Coronavirus Outbreak Poses Grave Threat to Croatian Wood Industry

Lauren Simmonds

As Novac/Vedran Marjanovic writes on the 12th of March, 2020, as many as sixty percent of companies working in the Croatian wood industry, particularly in wood processing, have recorded a drop in orders, around a twenty percent drop since coronavirus has begun to spread, according to a survey by the Croatian Wood Cluster, which includes sixty companies operating within the sector.

”More than half of the respondents encountered difficulties in transporting their goods to Italy, which is traditionally one of the major export markets, as well as to China and Asia. All of this caused a drop in liquidity in as many as 80 percent of the companies surveyed, half of which had a drop in excess of 20 percent,” the Croatian Wood Cluster claims.

All respondents to the survey said they expect there will be a drop in orders in the forthcoming period, with half of the companies working in the Croatian wood industry surveyed fearing that this drop will end up being even greater than 30 percent. Some companies (five percent of those surveyed) have already unfortunately started with layoffs, a third have halted planned hiring, seventen percent will not extend fixed-term contracts, and 39 percent will wait until the end of June before they see what they’ll do.

”As many as 31 percent of respondents, especially in the micro-company category, are currently considering winding down their businesses, which is a truly alarming indicator,” notes the Croatian Wood Cluster, which, together with the CROBIOM Association and the Association of Croatian Firewood Manufacturers, appealed to the Croatian Government to hold an urgent meeting and adopt emergency measures to further assist those in the Croatian wood industry during these trying times.

Numerous ideas have been suggested, but it’s difficult to predict just what will happen next as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hold the global economy firmly in its grip.

Those in the Croatian wood industry also recalled with dismay that the previous global big impact on their business, which was the 2008 global economic crisis, caused the layoff of about 6,500 workers in their industry.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for more on coronavirus’ effect on the Croatian economy.


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