Prices for MDF in the U.S. continue to shoot up amid a shortage of the product and the high demand from the furniture industry. Other factors that led to the jump in prices include the high cost of woody materials and resins for manufacturing MDF as well as increasing container freight rates. Strong demand for the product has led to a spike in imports to the U.S.. High prices for MDF negatively affect furniture sales, which have been decreasing in recent months due to a slowdown in the construction boom noted at the first half of the year. The fall in demand for furniture, coupled with the beginning of a decline in the cost of wood raw materials should lead to a decrease in prices for MDF in the coming months.
In 2020, American plywood imports grew by +15% y-o-y to 5.4M or by +7.7% to $2.9B in value terms, reaching a record level over the past decade. Viet Nam, Brazil and Canada constitute the major plywood suppliers to the U.S., with a combined 41%-share of the total imports. Last year, Cambodia, Indonesia, Brazil, Viet Nam, Chile, Canada and Russia saw the most rapid increases in plywood exports to the U.S. In 2020, the average plywood import price in America dropped by -6.7% against the figures of 2019.
Last year, the American particle board imports grew by +13.2% y-o-y to 6.1M cubic meters or $2.1B in value terms due to an intensive housing building. Canada remains the prime particle board supplier to the U.S., boosting its exports by +44% y-o-y to $1.9B. The volume of supplies from Brazil to the U.S. has risen even more sharply by +69%. Average prices for imported particle board also indicates tangible growth.
Global hardboard exports increased by +1.1% y-o-y to 3.6M cubic meters last year. Germany heads the list of the largest hardboard exporters worldwide, supplying 45% of its export volume to the U.S., France and Poland. In 2020, Brazil, Thailand, Romania, Turkey, Spain, Belgium and Canada recorded the most prominent export growth.
American OSB imports shot up due to the construction boom that has been seen in the country. The unprecedented demand for wood products leads to record hikes in prices that are relevant not only for OSB but the entire wood industry. Canada is the only major supplier of OSB to the U.S., holding approx. 30% share in the market. Canadian producers thus thrive from the American construction boom.
The U.S. reconstituted wood product market is estimated at approx. $12B. Over May-June 2020, the production and imports recovered from the lockdown-related drop and continued to grow. It is driven by rapidly growing suburban construction and the related need to equip homes with furniture. Should the pandemic wane in 2021, the market is to continue measured growth.
In May 2020, the MDF production began to grow rapidly and exceeded its pre-crisis level in July 2020. This was also relevant for the manufacture of furniture, which is the key downstream industry for the MDF market. If the country will return to pandemic-free life in 2021, Turkey's real GDP is projected to grow by about 3% per annum in the medium term, which is to create a positive background for future MDF growth. Increasing exports to countries with rising demand for MDF, e.g., the U.S., may potentially become an additional driver for the Turkish MDF industry.
The global mdf market declined slightly to $45.9B in 2019, which is down by -4.8% against the previous year. This...