Global wood-based panel market growth slows
May 2, 2018 | 2:39 pm UTC

In 2016, the wood-based panels market grew to 408M cubic meters, according to a report by IndexBox. After a slight reduction from 2008 to 2009, the market grew steadily through 2016, but the pace of growth slowed over the last three years. In wholesale prices, the market reached $162 billion. In value terms, the market showed a more pronounced dynamic. It contracted by 15 percent in 2009 and then recovered over the next two years with further upward trend. However, in 2015, the market dropped slightly and retained this level in the next year.

Plywood (155M cubic meters), particleboard and OSB (119M cubic meters) and MDF/HDF (97M cubic meters) were the most consumed product categories, together making up 91 percent of global consumption in 2016. Consumption of veneer sheets (4 percent), hardboard (3 percent) and other fiberboard (2 percent) held small shares in the market.

The shifting of potential market opportunities from developed countries to developing ones has been one of the main global trends in the wood based panel market over the last few years, according to IndexBox.

While the economically mature markets of the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe are expected to have a modest pace of housing starts, the fastest-growing Asian countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam are expected to continue growth due to rising urbanization and disposable incomes. The other emerging economies, such as Russia, Brazil, and Eastern Europe appear to have potential of growth, but are restrained by lack of investments and the shrinking of consumer spending due to an economy slowdown.

The world economy is expected to experience fundamental changes, supported by decreasing oil prices, the slowdown of Chinese economy, and the deceleration of the world trade.

Production of wood-based panels reached 410M cubic meters in 2016, with an upward trend over the last seven years. This resulted into an increase of 45 percent from the outset level. In 2010, global wood-based panels overcame the pre-recession production level of 2007. In value terms, the production flattened at $161B in 2016 after a 7 percent drop recorded in the previous year; prior to that it increased robustly from 2010-2014.

China was the key world wood-based panels producing country with an output of about 204M thousand cubic meters in 2016, which accounted approx. for a half of total global output.

China (14.8M cubic meters in 2016) and Canada (8.4M cubic meters) were the main global suppliers of wood-based panels with a combined share of 27 percent of global exports. The U.S., Germany and Japan were the leading destinations of wood-based panels imports.


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Karl Forth

Karl D. Forth is online editor for CCI Media. He also writes news and feature stories in FDMC Magazine, in addition to newsletters and custom publishing projects. He is also involved in event organization, and compiles the annual FDM 300 list of industry leaders. He can be reached at [email protected]