Building Boards to 2017

Published: April 2013
No. of Pages: 348

This study analyzes the US building boards industry. It presents historical demand data for the years 2002, 2007, and 2012, and forecasts for 2017 and 2022 by product (e.g., hardwood plywood, MDF, particleboard, softwood plywood), market (construction, manufacturing), application (e.g., cabinets, engineered wood products, furniture and fixtures, material handling equipment, roofing, subflooring, wall sheathing), and region. The study also considers market environment factors, details industry structure, evaluates company market share, and profiles industry players.

US building board demand to rise over 7% annually through 2017

Demand for building boards in the US is forecast to grow more than seven percent annually through 2017 to over 50 billion square feet, as measured on a 3/8 inch basis. Residential construction markets account for over four-fifths of building board demand, so increased construction activity due to the expected housing market rebound will spark gains for building boards. In particular, the housing market recovery will drive growth in demand for building boards in flooring and wall sheathing applications. Rising residential improvement and repair activity will also contribute to building board demand, though to a lesser extent than gains in the new residential market.

In manufacturing applications, building board demand gains are not projected to be as strong as those in construction applications. However, demand in this market will benefit from growth in domestic manufacturing activity as compared to the 2007-2012 period. Among the manufacturing markets, furniture and fixtures and engineered wood products are expected to post the fastest gains in building board demand. Demand in furniture and fixture applications will benefit from heightened wood furniture shipments, which are forecast to increase nearly five percent annually through 2017. Engineered wood products, such as I-joists, will also register increased demand due to the expected housing market recovery, thus raising demand for building boards used in their manufacture.

OSB to outpace softwood plywood structural boards

Of all of the board products, softwood plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) account for the largest portion of demand. Both products are structural boards, meaning they are approved for use in structural applications such as floor and wall sheathing. Through 2017, OSB is forecast to see much more rapid gains in demand than those in softwood plywood. In 1992, OSB was certified by all model building codes in the US to perform as well as softwood plywood on a thickness by- thickness basis. Since that time, OSB has increasingly gained market share from softwood plywood in construction markets, as it offers the same performance characteristics but at a lower price point. This trend is expected to continue through 2017.

Insulation board, particleboard to pace nonstructural board products

Nonstructural board products include particleboard, medium density fiberboard (MDF), hardwood plywood, hardboard, insulation board, and other fiberboard products. Through 2017, rapid growth is expected in insulation board products, as these products are used frequently in roof and wall sheathing applications and will benefit from the expected housing market recovery. However, insulation board is projected to continue to account for only a small portion of overall nonstructural board demand through 2017. Particleboard is also forecast to exhibit strong demand gains through 2017. Utilized frequently in manufacturing applications including furniture and fixtures and transportation equipment, particleboard demand will benefit from the expected rise in general manufacturing activity.

Company Profiles

Company Profiles for 28 competitors in the US industry such as Georgia-Pacific (Koch Industries), Louisiana-Pacific, International Paper, Norbord, Roseburg Forest Products, and Weyerhaeuser

Additional Information

This study examines the US market for building boards, including structural boards (oriented strand board and softwood plywood) and nonstructural boards (hardboard, hardwood plywood, insulation board, medium density fiberboard, particleboard, and other fiberboard). Markets for these products encompass a wide range of construction uses (e.g., roofing, wall sheathing, flooring, siding, cabinets), as well as various manufacturing applications (e.g., furniture and fixtures, engineered wood products, transportation equipment, material handling products). In addition to providing building board demand by product type and market, the study also discusses demand by US region.

Historical data for 2002, 2007, and 2012 and forecasts to the years 2017 and 2012 are provided for building board shipments and demand in square feet and current dollars. Data in square feet are actually volumetric measurements, since the various types of building boards are each associated with a standard thickness. These standard thicknesses (as most commonly accepted within the industry) are 1/8 inch for hardboard; 3/8 inch for oriented strand board and softwood plywood; 1/2 inch for insulation board and other fiberboard; and 3/4 inch for particleboard, hardwood plywood, and medium density fiberboard. Data for each board type are provided in terms of that product’s standard thickness. In order to improve the comparability of building board demand in volume terms across different board types, data are converted to a 3/8 inch basis. These measures are used in the market and regional sections, as well as for product aggregations in the product sections. Unless another thickness is specified, square feet measurements in the study are on a 3/8 inch basis.

Some of the components in the tables may not add to the totals because of rounding. The term “demand” -- used interchangeably with “market,” “sales,” and “consumption -- is defined as all shipments from US plants, plus imports, minus exports. In addition to providing a market outlook, the study also identifies and profiles the major industry participants and discusses key strategic competitive variables.

Throughout the study, demand is related to various indicators in the tables (e.g., gross domestic product, construction expenditures). The macroeconomic indicators used in this study were obtained from The Freedonia Group Consensus Forecasts dated February 2013. Because of the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ use of chain-weighted prices indexes, inflation-adjusted Gross Domestic Product components (2005 dollars) do not necessarily add to the total.

Published By: Freedonia Group
Product Code: Freedonia Group215

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