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North America: Plywood output growing at faster rates

05.08.2021 − 

North American softwood plywood mills enjoyed even stronger growth in their output than OSB manufacturers between April and June when compared with both the first quarter and the same stretch last year. Quarterly statistics from the APA-The Engineered Wood Association show that overall North American structural panels output was 13% higher than the second quarter of last year, a period of time hit hard by the pandemic, to land at 7.844m m³. Plywood production improved by 16% to 2.460m m³, while OSB manufacturing climbed by 12% to 5.384m m³. Plywood production was up 5% and OSB production was 3% higher than in the first three months of 2021. Altogether, structural panels output edged 4% higher. OSB’s share of overall production, which had been at least 69.0% between the first quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, softened slightly to 68.6%.

Plywood volumes had last been higher in the second quarter of 2018 (2.546m m³); output has mostly hovered around 2.1m to 2.4m m³ since then. North American OSB production had been above 5.1m m³ in almost all quarters since the middle of 2017; output had only dropped below the 5m m³ mark in the first quarter of 2018 (4.988m m³), the fourth quarter of 2019 (4.83m m³) and second quarter of 2020. The highest output over the past four years was booked in the third quarter of 2018 (5.433m m³) and the third quarter of 2020 (5.408m m³).

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