EPV statement on the situation in Ukraine and the EU sanctions: timber is becoming scarce due to invasion and sanctions. EPV is the sector organization for the wooden packaging industry in the Netherlands.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is worrying the world. Serious political-military instability of this magnitude seemed unimaginable in Europe. Yet this is now the reality.
The EU announced sanctions over the weekend restricting trade with Russia and Belarus. This also includes the timber trade. The Netherlands imports a huge volume of wood from the Eastern European region and it is therefore expected that the loss of this volume will have an effect on the supply of wooden products, such as pallets, boxes, and crates.
Ukraine is also a major supplier of wood for the European and Dutch wood processing industry. EPV members have close contacts in Ukraine. Due to the war, this import/export also disappeared. Sawmills with which our members do business have been abandoned and fully loaded trucks and containers remain in the port.
The other wood-producing countries, in particular Scandinavia, Germany, and the Baltic States, are expected to be only able to absorb a small part of this volume. The availability of wood will therefore decrease and scarcity will arise.
In addition, transport is also hard hit by the war and the sanctions. In addition to being an exporter of wood, Russia is a very large importer of various raw materials from Western Europe. Russian drivers who pick up products in the Netherlands, for example, take a load of wood with them on the way there, so that they do not drive empty. The sanctions against Russia will completely eliminate this. In addition, many Eastern European drivers have Ukrainian or Belarusian nationality. Their availability is now gone, as they are called upon to assist in the war within the country’s borders.
VNO-NCW and the ministries involved hold daily consultations and the EPV is affiliated with this. The impact of the sanctions package will become clear in the coming days. There is international coordination between the EU, USA, and UK.
EPV and its members are of course concerned. We closely follow developments and will continue to inform you regularly about the latest state of affairs. We advise customers of EPV members to keep in touch with their suppliers regarding stocks, deliveries, and possible alternatives.