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US building board demand to rise over 7% annually through 2017
Demand for building boards in the US is forecast to grow more than seven percent annually through 2017 to over 50 billion square feet, as measured on a 3/8 inch basis. Residential construction markets account for over four-fifths of building board demand, so increased construction activity due to the expected housing market rebound will spark gains for building boards. In particular, the housing market recovery will drive growth in demand for building boards in flooring and wall sheathing applications. Rising residential improvement and repair activity will also contribute to building board demand, though to a lesser extent than gains in the new residential market.
In manufacturing applications, building board demand gains are not projected to be as strong as those in construction applications. However, demand in this market will benefit from growth in domestic manufacturing activity as compared to the 2007-2012 period.
Among the manufacturing markets, furniture and fixtures and engineered wood products are expected to post the fastest gains in building board demand. Demand in furniture and fixture applications will benefit from heightened wood furniture shipments, which are forecast to increase nearly five percent annually through 2017. Engineered wood products, such as I-joists, will also register increased demand due to the expected housing market recovery, thus raising demand for building boards used in their manufacture.
OSB to outpace softwood plywood structural boards
Of all of the board products, softwood plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) account for the largest portion of demand.
Both products are structural boards, meaning they are approved for use in structural applications such as floor and wall sheathing. Through 2017, OSB is forecast to see much more rapid gains in demand than those in softwood plywood.
In 1992, OSB was certified by all model building codes in the US to perform as well as softwood plywood on a thicknessby- thickness basis. Since that time, OSB has increasingly gained market share from softwood plywood in construction markets, as it offers the same performance characteristics but at a lower price point. This trend is expected to continue through 2017.
Insulation board, particleboard to pace nonstructural board products
Nonstructural board products include particleboard, medium density fiberboard (MDF), hardwood plywood, hardboard, insulation board, and other fiberboard products. Through 2017, rapid growth is expected in insulation board products, as these products are used frequently in roof and wall sheathing applications and will benefit from the expected housing market recovery. However, insulation board is projected to continue to account for only a small portion of overall nonstructural board demand through 2017. Particleboard is also forecast to exhibit strong demand gains through 2017. Utilized frequently in manufacturing applications including furniture and fixtures and transportation equipment, particleboard demand will benefit from the expected rise in general manufacturing activity.
This upcoming Freedonia industry study, Building Boards, is priced at $4900. It presents historical demand data for 2002, 2007, and 2012, plus forecasts for 2017 and 2022 by product, market, application, and US region. The study also considers market environment factors, assesses the industry structure, evaluates company market share, and profiles 28 competitors in the US industry.
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