Oak prices up in France

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Oak prices still getting higher in France

In the first quarter of 2015, oak wood is still kept on the trot in France. Trading activity of sawmills and timber procurers seems to be even more dynamic than in late 2014. Public auctions, currently taking place in Eastern France prove the above mentioned statement. There’s the minimum quantity of the outstanding goods, and demand outreaches supply (up to 20 bids for each attractive lot).

The auction in Courlaoux (France) confirms the tendency observed during two previous auctions organized by the National Forest Office of France (ONF) in Franche-Comté region since the beginning of 2015. Over the 3 last months the price increase was very tangible in terms of small diameter lumber. In its turn, over a year, the price hike was especially evident for 2 m3 round logs (and bigger, check the table below). However, the prices should be considered with prudence, as they are not always given for the same type of wood in terms of unit volume and quality. Nevertheless, in absolute terms, the price rise in the first quarter of 2015 is incontestable.

The same is confirmed by the buyers. ''Today our procurement activity has 2 distinct phases: the estimates we calculate as precisely as possible in the forest; and sales during which we revise our prices upward if we don’t want to leave empty-handed.'' CEO of Eurochêne, Rémy Julien notes that the major part of French sawmills currently adjust their sales depending on the proximity to a harvesting season, or to the extent of understanding the special needs of a particular sawmill and so on.  

His colleagues describe the sawn timber market as relatively active in terms of the majority of products and destinations since January 2015. Staff wood sells well, the demand for wooden blocks is developing evenly, while wood board of the 2nd and 3rd grade found a complementary market in Asia in addition to the European one with more exacting customers in terms of quality. Carpentry sales have an upward tendency as well....

''We don’t have major worries in relation with the end market, the short-term perspectives are satisfactory. The only problem the sawmills face is their inability to adjust raw material prices to the prices at the sawn timber market'', underlines Henri Mutelet.


Price in euro/m3, roadside






Change over 3 months

Change over 1 year

1 m3

78 108 87 114 +31% +5,5%

1,5 m3

115 134 127 153 +20% +14%

2 m3

140 152 156 181 +16% +19%

2,5 m3

159 166 178 203 +14% +22%

3 m3

177 177 196 219 +12% +24%

3,5 m3

189 187 210 - - -

Average price of oak in Courlaoux-Jura (source ONF) :    

13/03/2014-130 €/m3

14/12/2014-145 €/m3 (given it's 1 m3)
12/03/2015-165 €/m3 (given it's 1,3 m3)

Source : Robert Wood, public auctions of ONF Courlaoux (Jura)

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