Wood prices have started to fall, the sale of wood is decreasing due to the surplus of products on the market

>> Excavated wood – illustrative photo.

Strítež (Jihlavsko) – Wood prices fell by a tenth in the second quarter of this year compared to the first quarter, and it can be expected that they will continue to decrease. There is less interest because there is a surplus of wood products on the market. Some sawmills are suspending the intake of firewood, some are planning production restrictions, said Jiří Svoboda, chairman of the Association of Municipal, Private and Church Forest Owners in the Czech Republic (SVOL), at today's national conference in Strítež near Jihlava.

Advertisement'; }

“Prices have already fallen since April 1. It was expected that there would be another drop from July 1, but everything indicates that it will be significantly earlier,” said Svoboda. He pointed out that at this time of the year there is the least wood on the market and there is a question of what will happen in the third quarter, if there will be high bark extraction in the forests. “If there is bark beetle season and the wood remains in the forest, this will be a problem that we will solve again,” said the chairman. He pointed out that foresters were in such a situation sometime four years ago.

According to foresters, wood prices have been rising in the recent period and were high last year, while in 2019 they were, on the contrary, bad for them.

According to Svoboda, the situation looked optimistic even in January and February this year. Spruce sawn logs were not long ago sold for more than 3,000 crowns per cubic meter, now the price is around 2,800 crowns. “The decline will continue,” he said. According to estimates, the price could soon drop to 2,300 to 2,400 crowns.

This year, the association founded the company SVOL obchodní, s.r.o., which is starting to buy wood and sell it on the market. It promises better prices than individual forest owners would have. According to the chairman, the deterioration of the situation on the wood market could support activity. “The reasons why these things are being created is to face such sales problems,” he said. The association already offered its members a joint trade in wood, but only in the form of negotiation of quantity bonuses with customers.

According to Svoboda, the bark beetle calamity in the forests is not over, even though the bark beetles are still hampered by the cold and rainy spring. According to him, if May was also cold, there would be hope for reducing the calamity. “If the forest is filled with water, it's always good,” he said.

SVOL has around 720 direct members. They manage 550,000 hectares of forest, which is 21 percent of the area of ​​all forests in the republic.

The chairman of the association also spoke today about the upcoming amendments to the laws on forests and hunting. According to him, there are not so many points of dispute with the Forest Act. The amendment to the law on hunting is a controversial topic. According to Svoboda, more important than the determination of the minimum area for hunting is the search for a balance between management in forests, fields and the condition of game.

“We claim that the own hunting, which the owners (of the forests) operate, do not have problems with high levels of game, and therefore we believe that if there are more own hunting, there will be fewer problems,” said ČTK.

The chairman then told the delegates that the association was not completely satisfied with what was in the draft law on hunting, and proposals to reduce hunting were not accepted either. “I'm afraid that this law will still be a major conflict,” he said.

The minimum hunting area is now 500 hectares. The Chamber of Private Forests proposed that the SVOL association advocate a reduction of the acreage to 115 hectares. In the final afternoon vote today, the majority of delegates finally favored the association requesting a reduction of the minimum acreage to 250 hectares for its own hunting, and for the associations' acreage to maintain the current minimum acreage of 500 hectares.

House Agriculture Committee April 11 asked the Ministry of Agriculture to submit the amendment to the Act on Hunting to MPs by the end of September at the latest. Minister of Agriculture Zdeněk Nekula (KDU-ČSL) told the committee members that, for example, the determination of minimum acreage for hunting or the provision of permits for land owners must be decided at the political level.