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Overview

Austria is one of the countries with the greatest volume of forests in Europe. The timber industry is one of the largest employers in Austria, export-oriented and internationally successful. Businesses are largely traditional enterprises with greater flexibility and large scope for innovation and the implementation of new technologies.

For the most part private forest owners have looked after the health and maintenance of the forests in Austria for generations. More than 280,000 people live from forestry and/or downstream areas such as the paper industry. 

The annual turnover of the timber sector is around EUR 10 billion with exports of just over EUR 9 billion. Alongside tourism, the timber industry is thus one of the most important foreign exchange earners. 

The sector is diverse and incorporates the sawmill industry, the construction industry, the furniture industry, the timber and wood composite industry and the ski industry. 

Products and services

Austria is one of the world's most important exporters of timber and sawn timber. However, paper, wood chips / bio mass and processed wood products such as construction timber and furniture also come from Austria. In addition, Austrian forest machines and services are internationally recognised in the area of the forestry sector. The Austrian cellulose and paper industry is another important part of the timber sector.

Substance of the future

Wood is a renewable asset and a multi-purpose building material. The increasing importance of wood as a building material has resulted in new approaches over the last few years. Wood has proven itself for the outdoor sector, particularly for its high durability and low maintenance requirements. Modified wood has a broad range of different outdoor applications, for instance for facades, windows and noise protection walls.

The Austrian producers of prefabricated houses, log cabins and sheds are successful all over the world with high-quality products.

Austrian manufacturers of wooden floorings export their high-quality products particularly to Switzerland, Germany and Italy. The Czech Republic, Spain, the United Kingdom and Russia are strong growth markets. A company established in Austria in 1831 is one of the top 10 parquet manufacturers in Europe. 

Paper industry and processing

The Austrian paper and cellulose industry is focused on sustainability and maximum value added. Investments in the modernisation of machines and systems have made it possible for companies to change over entirely to ecologically sustainable production. The majority of Austrian companies in the paper processing sector are active on the European market and in the Middle East and Mediterranean region. 

Machines, equipment, accessories

The high technical standard and the know-how of this sector of the Austrian mechanical engineering industry have proven itself on the international market. Austrian suppliers not only produce machines, they also supply modules, tools and automation in order to guarantee maximum quality and maximum productivity for the customers. Well-qualified specialists, high standards of quality and collaboration with producers in other countries are just a few of the success factors. For instance, an Austrian company is the only full-service provider in the field of chainsaws and the export percentage of its business is more than 90%.

Research and development

Austrian specialist know-how in wood has secured the high technical standards of this innovative industry. They guarantee high-quality products for customers at home and abroad. Several Austrian institutions that have specialised in wood research are working in a practice-oriented manner on new developments for the international markets.
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