The Romanian wood industry is in its worst condition in 25 years, and the timber sales regulation allows the state-owned company Romsilva to amend prices only upwards, the Romanian Furniture Producer Producers Association (APMR) President Aurica Sereny asserted in a press conference on Wednesday.
‘Last year, we rejoiced on the adoption of the Forestry Code. Unfortunately, a committee was set up at the Environment Ministry, which drafted the timber sales regulation, a document published in an utterly inadequate form. Its last version was not discussed with us, the furniture manufacturers. This led to Romsilva setting prices based on the auction price, much above those practiced worldwide,’ she explained.
Romsilva’s arbitrary setting of timber prices will exclude Romania from the international market, Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Mihai Apopei warned on the occasion.
‘The absurd thing is there were timber auctions in December. Out of 4.4 cubic meters auctioned, onlyu 5pct were sold. Nevertheless, Romsilva and the [Environment, Waters and Forestry] ministry refused to evaluate the situation, and here we are at mid-January, when auctions are rescheduled. Nothing was sold last week […] and yesterday […] under 20pct of the auctioned amount.
There are 130,000 people working in this industry, and the whole sector is stalled by Romsilva’s unwillingness to admit that the prices are very high, and by the ministry’s unwillingness to make a decision to change this situation,’ said Catalin Tobescu, vice president of the Nostra Silva Federation of Romanian Forest Owners.
According to Nostra Silva, timber prices in Romania are among the highest in Europe.
According to the National Forestry Inventory published last December, Romania has approximately 6.9 million hectares of forests, of which 51pct in private hands.