The U.S. and Iran Are the Largest Importers of MDF

Wood-Based Panels April 28, 2018
Author: Sergey Avramenko
Head of Global Markets Research Team

IndexBox has just published a new report "World: MDF - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2025". Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

MDF Consumption in the World Has Increased Steadily, Reaching 96.4 Million Cubic Meters 

Global MDF market amounted to 96.4 million cubic meters in 2016, posting solid gains over the last ten years. In value terms, the market stood at 38.5 billion USD, which was approx. at the level of 2015. After a decline by 10% in 2009, the market recorded a robust upward trend over the next five years, until it dropped slightly in 2015 and then flattened. 

China Accounts for Approximately 57% of Global MDF Consumption 

China was the country with the highest volume of consumption (55.2 million cubic meters) in the world. The other countries lagged far behind: Turkey (4.7 million cubic meters), the U.S. (4.2 million cubic meters), Brazil (3.8 million cubic meters) and Poland (3.1 million cubic meters); all these countries, together with China, comprised near 74% of global consumption. 

The highest average annual growth rates of MDF consumption from 2007 to 2016 were recorded in Turkey, with +11.5% growth, and China, with +9.7%. Consequently, China strengthened its share in terms of the global consumption from 43% in 2007 to 57% in 2016; the share of Turkey increased by +2 percentage points. By contrast, the share of the U.S. (-3 percentage points) declined over the period under review.

Amongst the leading consuming countries, high level of per capita consumption levels were recorded in Poland (79.1 cubic meters per 1,000 in 2016), which was significantly higher than the world average of 13.0 cubic meters per 1,000. In this country, per capita consumption grew with a CAGR of +7.5% in 2007-2016. However, the most notable growth of per capita consumption from 2007 to 2015 was recorded in Turkey, with on average +9.8% per year. 

MDF Production Continues to Grow Steadily 

Production of MDF reached 97.5 million cubic meters in 2016; a relatively flat trend from 2007-2009 was followed by a steady growth through to 2016, which, however, decelerated over the last two years. In value terms, global production of MDF was estimated at 38.5 billion USD in 2016, which was 4% less than the highest level of production achieved in 2014. The value of production dropped in 2009 by 12%, followed by recovery and further growth over the next four years, until it fell again. 

China, as well as Turkey, Brazil and Poland Intensively Increased the Output of MDF 

China was the key world MDF producing country with an output of about 57.7 million cubic meters in 2016, which accounted for 59% of the global output. The other major producers were Turkey (5%), Brazil (4%) and Poland (4%).

In China, the production volume increased by +11.0% annually from 2007 to 2016, largely attributed to favourable economic conditions and growth of global downstream industries. The other leaders also experienced high paces of production growth: Turkey (+11.8% per year), Brazil (+11.2% per year), Poland (+9.1% per year). 

About 16% of Global Production of MDF Is Exported 

MDF remained a widely traded commodity, despite the decline of the share of export in total global output from 27% in 2007 to 16% in 2016. High trade intensity is determined mainly by the substantial distances between the main centers of MDF manufacturing and key consuming countries. 

China and Thailand Increased MDF Exports, While Supplies From Germany Reduced 

In 2016, the volume of global MDF exports totalled 17.0 million cubic meters, which was 3% more than the year before. A noticeable decline was observed with regard to the volume of exports in 2008-2009, followed by a recovery over the next two years; afterwards, it flattened over 2012-2013, and then started to grow mildly through to 2016.

China (2.8 million cubic meters), Thailand (1.7 million cubic meters) and Germany (1.6 million cubic meters) were the main global suppliers of MDF, with a combined share of 36% of global exports. They were followed by Poland and Spain, each accounting for about 5% of global exports.From 2007 to 2016, Thailand (+11.6% per year) was the fastest growing supplier amongst the major exporters. Despite being one of the largest global producers of MDF, Turkey, Brazil and the U.S. did not export much of their production, meaning that it was either domestically consumed, or put in storage.

The U.S. and Iran Were the Largest Importers of MDF

The volume of global imports totalled 15.9 million cubic meters in 2016. The trend pattern of imports practically mirrored that of exports: these trade flows globally complement each other. 

In 2016, the U.S. (1.6 million cubic meters) and Iran (1.4 million cubic meters) were the leading destinations of MDF imports, together making up 19% of global imports. They were followed by Saudi Arabia (5%), the UK (4%), Italy (4%) and France (4%). Amongst the major importing countries, Iran (+11.8% per year) gained the highest annual growth rates from 2007 to 2016. With regard to the share of a particular country in global imports, the shares of Iran (+5 percentage points), the U.S. (+2 percentage points) and Saudi Arabia (+2 percentage points), increased from 2007 to 2016, while the share of Italy (-2 percentage points) illustrated negative dynamics. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

Do you want to know more about global MDF market? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on

  • MDF market share
  • MDF prices
  • MDF industry
  • MDF sales
  • MDF import
  • MDF export
  • MDF market forecast
  • MDF price forecast
  • key MDF producers

Source: World: MDF - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2025