Following on from our Garden office trend increases demand for timber buildings we looked at Log Cabin sales next. This industry has seen explosive growth over the last few years, In the UK Market sector alone the amount of companies offering log cabins as risen three fold over the last 12 months alone. This has seen prices fall and quality rise, this all adds up to a good deal for the consumer but has seen the demand increase again, as cabins become more financially affordable by more people.
Eastern European companies have stepped into the market with Lithuania being home to several of the largest log cabin companies based there. Lithuania log cabins companies consume currently consume around 300 thousand m³ of top-quality timber, mainly pine logs, per year. This is roughly around 9% of the wood consumption per year in Lithuania.
The Nordic countries are some of the largest consumers of Lithuania timber buildings, 75% of timber buildings are exported to Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France and the Netherlands. In 2007 around 1200 timber houses were exported from Lithuania by 2011 this number had increased to around 7800.
The fact that our own Nordic countries are importing so many timber buildings from Eastern Europe shows that a couple of facts, consumers are constantly looking for the best prices they can find and national buying allegiances play less of a role on helping a consumer to make a purchase.
Lithuania is a large producer of timber buildings for a number of reason , the main building material used in home ,, building construction is timber, therefore the nation has a very skilled work force when it comes to the production of timber buildings. Combine this with low labour cost and a large section being covered in forests and it makes an ideal centre for timber house production.
There are a few other Eastern European countries that are also large producers of timber buildings Lativa, Estonia and Urkraine all catching up with Lithuania, Combined this group of countries now produce and export more than double the amount of buildings of the Nordic countries combined.
Lativa has remained fairly stable in its production of timber over the last 10 years with out put around between 10 and 11 million m3 of timber harvested annually. Around 62% 9 million m3 of the timber came from state owned forests, with the remaining 3.4 million metres coming from privately owned forests.
With the fall of communism and the welcoming into the EU of the eastern block countries Europe now has a much greater access to cheap timber based products, this has undermined the price of timber on the world market and has seen the amount of timber produced in the Nordic region level off. We expect this trend to continue, but this will only serve to maintain health production levels in the Nordic countries which in turn will strength our own forests and help to ensure that wood production will continue to play a part in the national economies of the Nordic countries.