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1.1 Definition of market issues

The manufacture of wood veneers and panels is a sub-segment of the wood products manufacturing market and more broadly of the woodworking market. The manufacture of wood veneer and panels includes the manufacture of:

  • veneer sheets, whether polished, dyed, coated, impregnated, reinforced or in the form of patterns
  • plywood, veneered wood and panels
  • chipboards
  • medium-density fibreboards (MDF)
  • densified wood manufacturing
  • glued laminated timber manufacturing.

Regarding the production of wood panels, there are several market opportunities:

  • construction
  • furniture
  • packaging
  • others, including DIY

The global market is in relatively slow growth but keeps going. China is followed by the United States and Russia, which are the world's largest producers. The panel segment is the most dynamic one.

The French market's growth is supported by the good health of the construction industry and the furniture market's dynamic segments.

However, the market suffers from the low competitiveness of the French wood sector and many producers based in France are producers who are international companies. The veneer and wood panel manufacturing industry depends on them, on the location of their production sites and on the international market. Thus, foreign suppliers benefiting from competitive advantages (more affordable labour force, important forestry resources such as in Eastern Europe) can capture demand and increase their market share in France.

The market for the manufacture of wood veneers and panels can rely on the development of a legal context eager to enhance the value of sustainable and environmentally friendly productions through the implementation of PEFC and FSC labels  .

1.2 A stable growing global market

According to an article by the New Zealand Forest Owners' Association based on a market study by the English firm Indexbox, the world market for wood panels represents a volume of *** million m* in ****. In value terms, it represents a turnover of *** billion dollars (***). The forecasts are based on the average ...

1.3 A French market supported by construction but handicapped by the wood sector

A **** document of the National Federation of Construction and Wood on the manufacture of wood veneer and panels reports a turnover of €*.** billion (***) i. e *.*% of the European market, which represents €**.** billion. Imports represent a value of €*.** billion while exports represent €***.* million.
The good performance of the construction and furniture sectors ...


2.1 Timber construction: a significant driver of demand

The wood construction market in France represents a turnover of *.* billion euros in ****. In detail, according to RedOak, there are no less than **** companies in France, **% of which have between * and ** employees. In terms of manpower, the sector represents *% of the building workforce in France. The distribution of wood construction companies ...

2.2 Other determinants of demand

Other determinants of demand, some of which are largely positively correlated with the construction sector, include the production of wood furniture, which requires panels of the same material. According to UNCE, the sector of wooden panels for furniture can be divided into two different demand areas: B*B demand, for a ...


3.1 The 6 steps in the production of wooden panels

According to the Union of Process Panel Industries (***), the union of wood panel manufacturers, the production of panels is done following * main stages:
wood chunking (***) The drying process with low humidity The sorting out and the ranking The gluing process and the conformation The hot-pressing (***) The finishing touch (***)

3.2 A multi-sector distribution

As already mentioned, we note that the construction sector is the main opportunity for wood panel manufacturers. Furniture is also a very important market.

3.3 Distribution and performance of actors

As illustrated by the table below, taken from ACOSS, the two French regions with the highest concentration of employees are Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes and Grand Est.
According to the same source, there are *** companies in France in **** with more than **** employees.
Source: ****
The general performance of companies is detailed in the following table, ...


4.1 Analysis of the different prices

In the B*C segment and according to Leroy Merlin website, depending on the thickness of the products, the price of wood panels (***) varies:
Between * and * mm: from *.** to **.** euros Between * and ** mm: from *.** to **.** euros Between ** and ** mm: from *.** euros to **.** euros Between ** and ** mm: from *.** to **.** euros

4.2 The different types of wooden panels

The different types of wooden panels:
Particleboard or chipboard: it is composed of wood particles and an organic or mineral binder. Particles require grinding, sorting, drying and gluing. Oriented Strand Board or OSB: it is obtained by adding several wooden strips glued together with a binder. Glued-laminated wood panel or BLC ...


5.1 Labels guaranteeing respect for the forest

There are mainly two labels in France: PEFC and FSC.
PEFC label :
"Proposed on a wooden or wood-based product (***), the PEFC label certifies that :
the forest owner who cultivated the wood and the forest operator who harvested and transported the wood has implemented the PEFC sustainable forest management practices; all companies ...

5.2 L'exploitation sylvicole encadrée par l'Etat

La Loi d'Avenir pour l'Agriculture et l'Alimentation et la Forêt (***), entrée en vigueur en **** vise à améliorer la performance économique, sociale et écologique de la filière bois. Cette loi encadre notamment: 
Le programme d'exploitation des forêts ainsi que la politique forestière ;  La création ...


6.1 Segmentation

International giants with activity in France:
Egger Swiss Krono Group Mohawk Industries Wilsonart Ikea Industry Guarnica Plywood
French actors:
Thébault (***) Ober (***) Polyfont (***) R. Drouin (***) Malvaux (***)

  • Egger
  • Swiss Krono Group
  • Mohawk Industries
  • Ikea Industry France
  • Wilsonart international
  • Garnica Plywood
  • Thébault
  • Ober
  • Polyfont
  • R. Drouin
  • Malvaux

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Pierre Doussau

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