In a meeting held today by videoconference with press contacts, associate members and collaborating institutes, EPF presented an economic review of the wood-based panels industry in 2019, drawn from the recently published EPF Annual Report 2019-2020. Advocacy activites were also discussed, and the dates and location for the AGM 2021 were announced.
Economic Review of the Wood-Based Panels industry in 2019
In 2019, the total production of European wood-based panels posted a dip of 1.8% after five consecutive years of growth, reaching a total of 59.2 million m³. Particleboard production increased by 0.5% to 32.1 million m³ thanks to capacity additions. MDF contracted by 3.7% to a total of 12.1 million m³ partly due to announced capacity closures. Oriented Strand Board (OSB), the third largest panel type by volume, declined by 0.8% to 6.8 million m³. Softboard is the next largest panel type. It decreased by 8.6% to reach 4.7 million m³ driven by announced capacity closures. Plywood production went down by 7.8% to 3 million m³. Hardboard is the smallest panel type with 491,000 m³ of production in 2019, which was down by 7.3% compared to 2018.
|Production (million m³)||Countries||2019||2018||2019 v 2018|
|Particleboard||EU28 + EFTA||32.1||31.9||0.5%|
|MDF||EU28 + EFTA||12.1||12.6||-3.7%|
|OSB||EU28 + EFTA||6.8||6.8||-0.8%|
|Hardboard||EU28 + EFTA||0.5||0.5||-7.3%|
|Softboard||EU28 + EFTA||4.7||5.2||-8.6%|
|Total Wood-Based Panels||59.2||60.3||-1.8%|
The special topics for the 2019-2020 issue of the Annual report are:
Future Two Billion Homes and Horizon Net-Zero Carbon: A turning point for pan-global increase in timber construction by Professor Sean Smith, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Construction at Edinburgh Napier University
- Wood Products and Wood-Based Panels (WBP) in Construction by Mr Frank Goecke, Director of AFRY Management Consulting
- Russian end-use markets developments for wood-based panels
- Plywood and Panel Industry in India – Current scenario by Dr. C.N. Pandey, Principal Technical Advisor of the Federation of Indian Plywood & Panel Industry
- Thailand’s Wood-Based Panels Industry by Mr PingHsun Huang, Secretary General of the Thai Panel Product Industry Club
- Malaysian Wood-Based Panels – A diversity of choice by Ms Agnes Seah, Regional Head of the Malaysian Timber Council Europe
- The European Green deal – A once in a lifetime opportunity for wood-based panels?
EPF presented its key advocacy activies, highlighting its consistent messages towards legislators in technical advocacy to retain the integrity of the Single Market, to promote European harmonisation (and to resist Member State fragmentation), and to ensure a level playing field for the benefit of European citizens.
EPF drew attention to its European Green Deal Advocacy, and the recently published leaflet which highlights EPF’s four calls to the European Institutions to:
- Secure the supply for wooden raw materials and guarantee a level playing field;
- Increase use of sustainable bio-based products and systems to fight climate change;
- Stimulate the cascading use of harvested wood products;
- Enable users to choose climate friendly raw materials.
Comment was also made about the recently published substitution study which highlights that European forest-based industries ecosystem today makes a postive climate contribution that is the equivalent of 20% of all EU fossil emissions.
In closing, EPF was delighted to announce that Berlin will be the location for the next EPF Annual General Meeting, from 9-11 June 2021. EPF will be hosted by German member organisation VHI, the German wood-based panels federation. The EPF AGM will be combined with VHI’s celebration of a century of existence. The combined event will emphasise the positive contribution that the industry makes today, and will emphasise the need for continued European harmonisation.