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Wood from Austria for the world

June 23, 2015

Wood is undergoing an international surge as a construction material. Austria's wood and timber industry is succeeding in a challenging environment, with exports accounting for 68% of production.

The wood industry is a key export pillar of the Austrian economy. Markets with different requirements and demand for sustainable raw materials represent a challenging business backdrop. However, Austria's wood and timber industry is among the absolute top. Thanks to solid market knowledge and paying attention to the needs of their partners, Austrian companies supply to customers all over the world.

There is a growing trend towards realising prestigious buildings with wood. New research findings have expanded the sphere of application and increased competitiveness. In the longer term, wood is set to benefit from increasing environmental awareness, climate policy aspects and its sustainable availability.

In general the wood and timber industry is highly focused on exports. Softwood lumber, glulam, wooden composites (boards) and skis are primarily exported and in 2014 exports accounted for almost 68% of production. The lion's share of Austrian wood products (74.4%) went to the EU, particularly Germany and Italy. The remaining 25.6% was divided between the rest of Europe with 13.1%, developing countries with 2.8% and other countries (such as the USA and Japan) with 9.7%.

There are currently 1,369 active companies in the Austrian wood and timber industry, of which around 950 are sawmills;  26,216 employees generated production volumes of EUR 7.08 bn in 2014. They cover the sawmill industry, the construction sector, the furniture industry, the wood composite industry and the ski industry.