The global veneer and wood panel manufacturing market has been characterized by steady but slow growth, with China, the USA and Russia the main producers. from 2020 onwards, the French market has seen a resurgence in demand, driven by a robust construction sector, recording nearly €2 billion in sales - a 12% increase on 2021.

This trend is set to continue, with French sales reaching 2.395 billion euros in 2022. Despite these positive national trends, the French market is faced withlow competitiveness and dependence on foreign suppliers.-vis foreign suppliers, resulting in a trade deficit, with imports exceeding exports by more than $150 million from 2021 onwards. The wood construction market, in particular, has shown resilience, with a market share of 6.5% in 2020, and is poised for further growth, benefiting from environmental regulations that encourage eco-construction.

However, the overall market is suffering from a reduction in the number of establishments and the workforce in the sector, indicating a trend towards automation. The French wood industry, with Europe's third-largest timber reserves, continues to face difficulties in exploiting its potential due to under-utilization and a lack of industrial synergy

Steady growth and potential for optimization in the French veneer and wood panel market

The French veneer and wood panel market, which forms part of the broader wood products manufacturing sector, has been growing steadily, supported mainly by a robust construction segment and active furniture industries. In France, the market is characterized by revenues nearing the €2 billion mark by 2021, reflecting a significant resurgence after the slowdown caused by the previous year's health crisis. The French market faced a number of challenges, not least the relatively low competitiveness of its wood industry, which translates into a dependence on foreign manufacturers who benefit from the advantages of the French market. on foreign manufacturers who benefit from advantages such as affordable labor and abundant forest resources, particularly from Eastern Europe.

These international players have succeeded in capturing a growing share of the French market, contributing to France's trade deficit in this sector. Despite these challenges, the domestic industry benefited from its construction sector, which alone grew by around 17%, reaching a market value of between 1.9 and 2 billion euros. Another key aspect was the demand for wood in the furniture market, which reached its peak in 2021 with sales jumping to around 14.55 billion euros. In addition, the French wood panel market benefits from a degree of diversification, with key demand drivers such as packaging also playing a crucial role. The packaging market, valued at around 1.5 billion euros, testifies to the sector's relevance in ecological and circular economy spaces.

In terms of production, the industry has streamlined its processes throughautomation and digitization, resulting in a slight decline in the workforce over the past decade. Nevertheless, there is a clear concentration of activity and employment, particularly in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Grand Est regions, which have demonstrated a strong presence in the sector. The sector is also subject to price fluctuations determined largely by the cost of raw materials and energy requirements. In particular, prices have risen significantly in 2021, aligning with global trends influenced by the ongoing repercussions of the health crisis. The market's product range includes versatile particleboard, robust OSB and other specialized wood panels such as MDF and plywood. Panel products are suitable for a wide range of applications, from construction to furniture and decorative elements.

Eco-sustainability has also been a market priority, with the creation of labels such as PEFC and FSC to certify products that respect ecological practices. These efforts are part of a wider national strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Players in the veneer and wood panel market

The veneer and wood panel manufacturing industry is made up of international giants and qualified French producers, both of which contribute significantly to market dynamics. These companies specialize in various segments, from particleboard to high-quality decorative panels, and play a crucial role in meeting the diverse market demands of the construction, furniture and other industries.

  • Egger, the world's leading manufacturer of particleboard, has consolidated its position through constant innovation and a wide range of products for diverse applications. Recognized for its expertise in wood-based panels,
  • Swiss Krono Group has a reputation for combining precision engineering with environmental sustainability, making it a trusted name in the industry. Distinguished in the flooring segment,
  • Mohawk Industries is known for its wide selection, quality and commitment to integrating style and functionality into its products. Specialist in decorative panels,
  • Wilsonart prides itself on creating surfaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also durable and adaptable to a variety of design needs.
  • Garnica Plywood focuses on plywood, offering products that are highly valued for their quality and strength, and suitable for a range of demanding applications.
  • CF2P and Thébault focus on quality with their production of specialized wood panels for furniture and plywood manufacturing, respectively.
  • Oberflex are in a league of their own with a range of high-end decorative panels that combine beauty and practicality.
  • Polyfont stands out for its production of composite panels, combining innovation and efficiency,
  • R. Drouin stands out for its fire-retardant plywood, an essential product for ensuring safety and compliance in construction.
  • Malvaux adds to the diversity with its production of fine wood panels, offering tailor-made solutions for complex design requirements.
  • UIPP,EPF and FNB are also an integral part of the ecosystem. They provide support, defend interests and conduct research that benefits the entire wood panel manufacturing sector.

Together, these players form the backbone of a market renowned for its rich blend of international influence and local expertise, each making a unique contribution to the growth and sustainability of the veneer and wood panel manufacturing industry.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Defining market challenges

Veneer and wood panel manufacturing is a sub-segment of the wood products manufacturing market, and more broadly of the woodworking market. Veneer and wood panel manufacturing includes the manufacture of :

  • polished, stained, coated, impregnated, reinforced or patterned veneer sheets
  • plywood, veneer and panels
  • particleboard
  • medium-density fiberboard (MDF)
  • densified wood manufacturing
  • glulam production.

There are several distinct markets for wood panel production:

  • construction ;
  • furniture;
  • packaging;
  • Various activities including DIY.

The global market is growing relatively slowly, but steadily. China, followed by the United States and Russia, are the world's leading producers. The panel segment is the most dynamic.

Growth in the French market is underpinned by a healthy construction sector and dynamic furniture segments.

However, the market suffers from the low competitiveness of the French timber industry , and many of the producers based in France are international groups, making the veneer and wood panel manufacturing industry dependent on them, on the location of their production sites and on the international market. And foreign suppliers benefiting from competitive advantages (more affordable labor, significant forestry resources as in Eastern Europe) can capture demand and increase their market share in France.

