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Volume 7   Issue 6               June 2006


Southern Pine at Record Production Levels 
According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA), Southern pine lumber production in 2005 totaled 19 billion board feet, the highest volume on record. This annual increase marks a 5-percent rise compared to the previous year and tracks another robust year of housing activity. 

According to ALSC-accredited grading agencies, treated Southern pine production also recorded healthy gains during 2005. Treated production reached 7.02 billion board feet. Year-long demand from new residential construction and repair and remodeling of existing homes served as the main driver for increased treated production.

Renovation Helps Recovery of German Window Market
After almost halving in the last five years, there is finally a glimmer of hope for the German window market, according to the latest study from Interconnection Consulting Group, a marketing research institution. This upswing is due to the improving economic situation as well as a growing demand for renovation in Germany, according to the study.

With a decline of 6.6 percent in quantity and 2.2 percent in value, 2005 seemed to be the low point for the German window market. For the first time in years there will be a slightly positive growth in volume of 0.2 percent. The driving force for the positive development in the coming few years is the gathering momentum of the German economy, which particularly profits the construction industry, as well as the changing renovation behavior in Germany. 

From 2005 to 2008, the renovation market is expected to grow by almost 9 percent, while in the same period new construction will increase by 4 percent. The reasons for this are multifaceted, according to the study. For one reason, new energy performance requirements will cause strong impulses to renovate existing windows. The large number of old buildings in Germany with poorly insulated windows—approximately three quarters of all apartments in Germany are more than 25 years old—holds an enormous, untapped potential for the window industry. 

Another reason for this development is that as of 2006 households are entitled to write off 20 percent of the bills tradesman’s bill against tax liability, up to a $3,832 USD limit. Homeowners are therefore stimulated to invest more in the renovation of their homes. In addition, the abolishment of the subsidy for new homes will result in the construction of fewer new buildings, with more invested into existing buildings. 

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