2005 - 02 - 08

*Seller's market for forest machines in Sweden

At the moment there is an enormous need of forest machines in Sweden after the storm. It felled a total of 75 million cubic meters of forest. At least 2000 machine teams (harvesters and forwarders) will be needed for removing all fallen timber in Southern Sweden.

That is more or less the total number of machines in the whole country. The task is impossible.

"Södra", the biggest forest company in Southern Sweden, has made alternative plans to use 800 machine teams for removing the timber of all forest owners associated with the company before the autumn of 2006. Normally "Södra" employs about 200 teams and so far it has been possible to double this capacity to about 400 teams. Several machines are bound by contracts and delivery plans. All new teams are on loan from other parts of Sweden.

There is also a number of effective, international entrepreneurs that are in principle specialists of storm felled forest. A big problem is to transport the timber to roadside piles. The shortage of timber lorries is serious.

Storm felled forest has created a "do it yourself" situation that has driven up the demand of second hand forest machines. The market leading forest machine company "Timberjack" has decided not to let demand determine prices for either new or second hand machines. The pre-storm prices still apply. Other sellers, not least private ones, have seized the opportunity and demand 50 to 100 per cent higher prices.

The supply of second hand forest machines is limited in Sweden. Many good machines have been exported. "Timberjack" sells almost one third of second hand machines to Russia. Previously the company sold very old machines, but presently their age is not more than three to four years.