The panel, veneer and wood panel manufacturing market can rely on the development of a legal framework keen to promote sustainable, environmentally-friendly production through the introduction of the PEFC and FSC labels.

1.2 A steadily growing global market

World production of wood-based panels (***) Source: ****

The global wood panel market is expected to grow at a CAGR of *.**% between **** and ****, reaching a size of *** million cubic meters.

The main producers of wood-based panels are listed below:

World's leading exporters As % of total Source: ****

Analysis of data on average wood-based panel ...

1.3 Domestic market

The veneer and wood panel activity is listed under NAF nomenclature code **.**Z: "Manufacture of veneer and wood panels"

This code includes :

the manufacture of veneer sheets thin enough for the production of plywood or other uses: sheets polished, stained, coated, impregnated, reinforced (***) patterned sheets the manufacture of plywood, veneered wood ...

1.4 Balance of trade

Exports and imports of wood-based panels France, ****, in millions of euros Source: ****

Data analysis shows a significant trade exchange in terms of wood-based panels. Total exports amount to $***.** million, while imports are considerably higher, at $***.** million. The figures suggest a greater dependence of the domestic market on imports to meet demand ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Timber construction: the main demand driver

The wood construction market in France will represent sales of *.** billion euros in ****, compared with *.* billion euros in ****, an increase of **% in * years despite the unfavorable context of the health crisis. [***]

The following map shows the breakdown of the number of homes built in wood by region in ****, and their market ...

2.2 Other demand drivers

The market for wooden furniture:

Other demand drivers include the production of wooden furniture, which requires panels of the same material. According to theUNCE, the wood panel furniture sector can be divided into two different areas of demand: B*B demand, for professional use (***), and B*C demand, for domestic ...

3 Market structure

3.1 The 6 stages of wood panel production

According to the Union des industries de panneaux de process (***), the union of wood panel manufacturers, panel production involves * main stages:

Cutting (***); Low-humidity drying: This essential stage is designed to dry the cut wood to avoid any bacteriological risk; Sorting and grading: The dried wood is sorted according to size and ...

3.2 Multi-sector distribution

As we have already seen, the construction sector is the main outlet for wood panel manufacturers. Furniture is also a very important market.

Source: ****

3.3 A concentrated market

The following graph shows the trend in the number of establishments registered under NAF code **.**Z: "Manufacture of veneer and wood panels". The number of establishments in the veneer and wood panel manufacturing sector has fluctuated slightly over the last decade. In ****, there were ** establishments, this number fell to ** in **** and ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Price analysis

Production costs:

Panel prices are highly dependent on production costs, which vary according to two main factors:

The price of the raw material wood, whose costs vary according to world prices and supply and inventory levels; The cost of the energy required to process the wood and dry the panels once ...

4.2 The different types of wood panels

The different of wood panels :

Particleboard or chipboard : composed of wood particles and an organic or mineral binder. The particles are ground, sorted, dried and glued; Oriented strand board (***): obtained by adding several strips of wood glued together with a binder; Glued-laminated wood panels or BLC panels : obtained by adding several ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Labels guaranteeing respect for the forest

There are two main labels in France: PEFC and FSC.

PEFC label:

"Offered on a wood or wood-based product (***), the PEFC label certifies that :

the forest owner who cultivated the wood and the forest manager who harvested and transported the wood have implemented PEFC sustainable forest management practices; all the ...

5.2 State-supervised silvicultural operations


The Law on the Future of Agriculture, Food and Forestry(***), which came into force in ****, aims to improve the economic, social and ecological performance of the timber industry. In particular, this law frames:

The forest exploitation program as well as forestry policy ; The creation of a fund (***) to enhance the ...

List of charts

  • Development of the wood panel market (volume)
  • Average output of wood-based panels
  • Veneer and wood panel manufacturing market size
  • Wood construction market share
  • Furniture market size
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Latest news

Timber: the Thebault group invests 100 million in Haute-Loire - 24/04/2023
  • Manufacturer of plywood panels: Thebault
  • Investment: 100 million euros
  • France's first plant to produce LVL (laminated veneer lumber or lamibois), glued strips of wood that are more resistant than solid wood
  • Scheduled commissioning date: 2025 Initial production capacity: 70,000 cubic meters per year
  • Current annual production of plywood panels: 125,000 cubic meters (50% of national production)
  • Sales in 2021: 100 million euros (65% international)
Thebault invests 100 million in Haute-Loire - 11/04/2023
  • The Thebault Group's sixth Magné plant under construction
  • Planned investment: 100 million euros
  • The plant will cover 25,000 m² on a 15-hectare site
  • It will be located in the Sud Auvergne business park, in Lempdes-sur-Allagnon.
Decoration: boating specialist Malvaux invites itself to cruise - 06/04/2023
  • Malvaux was founded in 1928.
  • - Nautical engineering accounts for a quarter of the company's sales, i.e. 125 million euros.
  • - Ganter France, recently acquired by Malvaux, generates sales of 6 million euros and will be renamed Malvaux Naval.
  • - Origin and Sylvaco join the group
  • - The Malvaux Manufactures subsidiary caters to the marine, camping-caravanning and railway sectors.
  • - Malvaux Interior and James 1840 specialize in fittings for luxury hotels and private yachts.
  • - International sales account for only 5% of total sales
  • - The Malvaux Group employs 500 people.
  • - five industrial sites, four wood depots and a showroom in Paris.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Mohawk Industries
Wilsonart international
Garnica Plywood
Thébault Groupe
Ober Groupe
R. Drouin
Malvaux Groupe
Swiss Krono

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