The Russian construction industry may contract by almost 50% in 2021 and its revival will take at least two years. Consequently, production in the Russian timber industry may drop by 30%.

This calculation was presented by Metafrax Group that owns Metadynea, a synthetic resins manufacturer, in its assessment of the negative scenario in case of slow suppression of the pandemic.

In the best-case scenario, the construction industry may shrink by 16% next year, while the timber industry will begin its gradual recovery.

According to company’s calculations, construction volume may drop by 16% based on 2021 results (best-case scenario that involves containment of the pandemic) or by up to 49% if the situation takes a turn to the worse.

Besides, the Russian construction industry as one of the sectors most acutely responding to deteriorating public wealth and economic instability will not be able to revive before 2022 even under the most favorable circumstances.

Metadynea expects the timber industry to grow production by 7% in 2021 in the best-case scenario and reduce it by 30% if the economy recovers more slowly. The plywood market, though, is going to grow by 1% as early as Q2 2021 in the best-case scenario, or even faster due to export growth, on condition that the USA and Europe overcome the crisis early (reaching 350,000 m3 by the end of 2021). If the pandemic develops by the negative scenario, the plywood market is going to drop by 20% (to 294,000 m3). Both options, however, forecast the most acute drop in July 2020 – by 15% and 30% compared to the beginning of the year respectively.

The particleboard market within the wood board sector will also inevitably shrink, according to company’s calculations. If the virus is contained, the most acute drop of 2020 will occur in October and reach 17%; in case of delayed restoration, a lengthy production drop is expected with the lowest point of 25% reduction in December compared to the beginning of the year. In 2021, depending on how the situation unfolds, production will drop by 16% to 36% (775,000 and 624,000 m3 respectively).

Based on the trends of previous financial crises in 2008 and 2014, Metadynea calculations show that the maximum drop can be expected during the first three to four months after the economic downturn begins (in July — August).

The pandemic as well as dropping methanol prices had a significant impact on Metafrax business — the output reduced by 15-40% depending on the product and sales geography.

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