Recent situation of global plywood industry

Recent situation of global plywood industry

Housing starts in North America were lower than expected, with cheap imports and OSB having a negative impact on the plywood industry.

The industrial manufacturing of plywood, originated from the veneer technology of ancient China, Egypt and Greece, was launched at the world’s Fair held in Portland, Oregon (US) in 1905. The industry has enjoyed a strong sales era and experienced a cyclical downturn. The historical response of the plywood industry to adverse conditions is to invent new products, find new applications, and produce more efficiently.

Observers point out that plywood has at least 10000 uses and is constantly developing new applications. Veneer products are characterized by odd layers of veneer cross assembly, which can be manufactured by various species and technologies. This versatility makes plywood an ideal product for applications ranging from basic cladding and industrial components to highly engineered structural design.

In recent decades, North America is different from the rest of the world. Plywood production in North America (defined as Panama and the north, including the Caribbean, although Canada and the United States account for more than 99 per cent) peaked at 23.6 million m3 in 1987, then declined as the acceptance of low-cost OSB increased. In 1967, North America accounted for more than half of global production (56.3%), but by 2017 it had declined to 7.6%. However, significant growth in South America, Europe and China offset the decline in North America.

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