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Estonian woodhouse manufacturers may boost exports to France

BC, Tallinn, 03.04.2018.Print version
Estonian manufacturers of wooden houses are interested in increasing the export of their output to the market of France, the Estonian Woodhouse Association said on April 3rd, informs LETA/BNS.

The association said that while Sweden and Norway are still the principal markets for its members, manufacturers are increasingly turning their eyes on France with a view to reducing risks and ensuring sustainability of their business.

Estonian manufacturers of wooden houses are the biggest exporters of the sector in Europe. According to Statistics Estonia, Estonian manufacturers exported wooden houses for more than 17.4 million euros to France in 2017, which put France in seventh place among the export markets.

The association observed that France traditionally has been a country of stone buildings and the rate of growth in building from wood there rather can be described as slow. "We can, however, note enthusiasm in popularizing the use of wood as a building material and promotion of international cooperation in this," it said.

Promotion of the construction of wooden houses has been a priority in France on the level of the state already for almost ten years, and their aim is to catch up with the countries where wooden houses are a popular choice. For that measures are taken on the state level, such as new environmental and energy efficiency requirements adopted and a large number of projects for the construction of high-rises from wood approved in recent years.

About 350,000-400,000 new dwellings are built in France every year. At present wooden houses make up 8% of the total number of private homes in that country, 4% of apartment houses and over 10% of commercial buildings and public sector buildings.

When it comes to the main markets of Estonian woodhouse manufacturers -- Sweden and Norway -- the exchange rate of the currencies of both countries has been declining of late and a reduction in volumes is being forecast for the Norwegian market. The reduction in the exchange rate has resulted in a significant increase in the prices of products made in the eurozone for clients in those countries and undermined the competitiveness of Estonian businesses compared with local businesses.

In mid-March, a seminar of Estonian woodhouse manufacturers for the French market took place at the Estonian embassy in Paris. The Estonian companies Matek AS, Production House OU, Ritsu AS, Q-Haus Baltic OU and Puitpesa OU, as well as the Estonian Woodhouse Cluster took part in the seminar.

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