Wood Panels in the last few years have gained mileage as preferred materials used for decorative purposes in claddings, floorings, roof sheathing, internal linings, ceilings and construction purposes.
Diverse types of wood based panels are accessible for interior and exterior treatments. Wood panels find extensive application in the construction sector, which accounts for over 60% of consumption. Use of panels in cabinets, doors and windows witnessed robust growth until 2008. However, slowdown in construction activity and challenging economic conditions, particularly in the US and Europe tempered growth in the industry. The demand for OSB (Oriented Strand Board) is witnessing an upward inclining growth curve, the world over. Its acceptance in various industries as an effective substitute for plywood has managed to gain ground in the places that plywood lost out. As the usage of wood composites, particularly Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF) increases, the resins and adhesives market is also bound to grow. Product developments, hand in hand with the technological advancements, have played a major role in increasing popularity for MDF. Engineered wood products are widely in demand in the market owing to easy installation and low cost. These are produced from small-diameter trees, low-grade fiber and rarely used tree species and hence can carry out comparatively superior functions than lumber alone.
A wide range of economic, technical and biological factors influences supply of wood and wood-based products. Prominent among these include changes to natural forest management regimes, forest changes, and afforestation rates. Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) practices have resulted in a gradual change in natural forest management objectives. The forest product industry has witnessed a shift in emphasis from management of forests for timber production, towards initiatives that tend to balance timber production with ecological and social sustainability. The wood and wood-based products industry is constantly updating technology in response to changes in resource availability and in pursuit of new markets and higher profitability. Advanced technology enables an increase in types and quality of woods, which can be processed into useful products, thus increasing the volume and variety of raw material resources.
The global market for wood panels witnessed heavy declines in terms of consumption during the years 2008 and 2009 on account of the worldwide economic crisis having a sobering effect on the major end-use markets. The North American market for wood panels followed the likes of the global market featuring the largest decline in 2009, a steeper fall from the previous year’s decrease. However, the residential repair and remodeling sector remained strong despite recession as consumers chose to repair their homes over the costlier option of buying a new house. During the year 2009, about 15 sawmills were shut down in North America alone, resulting in a net capacity loss of about 2.2 million cubic meters. The global economic slowdown also resulted in a decline in particleboard prices over the past two years, which fell by 16% in 2009 as compared to 2008.
Even as the global market resumed growth in 2010, in line with recovering world economies, rising imports from China emerged as an additional reason to worry. Wood products market worldwide also faced competition from the biomass industry in raw wood procurement. While the aggregate market for wood panels is poised for slow growth over the review period, few product segments are fast gaining in popularity and are forecast to witness high growth rates.
Europe clearly dominates the scenario as the single largest regional market in terms of consumption, as stated by the new research report on Wood Panels. The US and Asia region comprise the other major consumers of wood panels, the three capturing a substantial consolidated share of the world market. In terms of fastest growth potential, China is forecast to race ahead at the overall highest CAGR of 3.8% through 2015. In terms of products, Particleboard, inclusive of Oriented Strand Board (OSB), constitutes the largest market for wood panels. The other segment, Medium Density Fiberboard offers highest growth opportunity over the analysis period.
Key participants profiled in the report include Ainsworth Lumber Company, Boise Cascade Company, Canfor Corporation, Duratex SA, The Egger Group, Fletcher Building Ltd, Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Groupe Gascogne, J.M. Huber Corporation, Kronospan Holdings Ltd, Louisiana-Pacific Corporation, Masonite International Corp, Norbord Industries Inc., Pfleiderer AG, Potlatch Corporation, Rougier SA, Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget, Temple-Inland Inc., Tableros De Fibras, S.A., UPM- Kymmene Corporation, West Fraser Timberland Inc., and Weyerhaeuser Company
The research report titled “Wood Panels: A Global Strategic Business Report” announced by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., provides a comprehensive review of current market trends and issues, product and end-use analysis, technological developments, regulatory environment, product introductions, recent industry activity and profiles of market players worldwide. Analysis and overview is provided for major geographic markets such as US, Canada, Japan, Europe, China, Rest of Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Rest of World. Market analytics are provided in terms of consumption in volume (cubic meters) for product segments including Particleboard (Including Oriented Strand Board), Plywood, Medium Density Fiberboard and Other Wood Panel Markets. The study also presents historic data for an insight into market evolution over the period 2001 through 2006.