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WhatWood Global Trends Review Global Trends Review, March 10-23, 2014: CLT and other engineered products are conquering new markets

Global Trends Review, March 10-23, 2014: CLT and other engineered products are conquering new markets

26 March 2014 ` 22:32  

Idaho Forest Group (US) and Johann Offner Group (Austria) have announced plans to introduce CLT technology to the United States together, Holzkurier reported. The new company will primarily market a product known in German-speaking countries as KLH, a special type of cross-laminated timber, and distribute it under joint venture between these two family businesses.

“Cross-laminated timber is in many ways an excellent building material”, said Marc Brinkmeyer, CEO of Idaho Forest Group, adding that a sales office in the United States is planned for June 2014. For the time being, the product is to be delivered to the US from the production site in Europe.

The UK may have been through five years of construction downturn, but local office of Austrian KLH company has completed 120 cross-laminated timber (CLT) building projects here in that time, as British journal TTJ wrote. Preconstruction manager Tom Holland said the market was now picking up.

KLH has grabbed the headlines with the big CLT projects, such as high-rise residential and schools. Recently it completed a seven-storey apartment block in London, while its latest large-scale contract is Mayfield Academy in Essex, using 20,000 m2 of CLT.

Steico is going to construct an LVL factory in Poland, which according to the company is going to strengthen its positions due to reduced risks on the procurement side, TTJ reported. Currently the company sources LVL from Russia and Finland for its structural beam and I-joist flange products. The new factory will make Steico the only I-joist producer in Europe which makes every component for its I-joist products by itself. The mill’s capacity is expected to be about 80,000 m3, it may be put into production before the end of 2015.

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Warm winter in Europe led to price reductions for pellets in March: according to Holzkurier, in Austria decrease was by 1.3% to €195.68/t, in Germany – by 3.6% to €188.33/t, in Switzerland prices fell in Swiss francs, but gained slightly in Euro terms – by 0.4% to €223.53/t.

The German Energy Wood and Pellet Association (DEPV) confirmed the trend with almost identical data: pellet price in Germany declined by 3.5% in March, according to DEPV. One tonne of pellets, delivered, in case of 6-tonne purchase, currently costs €273.69.

The depletion of the duty-free quota for imports of softwood plywood into the EU has largely returned to normal in recent weeks after being used up quickly during January, EUWID Wood reported. By March 12, 336,003 m3 of the total 650,000 m3 had been utilised.

Continental Wood Products (CWP), part of the Norvik Group, reported rising demand at the UK and European lumber market, TTJ said, which is to be met by deliveries from Sweden and Latvia. “Jarl Timber [Norvik Group mill in Sweden] is able to produce 6m lengths, whereas many Swedish mills will only cut up to 5.4m”, CWP softwood director Jerry Wilson said. The company recently delivered a 4,000 m3 timber cargo by a vessel from Sweden to Creeksea port, Essex.

SCA Timber reported that sales on the Chinese market have been growing enormously, so SCA set up a company in Hongkong to serve China and other “interesting territories in Asia including Vietnam and South Korea”, as said in the press release.

The company accounted for 40% of Swedish lumber imports into China in 2013, says Mathias Fridholm, Managing Director of SCA Timber China & S.E. Asia. He also represents other Swedish timber companies there, Holmen and Martinsson. “China is an enormous market in which it pays to collaborate. By working together, we can offer sizes and grades that neither the Russians nor the Canadians can match,” Fridholm concludes.

Holzkurier presented 2013 results for public timber companies in Europe, highlighting that Scandinavian companies are departing from their solid wood processing units which are not very profitable and shifting focus more and more towards pulp and paper.

“According to Finnish industry insiders, Metsä Group might well remain the only Finnish company with company-owned sawmills in the long run. In 2013, considerable sawing capacities in Finland were returned to the ownership of families”, the Austrian journal concludes. Improved outlook for the pulp market was also the major reason for growing share value of the European timber companies on the stock markets in 2013.

WhatWood’s reviews are prepared using corporate press releases, Holzkurier, Timber Trades Journal, Fordaq, EUWID Wood Products, ITTO, ForestTalk, and EUWID Paper.

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