Wood and wood product statistics - NACE Rev. 1.1

From Statistics Explained

Data from January 2009. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database.

This article belongs to a set of statistical articles which analyse the structure, development and characteristics of the various economic activities in the European Union (EU). The present article covers wood and wood products, corresponding to NACE Rev 1.1 Division 20, which is part of the wood and paper manufacturing sector. The activities covered in this article are:

  • the initial processing stages of sawing and planing of wood (corresponding to NACE Group 20.1);
  • semi-processed wood products, such as the manufacture of boards and panels (NACE Group 20.2);
  • builders' carpentry and joinery (NACE Group 20.3);
  • finished products such as wooden containers (NACE Group 20.4);
  • other wood products, including household goods made from wood (NACE Group 20.5).

Note that furniture manufacturing (NACE Group 36.1), whether from wood or other materials, is not covered here, but in the article on furniture production statistics. Nor does this article include forestry, logging and related activities (NACE Division 02).

Table 1: Manufacture of wood and of products of wood and cork, except furniture; manufacture of articles of straw and plaiting materials (NACE Division 20). Structural profile, EU-27, 2006

Main statistical findings

Structural profile

Table 2: Wood and wood products (CPA Division 20). Production of selected products, EU-27, 2007 (1)
Table 3: Manufacture of wood and of products of wood and cork, except furniture; manufacture of articles of straw and plaiting materials (NACE Division 20). Expenditure and productivity, EU-27, 2006
Table 4: Manufacture of wood and of products of wood and cork, except furniture; manufacture of articles of straw and plaiting materials (NACE Division 20). Main indicators, 2006 (1)

There were 196.8 thousand enterprises across the EU-27 for which wood and wood products manufacturing (NACE Division 20) was their main activity. These enterprises generated EUR 37.2 billion of value added in 2006, a little under one half (47.5 %) of the total value added generated in the wood and paper manufacturing sector. They also employed just over one and a quarter million people across the EU in 2006, about two thirds (64.0 %) of the sectoral workforce.

Within the wood and wood products manufacturing sector, the largest activity at the NACE group level was the manufacture of builders’ carpentry and joinery (NACE Group 20.3), which includes the manufacture of wooden goods likes beams, rafters, door, windows and parquet flooring for the construction industry; it contributed EUR 16.4 billion of value added (44.1 % of the total for wood and wood products manufacturing) and employed 579.0 thousand persons across the EU-27 (45.6 % of the wood and wood products manufacturing workforce). The second largest activity, in terms of both value added end employment was that of sawmilling, planing and the impregnation of wood (NACE Group 20.1), which is the first stage in the processing of wood; this activity generated a little less than a quarter (23.1 %) of EU-27 value added (EUR 8.6 billion) and employed about one in every four (24.2 %) persons within the wood and wood products manufacturing workforce. The remaining third (32.7 %) of value added generated across wood manufacturing, a combined EUR 12.1 billion, was generated through the manufacture of veneer sheets, plywood, laminboard, particle board, fibre board and other panels and boards (NACE Group 20.2), other products of wood (NACE Group 20.5) and wooden containers (NACE Group 20.4).

The wood and wood products manufacturing sector in Germany generated EUR 6.6 billion of value added in 2006, the largest contribution (17.7 %) to the EU-27 total. A further two fifths (43.0 %) of the value added generated across the EU-27’s wood and wood products manufacturing sector came from the output of Italy, the United Kingdom, France and Spain. However, it was the Baltic Member States that were the most specialised in this activity. Indeed, in Latvia and Estonia wood and wood products manufacturing contributed almost 4 % of the value added generated across their respective non-financial business economies, which was a little more than five and a half times the average contribution made by these activities across the EU-27 as a whole.

Among the subsectors covered, the strongest rise in EU-27 output during the ten-year period through to 2007 was recorded for veneer sheets, plywood, laminboard, particle board, fibre board and other panels and boards (where growth averaged 3.4 % per year in the EU-27). In contrast, there was a relatively sharp decline (-3.4 % per year between 2000 and 2007) for the production of other wood products, articles of cork, straw and plaiting materials.

Against a background of progressive increases in the output of wood and wood products within the EU-27 (averaging 2.4 % per year during the period 1997 to 2007), there were particularly high gains recorded in Luxembourg (12.4 % per year), Poland (8.1 % per year), Romania (6.3 % per year), Latvia (5.8 % per year) and Austria (5.7 % per year).

