The first positive signs of market recovery are apparent in the European timber trade, according to representatives of national timber associations.

Members of the European Timber Trade Association (FEBO), meeting for the organisation’s general assembly in Helsinki, said they were viewing market prospects this year with “cautious optimism”.

“A decisive turning point is not yet in sight but the first positive signs of recovery are apparent,” said FEBO.

The assembly heard that the trade’s first quarter results had improved in all countries, the catalyst being a revival of the general economy.

“In particular the construction sector is providing fresh impulses again in many countries and the modernisation market is functioning as a stabilising factor supporting the improved climate in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Austria.

“Sales volumes remain stable and increased turnover is largely due to higher prices. Longer delivery times for individual panel lines also point to a significant recovery.”