Global Demand for Plywood and OSB increasing
A positive global economic outlook will drive the demand for plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) over the five years from 2011 to 2015, according to BIS Shrapnel.?
BIS Shrapnel’s Plywood and Oriented Strand Board in the Pacific Rim and Europe, 2011 — 2015 report forecasts strong growth in the production and consumption of plywood and OSB as the global economic upturn strengthens.
The economic upturn will be driven by housing construction, furniture manufacturing and other sectors where plywood and OSB are used. BIS Shrapnel says housing construction in the United States is now in the early stages of an upturn and is expected to strengthen considerably from 2011 to 2015.
“Stronger growth in housing construction and economic growth in the United States will be supported by growth in the ‘emerging markets’ of Asia and South America, which will have a positive impact on Europe and Australasia,” says report author and BIS Shrapnel Forestry director and senior manager, Bernie Neufeld.
Rapid change in plywood and OSB markets over past decade
There has been a shift of plywood production from traditional sources such as South Asia, North America and Europe to China, according to Neufeld.
“There has also been a shift of production and consumption of OSB as a cost effective substitute for plywood, from North America to Europe and South America. Over the forecast period China, Eastern European countries and Russia will emerge as significant OSB producing regions, which will have a major impact on the dynamics of the market,” he said.
“In the past decade there has been massive substitution of less expensive and more resource efficient OSB in place of plywood, especially for sheathing in housing construction in North America,” says Neufeld.
“It is unfortunate that many of the OSB facilities in North America were closed as a result of the housing downturn.
This would not have happened if producers had aggressively developed export markets as a hedge to downturns in North America. Over the next five years producers will need to be more aware of global developments as the closed facilities are brought back into production.”
Looking forward
BIS Shrapnel Forestry is forecasting global consumption of plywood to grow at an average rate of about five per cent per year, and OSB at eleven per cent over the five year forecast period.
The key plywood importing regions are North America (mainly United States and Mexico), Europe and Australasia. Although Japan and South Korea are net importing countries, China is a major exporter, and North Asia as a region is a net exporter.
The increased production of softwood radiata pine plywood in South America and Australasia will have a positive impact on future supply to importing regions.
                                                                                         Source: bpn.com.au

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