Plywood and particleboard players are losing market share to MDF, HDF and WPC (Wood Plastic Composite) boards. These products are finding wider acceptance in the more sophisticated urban markets, especially pre-laminated particleboard and MDF panels as they are perceived as elegant and cheaper than plywood.
WPC boards are gaining popularity as they are strong and water resistant, and can be manufactured from a wide range of residues. WPC boards are not only cheaper than conventional panels but are suitable for a wide range of end-uses.
Plywood and particleboard manufacturers have been slow to embrace overlay lamination. Furthermore, rising prices for logs and process chemicals, as well as shortage of labour have caused problems for plywood and particleboard industries.
As a result new enterprises have sprung up to buy raw boards from the manufacturers and apply laminates. Today, many board manufacturers have invested in laminating and to sell ready-to-use panels to furniture and flush door manufacturers. Board manufacturers without laminating capacity will face fierce competition.