Downturn wood industry less dramatic than in last quarter 2012

12/08/2013 15:00

In the second quarter of 2013, turnover generated by the wood industry was 11 percent down from the second quarter of 2012, but the downturn was less dramatic than in last year’s fourth quarter. This is partially caused by growing exports, although the Dutch wood industry is still underperforming compared to the EU average.

Six consecutive quarters of decline

Turnover realised by the wood industry has slumped since early 2012. The lowest level was hit in the fourth quarter of 2012, when the industry faced a turnover loss of 19 percent. Since 2010, turnover has been below the level realised by the Dutch manufacturing industry as a whole.

The wood industry manufactures wooden products such as window frames, doors, stairs and roof structures. These products are in demand when new houses are being built and in restoration and renovation projects. The wood industry is a relatively small sector: in 2011, turnover generated by the wood industry accounted for approximately 1 percent of total manufacturing turnover.

Turnover wood industry versus turnover total manufacturing industry

Turnover wood industry versus turnover total manufacturing industry

Higher turnover realised abroad

The turnover loss is entirely caused by domestic sales, which plummeted by 14 percent in the second quarter, although the decline was less substantial than in the three preceding quarters.

Sales on the foreign market were 7 percent up in the second quarter from the same period last year. In the first quarter turnover realised on the foreign market also grew by 7 percent. Last year, 15 percent of exports of wood and wooden products (excluding furniture) were exported.

Turnover wood industry on the Dutch market and on the foreign market

Turnover wood industry on the Dutch market and on the foreign market

Dutch turnover developments below EU average

Since 2009, the Dutch wood industry has evidently underperformed compared to the neighbouring countries. The gap narrowed in 2011, but since the first quarter of 2012, France and Germany have achieved better results than the Netherlands. Turnover generated by the Dutch wood industry has been below the average level across the EU for a year now. 

Turnover wood industry in the EU

Turnover wood industry in the EU

Henk Koele and Wilma Ros