French timber sales in Q1 2023

French timber sales figures for Q1 2023 were recently published by the Groupe de Coopération Forestière. The main findings of this analysis of cooperatives' sales confirm buyers' interest in oak, which continues to rise despite the reduced presence of exporters during sales. High-quality timber – beams and joinery – continued to benefit from the general trend.

Douglas, spruce and fir lumber saw their prices fall compared to the end of the year, signalling a pronounced wait-and-see attitude among sawmills; however, volumes sold at the end of the quarter were up, suggesting a gradual recovery in demand for these species. Conversely, white wood crushing prices (spruce and fir) stabilised due to strong demand for pulp. The high demand for Douglas crushing (pulp and chipboard) has even led buyers to increase their prices. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the trends presented above will need to be confirmed during sales in the second half of the year, due to a particularly uncertain economic environment.

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