"Lumber prices crash".

The fact that the news of imploding timber prices is a hot topic for the readers of Canada's second largest daily newspaper The Globe and Mail is beyond question in view of the importance of forestry in the vast, densely wooded country.

But the news could soon also be of interest to German house builders.

After all, timber export to America is one of the most important reasons why construction timber has been scarce and expensive in Germany for months.

The prices for beams and battens are at an unprecedented level.

Often, those willing to build have to wait a long time for a delivery; the usual price guarantees when signing the delivery contract are largely no longer valid.

Today the daily price counts for delivery.

Bernd Freytag

Business correspondent Rhein-Neckar-Saar based in Mainz.

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There are several reasons why wood prices are falling sharply in America at the moment: The sawmills there have increased their capacities in view of the long rising prices.

At the same time, those willing to build have postponed their projects, and demand is lower in the summer vacation months anyway.

The maximum prices in mid-May of the equivalent of 870 euros per cubic meter of sawn timber have now fallen to 300 euros, says Gerd Ebner, editor-in-chief of Wiener Holzkurier, the largest branch service in German-speaking countries.

The expert gives another explanation for the falling prices: The large amount of wood shipped from Europe to America cannot be transported away quickly enough in the ports there, there was simply a lack of trucks.

The wood must be temporarily stored, so the supply continues to grow.

Price fluctuations between 400 and 800 euros

It is clear that exports from Europe will decline at these prices. The crossing is not worth it for 300 euros, says Ebner. However, the wood processors and sawmills still have to fulfill their supply contracts, so there will be no abrupt export stop. How the drop in prices in America will affect Europe in the long term, one can only speculate about at the moment. Only in autumn, when construction activity normalizes again, will we get more clarity.

However, according to Ebner, it can already be observed today that “absurdly high” top prices such as 1000 euros for one cubic meter of roof battens are falling. Due to the uncertainty, there are currently strong price fluctuations between 400 and 800 euros. At the same time, the sometimes extreme supply shortage is slowly easing. Julia Möbius from the Association of the Saw and Wood Industry observes something similar. In all regions, prices are currently falling and orders are falling, she told the FAZ. She did not want to speculate about the size and durability. The fact is: Because of the shortage of materials, many carpenters had filled their warehouses and thus further fueled demand. The hamster could slowly come to an end.

Whether prices will continue to fall cannot be foreseen today, says Ebner. The high demand in America and that of the Chinese for European round wood - that is, unprocessed logs - is unbroken. The Chinese still paid comparatively high prices for it. In addition, the Canadians had to fight forest fires and would therefore have to reduce their supply.