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The wood-based panel industry in China is facing pressure due to domestic and international economic adjustments and from the increasingly high demand for environmental protection in China all of which tends to drive up production costs.

These are some of the conclusions of the 19th national wood-based panel industry conference held recently in China. The conference focus was on how to realise stable and healthy development of wood-based panel industry in the context of national economic policies.

Conference speakers noted that in the first half of 2020 there was a shortage of wood raw materials nationwide and prices increased. Because furniture, joinery and flooring production declined due to corona control measures demand for panels dropped between January and July resulting in an oversupply, a decline in prices and fierce competition. The Green Times reports most enterprises are barely breaking-even.

Between January and July CHINA’S domestic sales of plywood were about 75% of that the same period last year. Particleboard sales were about 85% of the same period last year.

Demand for fibreboard, which is heavily influenced by furniture demand, was down around 25% year on year.

It is forecast that 2020 annual domestic sales of woodbased panels will be 10% to 20% lower than in the same period of 2019.

In the first quarter of 2020 China’s wood-based panel industry began operations after a shut-down period but production was at reduced levels. In the second quarter output was impacted by regional floods, tight raw material supply and weak demand.

In the second to third quarters of 2020 the pandemic intensified in international markets. At present, with the gradual recovery of the domestic market and improved export demand, the health of the Chinese wood-based panel industry is improving.

Conference participants agreed adapting to market changes and developing innovative technology is the way forward for the industry.

China has a significant panel product machinery manufacturing sector and there are more than 100 woodbased panel machinery manufacturing enterprises with annual main business income of more than RMB20 million in China. These companies can provide a wide range of machinery for wood-based panel manufacturing and wood-based panel secondary processing.

The wood-based panel industry is expected to gradually upgrade and develop intelligent and green manufacturing, digitisation and information services and will integrate production and services to drive improvements in the industrial supply chain.

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