26 June 2020


Brussels, 25 June 2020
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 activities 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 increase 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.milliontype m3. Hardboard is the smallest panel type with 491,000 m3 of production in 2019, which was down by 7.3% compared to 2018. All countries are EU28+EFTA.

Production (million m3) / 2019 /   2018 / 2019 v 2018
-Particleboard                     32.1 /   31.9  /       0,5%
-MDF                                    12.1 /   12.6  /      -3.7%
-OSB                                       6.7 /     6.8  /      -0.8% 
-Hardboard                           0.4 /     0.5  /      -7.3% 
-Softboard                            4.7 /      5.2 /       -8.6%
-Plywood                              3.0 /      3.2 /       -7.8%
Total WBP                          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 Edinburg Napier University.
• Wood Products and Wood-Based Panels (WBP) in construction by Mr. Franck Goecke, Director of AFRY Management Consulting.
• Russian end-use markets developments for WBP.
• 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 WBP Industry by Mr. PingHsun Huang, Secretary General of the Thai Panel Product Industry Club.
• Malaysian WBP – 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 of WBP? Advocacy Update 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 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 positive climate contribution that is the equivalent of 20% of all fossil emissions.
AGM 2021
In closing, EPF was delighted to announce that Berlin will be the location for the next EPF Annual General Meeting, from 9-11 June 202. EPF will be hosted by German member organization VHI, the WBP Federation. The EPF AGM will be combined with VHI’s celebration of the century of existence. The combined event will emphasise the positive contribution that the industry makes today, and will emphasise the need for continued European harmonization.

About EPF
The European Panel Federation, EPF, has members in 25 EU countries and represents the manufacturers of Particleboard, MDF, OSB, Hardboard, Softboard and Plywood. The EU WBP industry has a turnover of about 22 Billion Euro/year, create over 100,000 jobs directly and counts more than 5,000 enterprises in Europe.

For more information contact Mr Clive Pinnington, General Manager:
European Panel Federation (EPF)
24 Rue Montoyer
B-1000 Brussels, Belgium / Tel. +32 2 5562589 / E-mail: clive.pinnington@europanels.org