters worth $1.376 billion, down 27 percent in volume and 35 percent in value over the same period in 2022. W&WP exports to Japan in November 2023 amounted to $126 million, down 27 percent compared to November 2022.

In the first 11 months of 2023, exports of W&WP in Japan were estimated at $1.5 billion, down 12 percent over the same period in 2022.

Exports of office furniture in November 2023 was valued at $23.9 million, down 10 percent compared to November 2022.

In the first 11 months of 2023, office furniture exports were estimated at $245 million, down 28 percent over the same period in 2022.

Vietnam’s Non-Timber Forest Exports in October 2023 reached $57.37 million, up 9 percent compared to September 2023 and up 9 percent compared to October 2022.

Over the first 10 months of 2023 NTFP exports earned $596.19 million, down 14 percent over the same period in 2022.

Germany – More and more German companies are complaining about a lack of orders in residential construction.

In November 2023, this was 49.1 percent of companies, after 48.7 percent in the previous month. This represents the eighth increase in a row.

With 21.5 percent of reports, order cancellations played an almost unchanged role as in the previous month (22.2 percent).

“The housing companies are losing customers in droves. The high construction costs and the current interest rate levels are causing many builders to despair. Many projects simply no longer pay off under these conditions and must be postponed or canceled,” said Klaus Wohlrabe, head of the surveys.

More than 11 percent of participants reported financing difficulties, after 9.9 percent in October. At an extraordinarily weak -54.6 points, the business climate is at its lowest level since the survey began in 1991.

This was once again a slight deterioration compared to the two similarly weak previous months. “The mood among the companies surveyed remains icy,” commented Wohlrabe. “There is no improvement in sight at the moment.”

China – According to the most recent data available at presstime, the construction sector in China showed a noticeable upward trend and the overall performance of Chinese timber enterprises was stable.

The enterprises contributing to the GTI-China reported that their production volume and domestic orders increased compared with the previous month.

Purchases of raw materials were more active, but the number of international orders continued to decline due to the sluggish global timber market.

Last December, the GTI-China index recorded 54 percent, a decrease of 1.2 percentage points compared to that of the previous month.

However, it was above the critical value (50 percent) where it has been for two consecutive months indicating that the business prosperity of the timber enterprises represented by the GTI-China index expanded.

China’s wooden furniture imports amounted to $637 million in the first 10 months of 2023, a year-on-year decline of 15 percent.

Italy was the largest supplier of wooden furniture imports in the first 10 months of 2023, and they were worth $286 million, down 16 percent year-on-year and accounting for 45 percent of the national total.

China imported wooden furniture from more than 80 suppliers worldwide and the value of China’s wooden furniture imports from the top eight suppliers accounted for 83 percent of the national total.

China’s wooden furniture imports from Sweden, alone, rose among the top suppliers.

However, China’s wooden furniture imports from the other top suppliers fell at different rates in the first 10 months of 2023, resulting in the decrease of the national total wood furniture imports.

China’s wood furniture imports from USA in the first 10 months of 2023 amounted to $3.76 million, a year-on-year decrease of 40 percent.

Nyle - NHM - August 2023 Banner Ad 2

By Miller Wood Trade Publications

The premier online information source for the forest products industry since 1927.

Share This
Related Articles
Import/Export Wood Purchasing News
Miller Wood Trade Publications

Allegheny Wood Products Ceasing Operations

According to MetroNews, The Voice of West Virginia, Allegheny Wood Products (AWP), a 50-year-old West Virginia-based internationally known hardwood producer, closed its doors recently and

Read More »
Import/Export Wood Purchasing News
Miller Wood Trade Publications

Lake States Business Trends

While lumbermen in the Lake States continued to steadily “move wood” through the fourth quarter of 2023, they agreed that “something must change” in order

Read More »
Import/Export Wood Purchasing News
Miller Wood Trade Publications

Northeast Business Trends

Overall, lumber sources in the Northeast region said that their sales were better than they were six months ago. A lumberman in Maryland said that

Read More »
Import/Export Wood Purchasing News
Miller Wood Trade Publications

Southeast Business Trends

Throughout the Southeast region lumber sources agreed that their markets are rather quiet, at the time of this writing. One source noted that while his

Read More »