European Parquet Market continues to progress at a moderate pace

According to the first estimates of the European Federation of the Parquet Industry (FEP) for the year 2017, the consumption figures of parquet in Europe continue to increase for the third year in a row. While consumption progressed by 1.7% in 2016, a modest grow of close to 1% is forecasted for 2017. This prognosis is based on information received from member country and company representatives present at the recent Board meeting held at the DOMOTEX fair in Hannover. It should be seen as a first estimate subject to variations, in anticipation of the consolidated results to be presented at FEP’s annual General Assembly next June in Sorrento, Italy.

This rather moderate progression is mainly a result of a slight decline of parquet consumption observed in Germany, the biggest European market for parquet, and Switzerland. On the contrary, all other countries are benefiting from the improvement of the general economic context, especially from the growth of the European consumption, and of the positive trends reported by the construction sector.

At country level, Poland, The Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden are experiencing the highest growths of parquet consumption, followed by the Czech Republic, Austria and France. Parquet consumption in the Southern European markets such as Italy and Spain is also progressing though to a lesser extent. The political situation in Spain and the coming elections in Italy are somewhat limiting the positive developments already observed last year. Finally, the Nordic market (Denmark, Finland and Norway) remains stable after years of turbulences.

Although the issue seems less acute than in the previous years, the captains of the parquet industry report difficulties in wood procurement, particularly for oak. FEP regrets to notice limitations to wood market access in Russia, Belarus and, especially Ukraine, which has a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the EU, and Croatia, which is part of the EU28 and its Internal Market.

The FEP Board of Directors also underlines the tough competition from “wood look flooring substitutes” and the widespread misuse of the PARQUET denomination which is causing a growing and unjust confusion at consumer level. Parquet though remains the genuine original, the only flooring solution made of sustainable and renewable raw material Real Wood, coming from sustainably managed and expanding forests!