Border Hardwoods managing Director, Charlie Bevan-Jones and Sales Director Mick Fabre, were delighted to attend the European Oak Conference this year.
The event was organized by the TTF and looked at the problems of rising price and increasing pressure on availability.
“This was a fantastic opportunity to have a general market overview of the European Oak industry”, commented Charlie, “it’s important that we stay connected and switched on with what’s happening in Europe.
“There are currently so many worries in the industry, rising cost and an increased lack of raw product; these were all confirmed at the conference”, he added.
The lack of restriction on the export of round logs from France has resulted in a 181% increase in exports to China, resulting in a dramatic price increase. This is due to a recent reduction in tax from the Chinese government on the import of raw materials; this has increased export volumes from European countries and increased the price of the raw product, for buyers in the EU.
“This causes issues for us as British importers of hardwoods, as the cost of our raw material is rising”, Mick commented, “So events like this are really important to see what is going on and continue an atmosphere of cooperation with our European friends regardless of Brexit”.
Currently, the EU is trying to make laws to reduce the export of European timber to the Far East; thus increasing and protecting the timber trade in the European Union.
Charlie explained that “Although we have plenty of regulations on imports like the EUTR, exports are not as heavily regulated, and hopefully the EU will address this issue in a way that is best for European growers and timber merchants.
“The problem is, most of the forests in France where we source our timber are privately owned which makes legislation difficult to implement, it will be interesting to see what is in store for the industry over the next few years”
The availability of European Oak has also been affected by changes in the important and export of Oak from Croatia and Ukraine; this is mainly due to the impact of pests in Croatia and the implementation of Ukraine government’s measures to improve the domestic industry.