The Packaging and Pallet Industry Association (EPV) issued a statement on Monday in response to the conflict in Ukraine. They see an imminent shortage of wood due to the developments. The statement can be read below:
"Russia's incursion into Ukraine is worrying the world. Serious political-military instability of this magnitude seemed unthinkable in Europe. Yet this is now the reality.
Last weekend, the EU announced sanctions restricting trade with Russia and Belarus. The trade in wood is also covered by these sanctions. The Netherlands imports an enormous volume of wood from the Eastern European region and it is to be expected that the loss of this volume will have an effect on the supply of wooden products, such as pallets, crates and boxes.
Ukraine is also a major supplier of wood to the European and Dutch woodworking industries. EPV members have close contacts in Ukraine. Due to the war, this import/export has also disappeared. Sawmills that our members do business with have been abandoned and fully loaded trucks and containers remain in port.
The other wood-producing countries, especially Scandinavia, Germany, and the Baltic States, are expected to be able to absorb only a small part of this volume. The availability of wood will therefore decrease and scarcity will arise.
In addition, transport will be hit hard by the war and the sanctions. Besides being an exporter of wood, Russia is a very large importer of various raw materials from Western Europe. Russian drivers who, for example, pick up products in the Netherlands take a load of wood with them on the way here, so that they do not drive empty. Because of the sanctions against Russia, this is no longer possible. In addition, many Eastern European drivers have the Ukrainian or Belarusian nationality. Their availability is now gone, because they are called upon to help with the war within the country's borders.
VNO-NCW and the ministries involved are holding daily consultations and the EPV is joining them. The impact of the sanctions package will become clear in the coming days. There is international coordination between the EU, the US and the UK.
EPV and its members are naturally concerned. We are following the developments closely and will continue to inform you regularly about the latest state of affairs. Customers of EPV members are advised to keep in touch with their supplier about stocks, deliveries and possible alternatives."