According to Roy Southey, executive director of Sawmilling SA (SSA) the timber market is recovering after the significant Covid-19 shock at the beginning of the year.

 Roy Southey, executive director of Sawmilling SA (SSA).Photo by SSA

Roy Southey, executive director of Sawmilling SA (SSA).Photo by SSA

Southey says that Covid-19 was a big shock for everybody, including sawmillers. “Like most other businesses in South Africa, we had to close during the first hard lockdown. To make things worse this all happened in the wake of a significant two-year economic downturn,” says Southey.

These measures had sawmillers very concerned. Fortunately, however, sawmills were then declared essential business operations and allowed to reopen under lockdown regulations level three, and immediately things started looking up.

“Now, after being in production for at least a year or more, the market has recovered, and sawmills are experiencing improved trading conditions. One or two mills remained closed after the initial Covid-19 lockdown, which amongst other factors, contributed to the improved situation.

“There is no doubt that the greatest challenge to the long-term future of the sawmilling industry is the dwindling log resources. This is a problem for the entire forest processing sector and an issue that is being seriously addressed by all associations in the sector, especially Forestry South Africa (FSA),” says Southey.

 The full interview with Roy Southey will appear in the August/September issue of Timber iQ.