TUCSON, Ariz. - Capacity for the North American composite panel industry is expected to increase 4.21 percent in 2016, Composite Panel Association Chairman Steve Stoler told a record crowd at the CPA's spring meeting in Tucson, Arizona. Increased usage of engineered wood panels in cabinetry, furniture, flooring and other products is helping spur the growth.

The upward trend follows a three-year capacity decline, reported Stoler, general sales manager of Boise Cascade. Capacity is defined as the amount of panels produced, based on maximum press utilization.

"I've been encouraged by signs of growth an new investment in our industry after a long period of inactivity," Stoler said, citing recent announcements of plant upgrades and new lines. The addition of three mills in Mexico also is projected to increase North American MDF capacity by 10 percent.

The CPA also projects shipments of particleboard and MDF to grow 3 percent in 2016. Last year's shipments of U.S. and Canadian panels hit 5.561 BSF, which was up 3 percent from 2014 figures.

More than 300 people from more than 100 companies attended the April 17-20 CPA event. Additional information on composite panel capacity and shipments is available from the association, at compositepanel.org.



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