European OSB production approaches 2007 production peak in 2013 at 3.7 million m3, up 6% year-over-year; particleboard production drops 1.5% to 28.4 million m3, MDF output grows 2.1% to 11.2 million m3: European Panel Federation

BRUSSELS , July 14, 2014 (press release) – Addressing the Open Part of the General Assembly on Friday 20 June, the President, Mr Ladislaus Döry, reported that the European particleboard production in the EPF member countries shrank further last year though to a lesser extent than in 2012, by 1.5% compared to -5.5% in 2012. Output amounted to 28.4 million m³. This production level thus remains far below the output peak of 37.8 million m³ observed in 2007. The expectations for this year are stable to slightly positive. The rise in production in the EU-EFTA area as a whole is estimated at +1.5% for 2014, resulting in a particleboard production slightly below 29 million m³.

Following a significant drop by 6% in 2012, MDF production in Europe upturned by 2.1% in 2013 reaching 11.2 million m³, excluding Turkish and Russian production. However, this production level remains significantly lower than the peak of 13.3 million m³ in 2007. With a stable output of about 3.5 million m3. In 2013, MDF consumption in Europe remained quite flat and exceeded 10.2 million m³.

The European production of OSB rose significantly by 6% in 2013 and exceeded 3.7 million m³. This level is now approaching the production peak of 2007. Germany and Romania have the largest European OSB production capacities.

In 2013, the production of hardboard in Europe decreased by 5% compared to 2012, reaching almost 675,000 m3 excluding Russia. 92% of sales went towards EU28, EFTA, Russia, Turkey and the Balkans. Following a slight increase by 2% in 2012, the European production of softboard, including Norway and Switzerland, gained momentum in 2013 and grew by 8% exceeding the 4 million m3 threshold. Rigid board accounted for 68% of the output and flexboard for 32%. 96% of the sales went towards EU28, EFTA, Russia, Turkey and the Balkans.

President Döry concluded that the general economic situation in Europe has started to improve, though very slowly and with many uncertainties. Consumers’ confidence and other indicators point to a certain optimism although signs of sustained growth are still missing. The wood-based panel industry is still struggling to get out of the economic downturn and proofed already successful for OSB and softboard as well as for MDF though to a lesser extent. On the contrary, particleboard and, especially, hardboard have yet to upturn. Mr Döry added that, after many years of intense lobbying actions, the years 2013 and 2014 can certainly be remembered as the years of important achievements. First of all, the European Institutions have recognised the important role of wooden products for climate change. With this Decision the EU Commission invites “Member States to provide incentives for the use of harvested wood products with long life cycles” as well as to take measures to increase the pool of harvested wood products.

Regretfully, the sector continues to face significant challenges such as the limited availability of wood, and also some recent EU developments which are not supportive of the industry’s recovery such as the final draft of the Wood-Based Panel Best available techniques REFerence document (WBP BREF) or the DG CLIMA’s draft proposal to remove the wood-based panels sector (NACE 16.21) from the list of sectors deemed at risk of carbon leakage within the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). This will keep the federation and its members busy for the next months and years to come.

Additionally, Mr Alastair Kerr, Chairman of EPF’s Raw Materials Task Force, explained that EPF also has a proactive work plan. Indeed, EPF in collaboration with EOS and CEI-Bois will organise the Brussels ‘Wood Action Days’ on 22-24 September and co-ordinate the pan-European Wood Action Week throughout Europe during the first week of October 2014. The aim is to inform new Members of Parliaments on the woodworking industries and on the opportunities and challenges for our sector. He invited all members to participate very actively.

Furthermore, Mrs Alessandra Tracogna of CSIL provided an overview of the European Furniture Sector, Mr Lieven Tarras presented the ‘Clean Energy Technology’ vision by main sponsor Vyncke and Mr Frederic Bulcaen explained the ‘Happy dedusters, passionate pneumatic conveyors’ from the 2nd main sponsor Typhoon.

During the internal meetings, the members enjoyed enlightening presentations by Mr Wolfgang Gutting of BASF (representing Formacare) on Trends and forecasts on the glue market, and impacts on the wood-based panels sector and by Mr Kelly Shotbolt, Chairman of the Composite Panel Association and CEO of Flakeboard, on the economic, regulatory and public opinion issues affecting the North American wood-based panels producers, as well as by Mr Alastair Kerr of WPIF on the actual situation of the UK bioenergy production and the challenges it represents for the wood-based panel sector. To conclude, Mr Döry expressed its gratitude to Fedustria, the Belgian Member Association, and his member companies Unilin, Spanolux and Norbord and their respective teams for as well as all their sponsors for the excellent organisation of this year’s Annual General Meeting in the wonderfully beautiful and cozy medieval city of Bruges. All venues were great choices and the organisation was very smooth resulting in many positive reactions from the attendees.

Decisions of the General Assembly

The most important decisions taken by the EPF General Assembly that took place on 19 June are the following:

1. The General Assembly re-elected Mr Ladislaus Döry as Acting President with unanimity. A nomination committee within the Managing Board has agreed to join forces to look for a future successor to Mr Döry.

2. The General Assembly unanimously agreed the following statutory nominations:

Acting President: Mr Ladislaus Döry

Managing Board members:

• Mr Martin Brettenthaler, Pavatex
• Mr Ulrich Bühler, Egger
• Mr Rui Correia, Sonae Indústria
• Dr. Paolo Fantoni, Fantoni
• Mr Henning Jensen, Novopan Træindustri
 • Mr Maciej Karnicki, Swiss Krono Group
• Mr Andrew Macdonald, Coillte Panel Products
• Mr Stefano Saviola, Saviola Group
• Dr. Erlfried Taurer, FunderMax
• Mr Bernard Thiers, Unilin
• Mr Michael Wolff, Pfleiderer

Secretary General: Mr Kris Wijnendaele

3. The General Assembly unanimously welcomed the application for associated membership of the company Perten Instruments AB from Sweden. This company offers quick formaldehyde emission measurement equipment for laboratory use as well as for online use in the production line.

9th Wood Based Panel Symposium form 8 to 10 October 2014 in Hanover, Germany

EPF and the Fraunhofer-WKI Institute for Wood Research are proud to invite you to the 9th edition of the European Wood-Based Panels Symposium that will take place on 8-10 October in Hanover. As usual, the Symposium is intended to serve as a forum for the industry and supplying industries to discuss and exchange experiences on technological and environmental innovations and challenges.

Scope

This symposium traditionally brings together leaders in technology development and transfer and manufacturers of equipment and products with the panel industry. It is our intention that it provides a platform where competitors become partners in finding solutions that are of a common interest to all of us. In that, we wish you success.

Programme

The Symposium will include about 20 key-note papers and technical presentations. Additional, a social programme will offer a forum for the exchange of ideas and know-how in a pleasant atmosphere. The oral presentations will be translated simultaneously into English, French and German.

Location

The Symposium venue will be the MARITIM Airport Hotel. This hotel is located opposite the Hanover

Airport. The tube station, connecting the airport and the central station of the city of Hanover, is just 50 meters away.

The complete Symposium programme is available at:

http://www.wki.fraunhofer.de/en/events/9ewbps_programme.html

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