Wood Components Sales Project Moderate Growth in 2013

By Karen Koenig | Posted: 02/05/2013 9:45AM

 

Walnut Creek Planing, dimension stock, wood componentsWalnut Creek Planing Although 2012 wood component sales “ended with a fizzle,” 2013 sales are projected to increase from 2 to 5 percent, according to member surveys by the Wood Component Manufacturers Assn. (WCMA) and the Wood Products Manufacturers Assn. (WPMA).

“Much of the optimism is based on consumers having a stable job and a steady revenue stream to support spending,” said Phil Bibeau, WPMA executive director. “The previous two years have started with business being strong in the first half, followed by a slowing for the remainder of the year. The overall consensus [for 2013] is that business will be steady, not the roller coaster that we have been experiencing.”

Steve Lawser, former WCMA executive director, agreed. “Most members feel better about 2013 as we are getting serious about solving our housing, credit and debt issues. They have fewer competitors now so they feel there will be less suppliers to meet any increases in demand.”

Growth looks to come from the building products segment, particularly as housing continues to improve. “Remodeling also has an especially positive outlook as people upgrade their homes with higher quality features that will generate increased demand for hardwood mouldings and millwork, flooring, cabinetry, staircases, etc.,” Lawser added.

As with other market segments, cash flow, increased costs of doing business, and obtaining and retaining skilled workers can be a challenge, both Lawser and Bibeau said. Other concerns cited by their members include the rising cost of health care and increased enforcement by OSHA on wood dust and other issues.

“It has not been possible to pass along increased costs of doing business in the form of higher prices, so margins remain slim or non-existent,” Lawser said. However, he continued, “Those companies remaining [in business] should be well-positioned to take advantage of any upswings in demand in 2013 and going forward.”

“Those businesses that are still operating are the true survivors,” added Bibeau. “They have made the changes necessary to compete in the global economy. They will see success if they continue to follow the principles that have brought them to where they are today: Work harder, smarter and become a partner with your customers.”

Click here to read additional comments from Phil Bibeau, executive director of the Wood Products Manufacturers Association

Click here to read additional comments from Steve Lawser, former executive director of the Wood Component Manufacturers Association

Back to main article for industry reports on other wood products markets

 

About the Author

Karen M. Koenig

Karen M. Koenig has more than 25 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As Editor-in-Chief of Woodworking Network magazine (formerly Wood & Wood Products), Karen’s primary responsibilities include spearheading the writing, editing and coordinating of the editorial content of the publication, along with the Red Book resource guide and the Red Book online source and supply directory (RedBookOnline.com). She is also a frequent contributor to other Woodworking Network online and print media. She can be reached at kkoenig@woodworkingnetwork.com or Google+.

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