The global wood-based panel market is projected to witness tremendous growth over the forecast period, driven primarily by surge in new commercial and residential constructions in developed as well as developing countries.
Repair and renovation activities across the world have also had a positive impact on the market. Stringent rules and regulations implemented on deforestation activities has encouraged the need for efficient timber utilization, which in turn, is driving demand for wood-based panels.
These panels are of various types; they can be particle board, plywood (softwood and hardwood), fiberboard (MDF and hardboard), laminated veneer lumber (LVL), oriented strand board (OSB), block board, wafer board, and other composite structural panels.
Asia Pacific is a prominent market, primarily owing to rapid industrialization and increasing infrastructural activities in the region. Demand is also triggered by need for structural panels in the construction industry. The region is projected to exhibit a strong CAGR during the forecast period on account of increasing construction and infrastructural activities in countries such as China, India, and South Korea. Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, among others, are observing rapid growth in demand for Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) and particleboard panels, which can be attributed to increasing demand for high-quality furniture.
Countries such as U.S., Netherlands, Germany, and South Korea have been leading importers of wood-based panels, accounting for around half the global imports. China and Indonesia, on the other hand, were leading exporters of these products.
Increasing application in the manufacture of sidings, flooring and decking, and windows and doors in the construction sector is expected to impact market growth. Moreover, rising demand for furniture such as cabinets, shelves, cupboards, and desks is anticipated to drive this market. Wood-based panels are also used in the packaging industry for the manufacture of boxes, crates, and containers used in shipping and logistics.
Countries with maximum production and consumption are China and U.S. Demand in European countries is also projected to increase on account of favorable government policies. The European Commission has invested significant amounts in R&D activities to come up with processes that can ease production of wood-based panels. Manufacturing companies in Europe are opting for vertical integrations to establish control over their value chain.
Eastern Europe is projected to exhibit a high CAGR on account of rising production facilities in Russia and Turkey. Russia is expected to overtake Germany to become the largest particleboard market in Europe.
The European market has shown tremendous profitability on account of increased consumption in application sectors such as construction, furniture, and packaging. However, rising cost of inputs such as wood, resins, adhesives, and timber will have an adverse impact on panel makers across the region as it reduces their profit margins to a great extent.
Stringent disposal regulations and increasing raw material prices are expected to be the major restraining factors for the global wood-based panel market. According to EU, plywood generates around 300 kilo tons of waste, which is disposed into landfills every year. Plywood contains toxic resins and adhesives, which can seep through the soil and damage the environment. Therefore, the EU aims at reducing production of plywood and increasing production of other wood-based panels such as OSB and MDF.
Major product manufacturers across the world include Kronospan Worldwide, Weyerhaeuser, Georgia Pacific, Sierra Pacific, West Fraser Timber Company Limited, Canfor, Tolco Industries Limited, Hampton Affiliates, Resolute Forest Products, Interfor, Timber Products Company, Shanghai Jechen Group Company, Schweighofer, Stora Enso, Arauco, Sodra Timber, Klausner-Group, Pheifer Gruppe, Idaho Forest Group, Ante-Halz gmbH, Rettenmeier Group, Klenk Holz AG, and Linyi Guangsha Wood Industry Company Limited.
Noranda Forest Inc. (Canada), which is engaged in the production of OSB, entered into joint ventures and acquisitions to increase its production capacity, product portfolio, and expand into emerging markets. Mergers are also a key expansion tactic, mainly to increase market share and gain access to up and coming markets. For instance, Kronospan Ltd. (Austria) acquired Clarion Boards Inc. (U.S.), which manufactures MDF, high-density fiberboard, and laminated veneer lumber. This strategy was undertaken to enter the North American market and supplement the company’s European facilities.
Research Support Specialist, USA