German Sawmillers Call for Action to Curb Log Exports to China

Germany’s main sawmilling association has called for customs and tax changes to reduce the high volumes of logs being exported to China.

Lars Schmidt, managing director of the Federal Association of the German Sawmilling and Wood Industry (DeSH), also said German log availability was being impacted for nature conservation rules.

Data from the Federal Statistical Office for January and February 2018 show that while German sawmills lacked beech logs, exports to China rose by a further 20% year-on-year (to 95,000m3). The export quota for oak logs was more dramatic – almost tripling between January / February 2017 and January / February 2018 by 173% (from 6,800 to 18,500m3).

“Without an adequate supply of raw materials, it will be difficult to further develop the use of hardwood for domestic purposes,” added Mr Schmidt.

He said developments on the logwood market were “incomprehensible”. Mr Schmidt said in the past decade, 350 hardwood sawmills (90 in Germany) in Germany, Belgium and Frances had to close down.

“We are heading for a momentous maldevelopment in the local forestry and wood industry. It is ecologically and economically questionable if we miss the opportunity to process our raw materials in our own country.”