LEESBURG, VA - North American shipments of both composite panels and thermally fused melamine (TFM) were up to start the new year, according to the Composite Panel Association (CPA).

Composite panel shipments across all three categories in January were up 2.1% from the same period a year ago, rising from 444 MMSF (3/4” basis) to 454 MMSF.

MDF shipments were up 6.1% to 160 MMSF (3/4” basis) compared to 150 MMSF in January 2011. Hardboard shipments were up 5.2% to 214 MMSF (1/8” basis) from 203 MMSF a year ago, and particleboard shipments were down less than 1% at 258 MMSF (3/4” basis) compared with 260 MMSF in January 2011.

Shipments of TFM in January were 103 MMSF, up 10% compared to 93 MMSF last month and up 2% compared to January 2011. U,S. capacity utilization rates rose to 33.7% and Canadian rates increased to 45% last month. Monthly TFM shipments are extrapolated based on data from 67.2% of the U,S. industry and 79.2% of the Canadian industry.

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