Expenditure and productivity

Average personnel costs in the wood and wood products sector were relatively low in the EU-27, as they averaged EUR 20.9 thousand per employee in 2006, which was 23.7 % less than for the whole of the wood and paper manufacturing sector. As a proportion of total operating expenditure, however, personnel costs in the wood and wood products sector accounted for a slightly higher share (18.9 %) than the corresponding figure for wood and paper manufacturing (17.9 %).

Average personnel costs were particularly low in the sawmilling, planing and impregnation of wood subsector (EUR 17.1 thousand per employee) and the other wood products, articles of cork, straw and plaiting materials manufacturing subsector (EUR 17.7 thousand per employee). In the case of the other wood products, articles of cork, straw and plaiting materials manufacturing subsector, personnel costs nevertheless accounted for over one fifth (21.4 %) of total operating expenditure, suggesting that this is a relatively low-wage, labour-intensive activity.

The apparent labour productivity of the wood and wood products manufacturing sector in the EU-27 was about one quarter (25.8 %) less than the average recorded for the whole of the wood and paper manufacturing sector in 2006. There was a considerable spread, however, in apparent labour productivity levels; at one extreme, the manufacture of other wood products, articles of cork, straw and plaiting materials subsector reported that each person employed generated an average of EUR 22.5 thousand of added value, which was about half the level recorded within the veneer sheets, plywood, laminboard, particle board, fibre board and other panels and boards subsector (EUR 45.1 thousand per person employed).

With both average personnel costs and apparent labour productivity about a quarter less than across the wood and paper manufacturing sector as a whole, wood and wood products manufacturing recorded a wage-adjusted labour productivity ratio that was similar to that for the whole of wood and paper manufacturing (140.1 % compared with 144.0 % in 2006). Wage adjusted labour productivity ratios for both the manufacture of veneer sheets, plywood, laminboard, particle board, fibre board and other panels and boards subsector (172.0 %) and the sawmilling, planing and impregnation of wood subsector (164.0 %) were notably higher.

Data sources and availability

The main part of the analysis in this article is derived from structural business statistics (SBS), including core, business statistics which are disseminated regularly, as well as information compiled on a multi-yearly basis, and the latest results from development projects.

Other data sources include the PRODCOM statistics on the production of manufactured goods.

Context

The multi-functional role of forests is an area of increasing global scrutiny. Wood is an important, renewable economic resource, while forests are increasingly recognised for the environmental role they play in climate regulation, biodiversity, air, soil and water quality, as well as their recreational function.

Building on the EU Forest Action Plan (COM(2006) 302 final) for 2007 to 2011 and its 18 key actions for sustainable forest management and the improved long-term competitiveness of its associated industries, the EU has been active in pushing for international commitment to end global forest cover loss by 2030 as part of a new 'forestry package'. This package includes proposals from the European Commission that look to address some of the challenges of deforestation and forest degradation in order to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss (COM(2008) 645 final), as well as laying down obligations for operators who place timber and timber products on the market (COM(2008) 644 final). These would include obliging market traders to certify that the timber and timber products they sell have been harvested according to the relevant laws of the country of origin. It is also proposed that a new global financial fund, known as the Global Forest Carbon Mechanism (GFCM), be made available to developing countries as a reward for emissions reductions achieved by taking action to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. The EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme would be a major source of funding for any GFCM, whereby EUR 2.5 billion could be provided to the fund by 2020 through 5 % of auctioning revenues. Furthermore, those governments that sign-up to a global climate change deal could also be allowed to use so-called deforestation credits towards their individual CO2 reduction commitments.

These proposals, as well as an EU Forest Action plan could have implications for the diverse wood and paper manufacturing sector in the EU. In part, this may reflect the varied size structure of enterprises within the two subsectors: the pulp, paper and paper products subsector is dominated by large, multinational enterprises, many of which are in the Nordic Member States; whereas, the wood and wood products subsector is characterised by relatively small-scale enterprises that are predominantly privately-owned and serve local or national markets.

In January 2008, the European Commission released an energy and climate change package that includes a draft Directive on Renewable Energy Sources (COM(2008) 19 final). The Directive aims to achieve a 20 % mandatory share of renewable energy (including at least 10% of transport fuel consumption from biofuels, which would include timber and woodchips) in final energy consumption by 2020. This has led to some concerns about growing wood shortages and resultant price rises for the EU’s wood and paper sector. The European Commission’s Enterprise Directorate-General hopes the EU’s woodworking industries will be able to better compete in the future through the promotion of greater skills, higher levels of training, innovation, the use of new technology and better networking between small and medium-sized enterprises in order to improve supply and distribution chains.

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