French sawmills are worried that China is buying French timber en masse. The sector is dried up by exports, and this situation threatens jobs.
Timber companies are short of oak. In Charente, a family sawmill cuts oak logs, for a volume of up to 30,000 cubic meters per year. The pace could be increased, according to the manager, provided she has access to the raw material. “We are going to be at 60-80% of our production capacity. We could transform more, but we can’t get the supplies ”, regrets Mathilde Joselet.
A petition launched by businesses
A petition has been launched. 90% of companies say they run out of oak, partly the fault of China, which is buying more and more wood. For ten years, the country’s appetite for oak has grown overwhelming. According to the National Timber Federation, one in three oaks is currently exported to China. It was one in ten ten years ago. The trend is accelerating in recent months, especially as Russia has decided to stop selling abroad.