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The European Parquet Industry maintains stabilisation course

Date

13 Jun 2012

Sections

Trade & Society

As already predicted in the January forecast of the FEP (European Federation of the

Parquet Industry) issued at the start of the DOMOTEX fair in Hannover, the consolidated data provided by member companies and affiliated national associations points towards more or less stable consumption and production levels in comparison with the previous year. The general picture is, as expected, not uniform with considerable variations from country to country and even from quarter to quarter. Compared to 2010, the total production in 2011 increased by 0.58%, whereas the overall consumption figures point to a slight decline of 1.65%.

The 2011 results therefore confirm the stabilisation trend already initiated in 2010, which came after two difficult years during which the parquet industry faced challenging times which lead to a downfall both in consumption and production.

The figure of the total production in FEP territory has moreover to be interpreted in light

of the strategic choices made by several producing companies, which decided to relocate their production in European countries outside the FEP territory. Without this shift of production location, it is estimated that the 2011 production would have increased by an additional 2 to 3%.

(See attachment)

The total production in FEP territory rose to a volume of 70,713,000 m². Important

increases in Switzerland, Hungary, The Netherlands and in the Nordic countries balanced the sensitive situation in Spain and contributed to the stabilisation of the sector.

Consumption in the FEP area declined by 1.65%, to a level of 91,475,000 m², despite

substantial increases in Sweden and Austria and the excellent performance of Germany and Switzerland.

The 2011 total parquet production per type remains similar to the picture already

presented in 2010, whereby multilayer comes in first with 78% being followed by solid

(including lamparquet) with 20% and mosaic at 2% of the total cake.

(See attachment)

In absolute production figures by country, Poland is maintaining its top position with

17.61%, Germany still ranks second at 14.63% and Sweden completes the usual podium with 13.26%.

Consumption in the FEP area lost 1.65%. According to the figures received and

considering the small error margin, this result is in line with the expectations expressed

in the January prognosis.

In terms of consumption per country, Germany consolidated its first position with

22.59% (an increase of close to 2% compared to 2010) and is still followed by France

which is losing some ground to 12.37%. Italy was able to regain its third position with

10.49% to the detriment of Spain which is now just under the 10% threshold (9.62%).

The per capita parquet consumption remains the highest in Austria (0.87 m²) and

Switzerland (0.74), now closely followed by Sweden now at 0.72 m². In the total FEP

area, the consumption per inhabitant remained at 0.23m² in 2011.

Use of wood species

The usage of wood species in 2011 as shown on the above graph indicates that oak is

advancing to 2/3 of the total (66.7%), tropical wood species are stabilsaing at a mere

7.4%. Ash and beech are the two other most common chosen species with 6.5% and

6.1% respectively.

(SEE THE FIGURES IN ATTACHMENT)

Outlook for 2013

We are living in times of global economy where market forecasts are often changing by

the day, financial turmoils are on the weekly menu and making any kind of prognosis is

an extremely ungrateful occupation. The situation for our sector can probably best be

summarized under the heading: “The parquet Industry is ready, but are the EU markets

ready as well”?

One often has the distinct impression lately that the parquet business is evolving in

parallel with the EC’s economic indicators, the latest version of which predicts that a

recovery is in sight, but the economic situation remains fragile, with still large disparities across member states. Sounds familiar? The construction business is unfortunately following the same divided geographical pattern – an additional reason for concern.

According to the EC experts we are witnessing an ongoing adjustment of the fiscal and

structural imbalances built up before and after the onset of the crisis, made even worse

by the still weak economic sentiment. In the absence of further determined and focused

action, low growth in the EU could remain. “Sound public finances are the condition for

lasting growth and building on the new strong framework for economic governance, we

must support the adjustment by accelerating stability and growth-enhancing projects”.

Be it as it may, the EC spring forecast calls for a brighter outlook in 2013, with an

estimated 1% average rise next year in the 17 Euro zone countries and a 1.3% average growth rate across all 27 EU member states. As regards the current year, though, GDP will be stagnant in the EU as a whole, falling by 0.3% in the Euro zone.

Unemployment is expected to remain high this year in the EU at an average of 10.3%

and 11% in the Euro zone, as compared to 24.4% in Spain, whose economic woes are

now giving biggest cause for concern. Little is expected to change in 2013, with even an increase in Spain to the level of 25.1%.

FEP hopes that the second semester of 2012 as well as 2013 will bring a positive upswing for the European Parquet Industry as a whole, though it is regretfully not realistic to envisage a harmonious picture in the global FEP member area. One can only hope that the comparatively polarized internal situation between certain countries will not drag along and that the apparent gap can be bridged in the shortest possible delay.

*****

More information on this issue is available from the FEP Secretariat in Brussels.

(Tel: +32 2 556 25 87 / info@parquet.net).

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