Belgium: Worries about availability of wood; prices on the rise

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Belgium: Worries about availability of wood; prices on the rise

Wood traders in Belgium are currently experiencing an unusually high demand for firewood. The reason for this is the high prices for electricity and gas.

“There is indeed a rush for firewood,” comments Marc Peleman from the Peleman sawmill in Puurs-Sint-Amands in a report in the newspaper De Tijd. An observation confirmed by other timber traders.

“The prices for electricity and gas are exploding. People are starting to burn wood again because it is still very cheap in comparison,” Peleman explains the increasing demand. If electricity and gas prices fell tomorrow, he believes, demand would also fall.

Worries about availability of wood

Mathieu Depuydt from the timber dealer Michels in Deinze reports that his company is currently “twice as busy” as usual: “We have noticed that people are stocking up more and more because they are afraid that there will be no more wood.” Because Depuydt fears this himself, he currently only delivers to customers in the Deinze region. “We can no longer procure our raw materials ourselves because the industry pays too much for wood”.

The newspaper “De Tijd” even writes of a “price explosion” with regard to the current prices for wood. The Belgian timber association does not want to confirm this. “Timber sales in the forests will start in a few weeks, so we won’t be able to give concrete numbers until later,” says General Secretary François De Meersman. “Prices may go up, but I don’t think there will be an explosion.”

Depuydt and Peleman have already increased their prices anyway. Peleman speaks of an increase of about 20 percent. Depuydt sums it up: “Everything is getting more expensive, including transport costs, so we have to keep up.”

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