European Forestry Equipment Industry Showing Signs of Stability

A forestry equipment statistics report during the opening ceremonies of KWF-Tagung 2012 indicated the forestry market is stabilizing in parts of Europe.

During the opening press conference of the 16th KWF-Tagung in Bopfingen, the Kuratorium für Waldarbeit und Forsttechnik e.V. (KWF) presented the annual KWF forestry equipment statistics on June 12. The statistics, which were collected centrally by the KWF, provide information on developments in the German, Austrian and Swiss markets. After the collapse of the forestry equipment market in 2008 and 2009, the market recovered in 2010. This trend continued in 2011. The forestry equipment statistics show significant stabilization for Germany. In Austria and Switzerland, the figures increased moderately.

According to the KWF forestry equipment statistics, a total of 345 new forestry tractors, four harwarders and 145 harvesters were sold in Germany for professional forestry work in 2011. Compared to last year, this means an overall increase of about 20%. Despite this, the sales figures still remain significantly below the pre-crisis (2007) levels. The most positive development compared to the previous year occurred in the sales of harvesters. In the year of the report, 170 (+23) new forwarders and 41 (+5) new combination tractors were sold. The sales of cable crane skidding tractors (long timber) are greater than the previous year, with 134 (+12) units sold.

In Austria, a total of 35 (+9) new forestry tractors (26 forwarders, one combination tractor, and seven long timber tractors) and 18 (-5) new harvesters were sold for professional forestry work in 2011. Compared to last year, there is a slight overall increase (10%) in the total number of units. In Austria – as in previous years – short timber technology clearly dominated. Of the total of 53 machines sold, long timber accounts for only eight machines (15%).

In Switzerland, a total of 43 (+4) new forestry tractors (11 forwarders, five combination tractors, 27 long timber tractors) and 10 (+2) new harvesters were sold. Compared to 2010, there is a moderate increase (13%) in the total number.

If we examine the total number of units, Austria and Switzerland had exactly the same number: 53 sales of new units in 2011. In contrast to Austria, however, skidders (including combination tractors) suitable for long timber play a much more important role – approximately 60% – in Switzerland.

The proportion of units sold that had undergone KWF testing remains high. About 70% of the newly sold forwarders and harvesters sport the KWF certification.

The KWF provided information about new machine sales for the machine groups of harvesters, forwarders (short timber) and cable crane skidding tractors (long timber) in Germany for the tenth time now. For Austria and Switzerland, the figures were compiled for the third time.