On the occasion of EPF’s Annual General Meeting in Venice on 7th & 8th July, and in the presence of MEP Simona Bonafè, MEP David Borrelli, Mr Carlo Mari Medaglia of the Italian Ministry of the Environment, captains of the European panel industry and their suppliers, the Chairman and President of the Composite Panel Association of North America and members of the trade press, Mr Clive Pinnington, EPF Managing Director presented an economic review of the wood-based panels industry in 2015. Figures were drawn from the recently published EPF Annual Report, an extensive compilation of industry statistics collected by the federation.
In 2015 particleboard production went up by 1.5% to 29.1 million m³ and is expected to continue this positive trend in 2016 with a further 1.1% growth. Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) production showed an even greater increase of 2.7% in 2015 rising to 11.8 million m3. Oriented Strand Board (OSB) production improved by 3.9% in 2015 and amounted to 5 million m3. Hardboard production went up by 9% and amounted to 616,000 m3 whereas softboard production showed an increase of 10%, reaching 4.4 million m3 in 2015.
All production figures for particleboard, MDF, OSB, hard and softboard relate to the EU28 and EFTA.
Plywood production increased by 1% in 2015 to 2.8 million m³ and is expected to rise by an additional 3.5% in 2016. Together these figures represent a growth of 3% in 2015 for the wood-based panels industry in terms of production volume:
The main producing EPF-countries of particleboard are Germany (19%), France (13%) and Poland (10%). In case of MDF they are Germany (30%), Poland (21%) and Italy (8%). Looking at OSB it’s again Germany (22%), Romania (20%) and Latvia as well as the Czech Republic (both 10%). With Plywood situation is different. Here the main producing countries are Finland (41%) followed by the Baltics (12%) and Spain (10%).
EPF reported that the industry is guardedly optimistic about the future, predicting stable to good outlooks in all markets. However the industry is greatly troubled by the increasingly critical status of wood availability, as measured by its own research (look at map).
Source: IHB, press release, 2016-07-29.