Global Wood Based Panel Market to Benefit from Increasing Demand in Asia and the U.S.

Wood-Based Panels November 23, 2017
Author: Anna Sergeeva
Market Analyst

wood based panel market

Ongoing urbanization in Asia, combined with rising household income and an increase in the construction of new housing in the U.S., will continue to drive the global market for wood based panels.

Demand for Wood-Based Panels Is on the Rise

According to market research conducted by IndexBox, the global wood-based panel market earned total revenues of $161.9 in 2016 in wholesale prices. This figure reflects the total revenue of producers and importers excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price. In physical terms, the wood-based panel market expanded to 408M cubic meters in 2016. After a slight reduction from 2008 to 2009, the market grew steadily through to 2016, however, the pace of growth decelerated over the last three years.

Wood–based panels are a kind of building materials obtained from wood residues by pressuring with resins. They vary by type of the product and raw material used: veneer sheets, plywood, particle board, and fibreboard are all wood-based panels of different properties and uses. Generally, construction and furniture manufacturing constitute the key downstream industries for wood-based panels. The construction sector, however, remains the key impetus for the growth of the wood-based panel market, as rising construction not only drives consumption of wood-based panels, but also promotes demand for furniture as well.

The major consuming markets for wood-based panels are China (192M cubic meters in 2016), followed somewhat behind by the U.S. (45M cubic meters), Germany (12M cubic meters), Russia (11M cubic meters), Poland (10M cubic meters), Turkey (9M cubic meters), Japan (9M cubic meters), Canada (9M cubic meters), and Brazil (8M cubic meters), together accounting for approximately 75% of global consumption.

China’s Market

China was also the country with the highest annual rates of growth in terms of wood-based panel consumption, which amounted to +10.9% from 2007 to 2016. Thus, China strengthened its share in terms of global consumption from 26% in 2007 to 47% in 2016. Per capita wood-based panel consumption in China was estimated at 140 cubic meter/1,000, much higher than the global average (55 cubic meters/1,000). This figure has grown rapidly, against 56 cubic meters/1,000 in 2007, thanks to the high rates of economic and construction growth.

However, China’s construction growth is forecast to decelerate, with a sharp fall in housing prices and the first ever plunge in housing output. Despite this, new Chinese construction projects in terms of healthcare, education and social infrastructure, retail and other consumer end-markets are forecast to record significant potential for growth, due to a shift towards a consumer-and-services driven economy; the abolition of the one-child policy in China is also a factor. The new Five-Year Plan includes provisions to increase the supply of apartments for low-income families, improve both intracity and inter-city transportation infrastructure, and construct new industrial parks for economic development.

Moreover, under the National New Urbanisation Plan (2014-2020), China is already committed to increasing the number of “green buildings” from the current figure of 2% of new buildings, to 50% of all new construction by 2020. Achieving this enormous increase will require upgrades in terms of building materials and building codes, particularly for better insulation materials—this will provide new market opportunities for enterprises in the currently depressed construction materials sector. Particularly, producers of wood based panels should also benefit, as wood residues subject to deeper utilization, thereby enhancing the raw material base and an advance in the manufacturing technologies.

The Asian-Pacific region, therefore, led by China, is a major consumer of wood-based panels, with huge potential for growth. Industrial, residential, and infrastructural construction will each contribute to the expected market expansion. Practically all Asian countries are forecast to increase their budgets for infrastructure over the next five years.

The U.S. Market

The U.S. constitutes a second major market for wood-based panels. Average U.S. per capita consumption figures matched those recorded in China; total consumption, however, remains at a figure fourfold lower than the Chinese figure. Over the past eight year period, this has also declined slightly. The U.S. was also the largest importer of wood-based panels, securing its consumption of import supplies by 28%. Overall, driven by the current economic recovery, the construction and household sectors in the U.S. are expected to grow in the medium term. Strong employment is one of the main drivers that may lead to new income growth, providing a solid base for consumer spending. Another motive is credit availability, which creates spending for end-use products, residential housing, and non-residential construction, that in turn will influence growth in terms of demand for wood-based panels.

The EU Market

On the EU wood-based panel market, Germany and Poland (approx. 3% of the total market, each) appear as the leaders in terms of the volume of consumption. The average per capita consumption figures here exceeded both the global average figure and the indicators of the leaders mentioned above. In Poland (256 cubic meters per 1,000), per capita consumption was the highest in terms of the top 10 consumer countries and in Germany this figure stood at 150 cubic meters per 1,000.

The EU construction market has been experiencing a recovery over the 2015-2016 period, and, according to projections, this growth is set to continue. This, however, is restricted by insufficient investment in the construction sector in a number of countries, as well as by limited loan and state subsidy provision. Despite the positive projections for the construction sector, a number of problems, particularly issues around Brexit, political instability in some EU countries and economical tensions with Russia, remain sufficiently relevant as to potentially affect growth.

Global Outlook

Taking into consideration the aforementioned factors, the trend pattern for the wood-based panel market for the medium term appears optimistic. Following increasing urbanization in Asia and the growth in new housing construction projects in the U.S., the performance of the market is anticipated to slightly accelerate, with a CAGR of +1.8% for the ten-year period from 2015 to 2025. This is expected to drive the market volume to 467 million cubic meters by 2025.

Despite the economic recovery being seen in most of the leading consumer countries and the projected increase in global demand from the construction sector, China and the U.S. will continue to retain market dominance in the immediate term; both countries not only boast robust consumption of wood-based panels, they are also the major producers. In addition, China is set to remain a major exporter of wood-based panels, while the U.S. constitutes an extremely attractive destination for wood-based panel suppliers, as it imports a significant volume of wood-based panels to quell the increasing needs of the domestic market.

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Source: World: Wood Based Panels – Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2025