The research, by the European Federation of the Parquet Industry (FEP), shows that production in traditional FEP countries (excluding the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Poland) was up even higher at 6.2% due to output growth in Austria, Germany and the Nordic countries.

European consumption rose by 3.4%, short of FEP’s 5% growth prediction, but some markets recorded strong increases, with Austria reporting a 25% jump. Total consumption grew to at least 110 million m2.

FEP said a “striking development” was the general decline of solid parquet production and continued growth of the mutli-layer product, which now makes up about 82% of output.

“It seems as if, within a reasonably short period of time, any production of solid parquet will take place outside the FEP area,” the federation said.

Sweden remains the largest producer of parquet in Europe with a 19.8% market share, followed by Germany with 12.2%.

FEP expressed moderate optimism for 2006, with parquet consumption likely to pick up strongly. But major challenges include rising prices for wood, glues, lacquers, energy and transport.