In 2020, 451 new forwarders were registered in Sweden**. This was a record for the 21st century that we wrote about here at NordicWoodJournal.com in January. Now we have received the official figures for Q1 2021, and it seems that market keeps going strong.
The Swedish forwarder market – green dominance
In total, 98 new forwarders were registered in Sweden the first quarter 2021. That is a little less than last year, the record year, when 111 were registered, but significantly more than the average for the last 15 years. All indications are that also 2021 will be yet another good year for the machine suppliers. However, this presupposes that they can deliver machines in the same pace that they get the orders, this is also due to the sub-suppliers. More on that below.
One supplier that has succeeded in delivering volumes on the Swedish market is John Deere Forestry. Last year they had 42 % of the forwarder market and Q1 this year they have increased their market share to 47 %. 46 new John Deere forwarders were delivered in Sweden of which 17 were the 19-tonner JD 1910G.
Eco Log increase deliveries
Registrations for Eco Log, both the previous Gremo models and the new F-series (574F, 584F and 594F), has increased. 10 delivered forwarders in Q1 -21 means a market share of 10 % for Eco Log in Sweden. That´s only 5 % away from the shared second place that Ponsse and Komatsu Forest holds with 15 % each.
Big forwarders take market shares
In the heavy weight class of forwarders there has never been so many deliveries in Sweden as during Q1 -21. Forwarders with a loading capacity of 18 tons and more represent 38 % of the total Swedish forwarder market. This share has never been over 30 % before, and the change has happened at the cost of the mid-sized forwarders (12 – 17,9 tons). A size that used to represent 55 – 60 % of the Swedish market, but nowadays holds less than 50 %. The smaller forwarders (8 – 11,9 tons) keeps their share of the market with 15 – 16 %.
Lack of components is a problem
It´s too early to say how the Swedish forwarder market will develop in 2021. As it looks today, it may very well be another good year. The forest industry, especially the sawmills, are rolling at high speed and lumber prices are increasing (in Sweden). The timber must out of the forest and into the mills.
As mentioned above, there is a cloud of unrest on several vehicle markets. Both the availability of components and transports are bottle necks that could affect the production for many manufacturers. This could slow the productivity down during 2021.
Komatsu Forest shows weak register figures in Q1 -21, that may be due to their move to a new factory? We will see if that´s a temporary decline or if will be typical for 2021 for Komatsu. Also Ponsse reports less registrations on the Swedish market so far 2021 as Rottne stays on more or less the same level as before.
Large international interest
Another reason to that that may slow deliveries to Sweden down is that there is a huge international interest for CTL (cut-to-length) machinery for the moment. Not only the Swedish forest industry is doing well. Also in Germany and other countries in central Europe the sawmills are running at full speed which increases the demand for forest machines.
The Russian market went down already before the corona crisis but has now started to go up again. Some manufacturers claim that the demand for CTL machines is increasing also in North America. Again, the delivery times for large forwarders are long. For those who order one today, it´s uncertain if they will get it delivered before the end of 2021.
Increasing steel prices means more expensive forwarders?
All types of raw material become more expensive, not only sawn timber. As for an example steel prices are increasing due to high demand in China. Most of the weight in a forwarder is steel, so the question is if that will affect the prices? One manufacturer that we spoke to means that the change in steel prices alone should give 100 000 – 200 000 SEK (11 000 – 22 000 USD) higher sales price for a large forwarder.
The forest machine market in Sweden faces also another challenge 2021; Many Swedish contractors have been forced into new, less profitable contracts and have therefor been forced to cancel machine orders.
Even though there is some uncertainty for the Swedish forest machine market in 2021, it seems that the prospects for a good year in total are good for the machine manufacturers. We look forward to the report for Q2.
* This is a summary of an article signed Torbjörn Johnsen at the Swedish sister-site iSkogen.se LÄNK NEDAN
** In Sweden, all forwarders are registered by the authority Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen). As the Swedish market for CTL-machines is the largest market in the World (2020), those figures give a fairly good picture of the total market for CTL-machines. The harvesters are, however, not registered by the Transport Agency, but the number of manufactured harvesters follows the number of forwarders in most cases.