Timber joins electricity and gas as a commodity which has seen a vast rise in prices on year, to unprecedented levels and with soft wood such as pine and spruce particularly affected, as speculators hold on to stock and confusion over felling rights continues.
Prices may start to come down again later in the year, but at the moment the issue is mainly one of supply falling far behind demand.
One forestry expert, Heiki Hepner, said the short supply is likely the result of a hiatus in felling in spring, partly due to environmental considerations, which in turn, together with an overall ambiguous situation, spooked private forest owners to the extent that many have halted selling their timber.
While demand continues to exceed supply, industries which process timber will still buy, particularly given a supply shortage of construction materials.
The situation is unprecedented, he added, with soft-wood particularly hard hit, Hepner said.
Pine rose from €78 per cubic meter to €88 per cubic meter, while spruce saw an even larger rise, from €68 to €80, ERR reports.
Henrik Välja, CEO of an industry lobby group, says however that the above situation has already been exited.
Timber prices will gradually settle down when the owners mentioned above start to sell again, though not until after the third quarter of this year, Heiki Hepner said.
Editor: Andrew Whyte