CLEVELAND, OH – Demand for wood panels in the United States is expected to decline slightly more than 1% per year through 2010 to 60.8 billion square feet (3/8-inch basis), according to a new report released by The Freedonia Group.

According to the study, prospects for wood panels will be restrained by a softening in the single-family housing market from its 2005 level, when low mortgage interest rates helped to push the number of housing starts to the highest level in more than two decades. Weakness in new housing will adversely affect wood panel demand in construction applications such as roof sheathing, wall sheathing and floor underlayment. Another restraining factor for wood panel use will be continuing competition from alternative materials such as plastics.

Freedonia sees demand for nonstructural wood panels to increase by 0.5% per year through 2010 to 24.4 billion square feet. "Among the various nonstructural panel products, hardwood plywood and medium density fiberboard will enjoy the best opportunities through 2010. Each product will benefit from demand in the furniture market. Although shipments of wood furniture from the U.S. are expected to decline, production from U.S. producers will increasingly be focused on products tailored to higher-end markets, which will benefit hardwood plywood and MDF at the expense of particleboard," the study concludes.

The complete 367-page report, "Wood Panels," is available for $4,400. For further details, contact Corinne Gangloff at (440) 684-9600 or click here.


U.S. Wood Panels Demand

(billion square feet – 3/8-inch basis)

                                    2000    2005    2010

Structural Panels           33.5     40.3     36.4

Nonstructural Panels*   22.8     23.8     24.4    

Total Demand               56.3     64.1     60.8


*Nonstructural panels include MDF, particleboard and hardwood plywood.


Source: The Freedonia Group


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