Global wood-based panel production increased 5.5% in 2014 over the previous year to reach 388 million m3. Asia Pacific accounts for more than half of the world’s production volume while China leads as the largest producer and consumer of wood-based panels.
Asia Pacific accounted for 62% of global production in 2014 (241 million m3), followed by Europe (78 million m3 or 20%), North America (46 million m3 or 12%), Latin America and Caribbean (20 million m3 or 5%) and Africa (3 million m3). Production in the Asia-Pacific region saw the fastest growth, increasing by 7% in 2014, while all other regions saw a moderate increase of 2-3% year-over-year.
The five largest producers of wood-based panels were China, the USA, Russian, Canada and Germany, accounting for 68% (263 million m3) of global production in 2014. China alone accounted for 49% of global production in 2014. Its production surged 75% from 109 million m3 in 2010 to 191 million m3 in 2014. Production in Russia and Canada increased by 25% over the period. In 2011, Russia overtook Germany to become the third-largest producer. In contrast, production remained quite stable in the USA and Germany over this period.
Europe and Asia-Pacific dominated international trade in wood-based panels, and together accounted for 77% of all imports and 83% of exports in 2014. Imports and exports in both of these regions have increased since 2010. In North America, wood-based panels exports surged 43% from 2010 to 2014 while imports increased 18% over the same period, but still well below the pre-recession level.
The five largest exporters were China, Canada, Germany, Malaysia and Thailand, exporting a combined total of 37 million m3 in 2014, equivalent to 45% of global exports. Exports from China, Canada and Thailand combined jumped by 49% over the period 2010-2014.
USA was the top importer in 2014 (with imports equal to 24% of consumption), followed by Germany, Japan, China and the UK. Together, these five countries imported 26 million m³, or 34% of all global imports in 2014.
Imports have increased in all of these countries since 2010. The growth in imports has been fastest in the USA, the UK, and China, whereas Germany and Japan remained stable in the last years.
The top four consumers of wood-based panels are the same as the four largest producers, suggesting that the products are mostly consumed domestically. The fifth-largest consumer is Japan, with consumption increasing from 9 million m³ in 2010 to 10 million m³ in 2014.
Source: UN FAO/ Edited by Panels & Furniture Asia