Overcapacity hinders Particleboard industry in Europe

Austrian company Egger has published its outlook on the industry quoted by Holzkurier. According to Dr. Thomas Leissing there is worldwide growth except for Europe. Though in Northern Europe and Germany, a slightly positive economic trend is expected, and the same goes for Russia, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

In Eastern Europe, the particle board industry can grow only by squeezing out competitors, Leissing supposes, yet there is potential in the OSB sector. In Turkey, experts expect the housing market to stabilize on a high level. Further decline in expected in Southern and Western Europe in terms of construction this year.

Laminated particleboard and MDF

With laminated particleboard(melamine particleboard), Egger was able to achieve volume growth in the past year, especially in Eastern Europe with Russia and Turkey as key markets.

As to laminate floors, current overcapacity brings prices down. “Until 2007, the laminate flooring market has grown considerably. But in recent years, demand in Europe has stagnated”, says Leissing.

The particleboard capacity in Europe held stable in recent years, amounting to almost 40 million m3 in 2012, according to data from the European Panel Federation. But production remained below 30 million m3. “We have an extremely large difference between supply and demand”, says Ulrich Bühler, Head of Marketing. Things are similar with MDF: 15 million m3 could have been produced in Europe last year. But not even 11 million m3 actually came off the production lines.

Consolidation within the European particleboard and MDF industry is poised to pick up speed again in the coming months after a brief period of calm, EUWID Wood Products says. Eastern Europe and Turkey, markets that had fared better than Western Europe last year, have seen a significant slump. The Russian particleboard market has seen a reversal in fortunes. After a long period of supply shortages last year, demand has fallen since the start of 2013 for economic reasons, helping to improve availability considerably. Particleboard and MDF/HDF manufacturers faced a slowdown in sales in Poland, too. At the same time, import pressure from neighbouring markets has increased.

Log and lumber trade overview

After a decline in log and lumber imports into China in 2012 and early 2013, the country came back with over a 30% increase year-on-year in 2Q 2013, as reported in the Wood Resource Quarterly. The total value of imported softwood logs and lumber was over $2.2 billion. The higher demand for wood products comes as house-building activities have increased in the first half of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. Year-over-year, investments were up 13% in residential construction and 23% up in commercial construction, according to recently published official Chinese statistics.

Any inquiry upon plain and melamine particleboard or MDF please contact our export department.