Germany's waste wood processors and recyclers are entering the winter of 2016 and 2017 with unprecedented inventories. However, the situation varies widely at times from processor to processor and from region to region. A few waste wood processors are complaining that they are coming close to or have already reached the inventory limits set under their operating permits. Others had storage capacity available from a legal standpoint, but were opting not to use it either because it was difficult technically or because they were unwilling to take on the additional fire risk. Balance sheet considerations also played a part. Under these conditions, market participants including some municipal waste management companies and a few processors have responded to this situation by declining deliveries at least temporarily.
Supply pressure is clearly stronger in southern Germany, and here above all for category A IV waste wood (material containing wood preservatives or other hazardous substances), than in the west and east of the country. Therefore, businesses are apparently even willing to transport waste wood over long distances. Securing treatment was paramount, sources said; the price was now secondary for some waste wood generators. One power plant operator said that were no longer negotiations over prices, just tonnages. The situation has eased slightly, at least in some regions, where incineration plants were back up and running after lengthy stoppages.
All told, however, a great deal of waste wood is still around on the market and in the pipeline, for instance from recycling centres. "We are fighting tooth and nail against accepting more deliveries," one large processor in eastern Germany remarked to EUWID. Vast quantities are still in the offing, meaning that "suppliers head for the yard the instant they see that volume limits are not being consistently monitored," another contact added. What is more, insiders noted that a few incineration plants had continued to process imported volumes, on the one hand to meet their contractual obligations and on the other to keep up the pressure on the market.
The full report on the waste wood market in Germany including the price table appears in issue 23/2016 of EUWID Recycling and Waste Management on 9 November 2016. Online subscribers can already access it here: