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  September 13th, 2016 | Written by

EU Plywood Imports on the Increase

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  • EU plywood imports totaled $3.6 billion in 2015.
  • Germany and the UK accounted for 42 percent of EU plywood imports.
  • UK plywood imports increased 23 percent in 2015.

EU plywood imports are continuing to increase, according to a recent report from the market research firm Index Box.

The EU import leaders, Germany and the UK, have seen a significant rise in plywood imports as a result of the expansion of the construction and furniture sectors in 2015, the report noted. The market share for exporters to the EU amounts to over one-third of total consumption, and it is continuing to increase.

Total EU plywood imports increased steadily over the last three years, amounting to $3.6 billion in 2015. Germany, at 22 percent, and the UK, at 20 percent of the total EU market, were the largest plywood importing member states. These countries are also key countries within the global plywood market. Germany currently ranks third in terms of global plywood imports and the UK is in fourth place.

While Germany has moderately stepped up its imports, the UK showed a record increase of 23 percent in 2015, against the previous year. Forty-six percent of this increase came from China, and nine percent by Brazil, both key suppliers of plywood to the UK

Most of the trade in plywood remains among EU member states in recent years. But imports from outside of the EU currently comprise around 47 percent of total imports, reaching $1.7 billion in 2015.

From 2010 to 2014, extra-EU imports as a share of total consumption amounted to less than one-third of the total. In 2015, this increased by four percent, reaching 34 percent. Rising supplies from China, Brazil and Malaysia, which rank among the leaders in terms of extra-EU plywood imports, are increasing competition for EU plywood manufacturers, according to the report.

“The EU represents a promising market for foreign suppliers,” the report concluded. “The expansion of the construction sector and furniture industry have heightened demand for plywood. In 2016, the total construction volume is set to increase by over two percent, with the highest rate of growth being forecast in Central and Eastern Europe.” Improved disposable income, low interest rates, and investment plans from the European Commission, are all expected to drive the modest overall investment growth in construction.

“EU plywood imports are projected to maintain the current growth trend,” the report said, “and the market as a whole is set to expand. At the same time, the fervent trade intensity is increasing market competition, resulting in additional pressure on local manufacturers, driving down prices for plywood-based products.”