The cabinet industry continues to be the largest end-use market for wood component products, primarily due to the steady strength of the remodeling market for kitchen, bath, closet and storage-related cabinetry. This information, along with other trends, is included in the “2011 Dimension & Components Market Study” by the Wood Component Manufacturers Association.

According to the study, the cabinet industry currently accounts for 33.1% of WCMA members’ total business, compared to 31.2% last year. Although the kitchen and bath cabinet industry retained a high percentage of WCMA members’ products, the overall sales volumes in this industry decreased by 4.1% in 2010, according to the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association’s Trend of Business Survey.

The building products industry — trim, mouldings, millwork, staircase parts, etc. — remained the second largest end-use market for WCMA members’ products and represented 32.2% of WCMA participating members’ shipments compared to 28% last year. This industry is expected to rebound as a major market for dimension and component manufacturers if the housing and remodeling markets show stronger recovery this year and into 2012.

The furniture industry stayed in third place, remaining fairly flat and accounting for 20.9% of dimension and component sales, compared to the 21.1% reported last year. This stability is generally attributed to more customization available from domestic manufacturers and to the fact that some furniture manufacturers have started outsourcing production back to the United States and Canada.

Decorative and specialty products remained in fourth place, with 8.1% of sales compared to 10.2% the previous year. This category includes musical instruments, caskets, toys, sporting goods, wall plaques, picture frames, cutting boards, novelty items, etc. Industrial wood products represented 4.5% of the total market for component products, down from 6.4% last year.

In looking at the type of components, cut-to-size blanks remained the number one category this year, accounting for 15.0% of all shipments, compared to 11.5% the previous year. Mouldings moved into second position, accounting for 13.9% of products shipped in 2010, compared to 8.2% in 2009. Stair parts moved up to third at 9.9%, up from 8.5%, followed by edge-glued panels at 9.4%; cabinet doors (5.2%); drawer boxes (3.5%); tool handles (4%); board programs (3.9%); cabinet parts (3.5%); and turnings (3.5%).
In looking at species preference, red oak remains popular, accounting for 20.5% of all wood used by participating WCMA companies. Hard maple dropped to 16.6%, followed by cherry at 11%, soft maple (9.7%), poplar (8.1%), beech (4.8%), white oak (4.8%), ash (4.1%), birch (3.6%), and composite panel (2.8%).

On the business side, 63% percent of participating WCMA companies indicated they are exporting dimension and component products to overseas markets, compared to 47% in the 2010 survey. Edge-glued panels was the largest dimension export product category, followed by cut-to-size blanks, furniture parts, stair parts, flooring, turnings, cabinet doors, mouldings and dowels. Canada was the number one export market among U.S. WCMA exporting members in 2010, with 26.8% of sales. The United Kingdom was second with 18.4% of export sales, followed by the United States (from Canada), Germany, China, Ireland, Japan and Mexico.

Overall, the study found that general outlook for the dimension and component manufacturing industry is for more of a recovery later this year, going forward to 2012. WCMA members project their dimension and component sales to increase by an average of 10% in 2011 and estimate their net income to be 9% higher. Total employment is expected to rise by 5%, material costs by 5%, plant and equipment expenditures by 6%, and labor costs are expected to rise 5% in 2011.

Major Markets for dimension & Component parts
Study Reveals Component Market Trends

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