News 2010 - archive

EFPI Supports EC Timber Initiative

The European Federation of Parquet Importers (EFPI) says it “warmly welcomes” the decision of the Competitiveness Council to adopt the regulation laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market.

The new regulation provides that the placing on the internal market of illegally harvested timber or timber products derived from such timber should be prohibited. In addition, operators who place timber or timber products on the internal market for the first time should exercise due diligence through a system including three elements inherent to risk management: access to information, risk assessment and mitigation of the risk identified. After being signed by the President of the European Parliament and the President of the Council, the legislative act will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. It shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal and shall apply 27 months later.

“The EFPI considers this regulation as a major step forward to protect the forests against illegal logging and illegal trading. EFPI is convinced that the regulation will benefit all that live from the forests and forest products,” according to a press release from the Brussels-based association of leading European importers of engineered and solid wood floorings.

EFPI/GFA, October 2010

The European parquet industries in 2009

As already predicted in the January forecast of FEP (European Federation of the Parquet Industry) and amplified by the further worsening global market situation in the fourth quarter of 2009, the compiled figures provided by member companies and national associations indicate a decline in both parquet production volumes and consumption on the European market – this for the second consecutive time.

The present result did not come unexpectedly, according to FEP, as the industry was confronted with a further business slowdown throughout last year. “The weakening performance of the traditionally largest markets, as a consequence of the global economic crisis, the unprecedented turmoil in the financial sectors and the sharp drop in local construction activities, are undoubtedly crucial factors contributing to the general market decline.”

The total production in FEP territory declined by 20.30%, to a volume of 67,523,000 m2, comparable to the level of 2000. Steep declines, particularly in Italy, the Nordic countries, Poland and Spain, but also in the other countries to a varying extent, had a major impact on the negative development of the entire sector. In absolute production figures by country, Poland is still on top with 17.50%, with Germany climbing to second position at 14.82% and Sweden coming in third with 13.77%. As regards the 2009 total parquet production per type, multilayer gained 1 percentage point and so does lamparquet. Solid, however, after some years of stabilisation is falling again to 16% of the total. With 3%, mosaic remains at the level of last year.

Consumption in the FEP area also fell, by 15.31%, to a level of 86.005.000 m2. Important declines are witnessed in all major markets, Holland and Eastern Europe, with a particularly troublesome picture in Hungary. The per capita parquet consumption is the highest in Austria (0.76 m2) and Switzerland (0.68 m2), now followed by Sweden (0.57 m2). In the total FEP area, the consumption per inhabitant has dropped to 0.21 m2 in 2009.

The use of wood species in 2009 indicates that oak is advancing further to reach 62.8% of the total, tropical wood species are regressing significantly to 10.2%. Ash and beech are both in a downward motion, now at 6.5% and 5.9%. Relevant indications from different sources presently available to FEP point in the direction of a global market share of parquet in Europe which is close to 6%.

FEP verloop
Production and consumption in the FEP member countries

GFA/FEP, June 2010


EPLF members’ meeting in Belgium

Following an invitation from Unilin, the latest meeting of members of the EPLF European Producers of Laminate Flooring was held in Bruges, Belgium. The Board was unanimously re-elected at the meeting as follows: Ludger Schindler (MeisterWerke) was voted back in as EPLF President and 1st chairman of the board; his deputy and therefore 2nd chairman of the board is Martin Prager (Kronotex).

Volkmar Halbe (Parador) and Dr. Theo Smet (Unilin) also join the board as the re-elected representatives of the Marketing and Technology Committees. Association President Ludger Schindler welcomed the Austrian firm Neuhofer Holz, a provider of profiles and fastening systems, Ewifoam from Kronach (Germany), a manufacturer of foam materials, and Glatfelter from Gernsbach (Germany), a supplier of special papers and composites to Bruges as new extraordinary member companies.

One key point on the agenda at the meeting was the economic situation within the European laminate flooring sector which, given the ongoing economic crisis, is still considered “tense”, according to EPLF. While Western Europe has stagnated at a moderate level, drastic falls in sales have been recorded in Eastern Europe. The drop between 2009 and 2010 in Russia alone was more than 13 percent. EPLF: “Several people however confirmed that we are slowly getting through the worst and that things are improving on the Eastern European market. Trends on the North American and Asian continents, both of which are recording positive sales growth, are good to see.” The highest level of growth is however in South Africa, possibly thanks to the World Cup in June 2010.

GFA/EPLF, June 2010

Domotex 2011: Sustainability a keynote theme

In 2011 the trade show in Hannover will focus on the keynote theme of sustainability. According to the organizers, the steady growth in demand for environment-friendly carpets and floor coverings, as well as legislation on ecological standards, clearly present the challenge of satisfying market needs whilst meeting the demand for sustainability and the business objective of profitability.

By the end of 2012 floor coverings of every kind must fulfil specific EU norms. Domotex 2011 will therefore address the current situation and the consequences of new legislation for manufacturers and dealers. There will be a series of lectures by experts in this area, while the topic of sustainability will also be taken up in workshops, seminars and panel discussions. Stephan Ph. Kühne, Board Member of Deutsche Messe AG, says he is “very optimistic” about Domotex Hannover 2011, since the current figures (June 2010) for bookings of stand space are clearly higher than at the same time last year. Interest in taking part in the event in 2011 is particularly keen among suppliers of high-end, contemporary carpets.

Domotex trade show

GFA/Deutsche Messe, June 2010