As would be expected, as the depressing economy continues in North America, there is little to report from that region (US, Canada and Mexico) and certainly no new particleboard capacity planned.
There were, however, a number of particleboard factories changed ownership last year and some closed. In the former EU15 countries in western Europe, the story is similar but with the exception of Swedspan, which supplies all its particleboard production to particleboard furniture manufacturer IKEA.
Wood Based Panels International magazine (WBPI) is famous for its knowlege of world-wie factory producing OSB, MDF and particleboard panels. Particleboard lists are published in two parts on the same basis as MDF, with Part 1 in the October/November issue and Part 2 in the December/January issue. This title combines the listings for MDF into one document. Not only do these surveys provide an invaluable source of information about the mills’ locations and annual capacities, but they also include deep analysis of the particleboard markets.
In terms of trade, European particleboard increased in 2010 with imports rising 14% and exports by 8.5%. Despite a slight decline in output Germany remained the largest producer in Europe last year.
Total capacity figure for the industry in 2010 in the ‘Rest of the world’ shows a very slight increase of 43,000m3 over the 2009 capacity of 30,391m3, to 30,434m3. There are estimated to be a total of over 280 particleboard manufacturers in China – a figure which it is difficult to verify as the most of them produce less than 100,000m3 anually.