The Slovenia Times

State forestry company holds first auction of valuable timber


Kočevska Reka - The SiDG state forestry company held its first public auction of valuable timber in Kočevska Reka on Monday, with almost the entire offering of around 650 m3 of timber being sold. The auction was visited by Agriculture Minister Jože Podgoršek, who endorsed this method of selling wood from the state-owned forests.

SiDG chief operating officer Matjaž Juvančič told the STA on the occasion that the company annually cut down around 1.1 million m3 of timber, of which 600,000 m3 are logs.

Between 2% and 3% of these logs get evaluated as valuable timber, which is then intended for producing high-end veneers for yachts, hotels, musical instruments and similar.

In the past, such logs used to "get lost" among all other logs, and as of recently they have been systematically selected by SiDG and now they have been offered at a public auction for the first time, Juvančič said.

Suitable logs had been collected and kept for three months in warehouses in Kočevska Reka and Maribor and included in the auction that saw 650 m3 of finest timber, mostly maple and oak, being offered for sale.

Almost all logs have been sold, but Juvančič could not tell which log fetched the highest price. "I only have unofficial information that the highest price so far in Slovenia - EUR 15,000 for a cubic metre - has been exceeded."

He noted that the highest prices were actually fetched by "defective tree species", such as quilt maple, which has an uneven pattern and is recognised by evaluators as something special.

A total of 25 bidders from three neighbouring countries and Germany participated in the auction, and most of the timber was sold to Slovenia. SiDG is expected to hold the next such auction in the spring.

Agriculture Minister Jože Podgoršek took a look at the logs in the warehouse in Kočevska Reka to note for the STA that he saw such auctions as very important for forest owners as well as for the Slovenian and foreign wood processing industry.

He would like to see private forest owners, who have been auctioning off their valuable timber in Slovenj Gradec for several years, join such an auction, which is something he says SiDG is already considering.

"Only timber from state forests was offered at this auction, and we have talked with the SiDG management about private owners having the opportunity to sell at its auctions as well," the minister added.


More from Economy