On April 4th, the European Federation of the Parquet industry (FEP in French) held a meeting in Brussels with its board of directors. The Agenda was devoted to reviewing the parquet situation with the recent economic factors in the European markets.
The trends showed a stable to slightly positive outlook on the overall business. When looking at the first three months of the year, the consumption of parquet was steady or with a little bit of growth such as in Germany. In contrast, the parquet sales decreased in Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Besides, it seems that no shortage occurred on raw material, but the supply of core layers like HDF or plywood was dwindling.
The list below gives a short summary of the trend per country:
Austria (+): The Austrian parquet sales slightly increased by 1% during the first quarter 2019 compared to the first three months of 2018.
Belgium (-) : Available information indicates that parquet consumption fell by 4% during the first quarter 2019 compared to the same period last year, reflecting among others the competition from “wood look” floor coverings.
Baltic States (=) : Baltic countries’ markets remained stable during the first quarter of the current year.
Czech Republic (+) : Data points to a positive development on the Czech parquet market for the three first months of 2019.
Denmark (=) : The Danish parquet market remained flat, supported by the performance of residential building which is observable in the whole Nordic Cluster (Denmark, Finland and Norway).
Finland (=) : Parquet sales were stable on the Finnish market during the first quarter 2019 – residential market is performing well while retail is declining.
France (+) : After a difficult fourth quarter 2018, the French market developed slightly positively during the three first months of the year 2019. As the first quarter 2018 was also relatively good, this can be seen as an encouraging trend although the market is lacking visibility, especially as some contracts are reaching an end.
Germany (+) : Parquet sales upturned by 4% in Germany during the first quarter 2019. Even if the first quarter 2018 showed a very low level of consumption, the current trend reflects better market conditions.
Italy (=) : The Italian parquet market remained flat during the three first months of the current year. No improvement is expected as there are some uncertainties regarding the forthcoming EU elections.
Netherlands (-) : The information received points to a decline of the parquet sales (-4%) on the Dutch market during the first quarter 2019, reflecting the competition from “wood look” floor coverings.
Norway (=) : Data indicates that the Norwegian market remained flat during the three first months of 2019, which is encouraging compared to the significant decreases in parquet consumption reported last year.
Poland (+) : An increase by 2% of the parquet sales is reported for Poland during the first quarter 2019 compared to the same period last year.
Spain (=) : The Spanish market was stable during the first quarter of the year 2019, echoing the uncertain political context.
Sweden (+) : Parquet consumption continued to slightly rise by 1% during the first quarter 2019 compared to the first quarter 2018. Renovation is the main driver of the Swedish market.
Switzerland (-) : Data indicates that parquet consumption fell by 2% in Switzerland during the three first months of 2019, reflecting the completion of new construction projects.
United Kingdom (-) : Information available points to a slight decline by 1% of the parquet consumption on the British market during the three first months of 2019. The influence of the Brexit is starting to be discernible.