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January 2014

A new year brings new possibilities.
We at Skanditrä hope you enjoyed the holidays during the past weeks, and have recharged your batteries for the challenges to come.
It has happened and continues to happen a lot at us right now and most changes take place at our plant in Sopron, Hungary.
In 2013 we expanded our ability to serve our customers even further. From basically only drying and storage facilities for ”just in time” deliveries we do now also have the ability to rip, cut and S4S in smaller and bigger batches to your needs.

The development will continue in 2014. Following changes will be implemented in Sopron,
– In collaboration with one of our clients will we start up production of lamellas for their flooring production. The machines are being installed as writing; trial production will take place during Q1. We estimated full production fr.om Q2.
– Before the end of March we will have three large warehouses build for freshly sawn material. These shall manage to store 4500 – 5000m3. These will give us less waste before/after drying, and for you, the customer an overall better product.
– During the 2nd half of the year, we will replace all electric motors and other control equipment in all of our dryers. This will allow us to continue to stay competitive.
– Also during the fall, we will introduce a barcode system at our warehouse. Hopefully it leads to faster and more accurate feedback to our customers.

How do we see the market during the first part of the year?
Well, we are carefully optimistic. We do not believe in a rapid changed market, but most of our customers are announcing small progresses, thereby increased volumes. These signs we see at all of our markets, as well as Sweden, Europe and Asia.

The situation is fragile and can change quickly, but with that said, what we are seeing right now is pointing it towards somewhat better market.
On the procurement side, it has not happened anything revolutionary, but with continued pressure on European oak it might lead price increases along down the road.

Since we have our own employees buyers/quality inspectors in most Eastern European countries where forests are still to a large extent state-controlled, we see signs of an incensement in the exports of logs, primarily to areas outside Europe. With less available timber, while a larger share of the logs being sold through auctions and not to the sawmills at negotiated fixed prices as earlier. Generate an obvious risk of price increases to come.

We see not only a great demand for oak, but also the ash is coming on strong. If the increased need and demand for ash is composed is still too early to say.
The domestic market in North America is strong and continues to grow, which means that prices increase drastically and availability decreases. The demand among our customers for these North American wood species is not huge, but our volumes in US white oak, walnut and maple are steady and/or slight rising.
Elements and fixed dimensions is almost impossible to come by, but we do have a couple of long reliable relationships with sawmills giving us the possibility to continue to deliver according to your demands.
/ / Peter