Central European sawmills are under pressure from reduced domestic and offshore demand, according to industry newsletter Random Lengths International.

Random Lengths said the situation may lead to mills cutting back on production.

European softwood exports to the US and Japan declined drastically in the first half, while domestic markets also suffered, with German building permits dipping significantly. Some German producers have large inventories of windblown timber on their hands.

However, smaller German sawmillers reported that demand for lower-grade material for the packaging sector remained steady.