Wood-based panels

The Wood-based panels product group includes the manufacturers of:

• chipboards;
• MDF;
• OSB.

In the same vein, companies specialised in panel finishing are included here (e.g. veneered or melamine faced panels, veneer parquet, laminate flooring).

Wood panels play an important role in the transition from a traditional to a circular bio-based building sector.

Availability of wood raw material

The availability of wood raw material remains one of the greatest challenges for wood panel producers. We saw once again in 2022 that the situation can turn around quickly. Following the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the resulting energy crisis, there have been some major changes in the timber market. As a result, more recyclable wood waste is being put back into power plants abroad. Fedustria continues to call on policy-makers to respect the cascade principle at all times, pointing out that the subsidised burning of wood raw materials is not a sustainable solution.

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The fact that wood panels play an important role in the construction sector's transition to a circular, bio-based sector is also confirmed by Europe. For example, in its Circular Economy Action Plan, Europe refers to the potential of wood in construction as a long-term carbon store. Various European sector federations and knowledge institutions established the Wood4Bauhaus alliance for this purpose – a platform for knowledge-sharing and promotion of the use of wood in construction.

Innovation & Safety

The wood panel sector is not only a model for a circular economy, but is also a sector that continues to innovate and move forward in recycling wood waste.

Various raw materials are needed to produce wood-based panels material. The combination of these raw materials ensures that an optimum final product is obtained, which more than meets the strict regulations in terms of both indoor climate and construction

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EPF annual meeting, Ghent

Along with Unilin and West Fraser/Norbord, Fedustria hosted the Annual General Meeting of the European Panel Federation (EPF). This meeting took place from 29 June to 1 July 2022, in Ghent's historic city centre. More than 150 participants in itself means it was a successful edition. In addition to a great many informative meetings, the extensive networking sessions during the welcome reception at Ghent City Hall and at the gala dinner at the Old Fishmine were the icing on the cake.

Despite the uncertain times, the sector aims to assume its role as a model industry for the circular economy, having regard to people and the environment. This was symbolised by the ringing of a wooden bell, launching a new era of sustainability in the construction, interior design, furniture and packaging sectors, as well as in other markets.

Key figures
Number of companies 33
Number of employees 3.273
Turnover (in million EUR) 2.284
Exported quota 69 %
Turnover evolution in 2022 (in volume) -20 %
Share in the total turnover of the Belgian woodworking and furniture industry 32 %

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