In general the coronavirus crisis has taken a heavy toll for many sawmills across Europe. While some forecasts some weeks ago predicted even more painful short-term effects for many businesses, restrictions on international trade and travel, volatile lumber markets, as well as restrictions for the construction sector, trade, and lumber purchasing industries have forced the sawmill industry to reduce its production. While it is difficult to make estimates due to the current high level of uncertainty, it seems that the industry can brace itself for a 10% production slump in 2020, but there are more downside risks than upside risks to this prediction. By-products markets are not doing well either, with chips in particular undergoing a rough patch.
On June 10 the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry held its first ever online General Assembly in line with extant Belgian legislation.