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WhatWood Blog Woodworking Russian timber industry in 1H 2023: cautious signs of recovery

Russian timber industry in 1H 2023: cautious signs of recovery

3 October 2023 ` 17:54  

The new reality and economic circumstances are still challenging the timber industry. On the one hand, Russia’s excess of resources generates investors’ interest; on the other hand, it turns into a bottleneck in terms of timber products consumption under the current circumstances. After the European market became unavailable for selling Russian timber industry products, it was obvious for everyone that other export destinations would not be able to fully replace the lost sales. Households’ consumption volume and limited paying capacity are not sufficient for businesses that offer the entire range of timber products, from roundwood to furniture items for the domestic market.

It is the limited consumption combined with the available potential supply from Russian timber enterprises and producers of related products that became a restrictive factor for the timber industry in Q1 2023.  The period from January to early March is traditionally a time of low consumer demand for timber industry products. This is true for both domestic and export markets.

The consumption of sawn timber, wood-based panels, and wood pulp and paper products started to revive only by the beginning of the high season in the construction and renovation market, agricultural harvesting time, and consumer spikes during the summer vacation season.

In Q1 2023, the first mild symptoms of recovery emerged after three months of slow business, uncertainty, and tension: plywood mills were ready to purchase veneer logs beyond the established quotas. This was primarily due to the fact that the segment of structural panels was entering the high construction season. It is the veneer logs segment that is currently relatively stable.

Read more in Russian Timber Journal 07-2023.

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