Plywood: Softwood & Hardwood

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Plywood

This study examines the US market for plywood, an assembly of three or more layers of wood veneer sheets joined by an adhesive with the grains of adjacent sheets at right angles for added dimensional stability. Plywood is divided into two main categories:

  • softwood structural boards
  • hardwood nonstructural boards

Markets for these products encompass construction and industrial uses. Construction uses include:

  • roofing (e.g., sheathing, decking, framing, trim)
  • flooring (subflooring and finish flooring)
  • wall sheathing
  • cabinets (e.g., cabinet boxes, drawers, drawer fronts, doors)
  • siding
  • other construction applications, including moulding and trim, stairways, concrete formwork, temporary shelters, decks, interior paneling, and porches

Industrial applications include:

  • furniture and fixtures (e.g., ready-assemble household furniture, office furniture, wood partitions, shelving)
  • engineered wood products, including the manufacture of plywood, I-joists, and rim boards
  • material handling products (e.g., pallets, crating, packaging products, bins, tanks)
  • transportation equipment (e.g., recreational vehicles, boats, trucks, trailers, buses, rail cars)
  • other manufactured goods, including signs, appliance cabinets, trophies and plaques, crafts, sports and exercise equipment, musical instruments, and toys and games

Historical data for 2009, 2014, and 2019 and forecasts to the years 2024 and 2029 are provided for plywood shipments and demand in square feet and current dollars. Data in square feet are actually volumetric measurements since softwood and hardwood plywood are each associated with a standard thickness: 3/8 inch for softwood and3/4 inch for hardwood.

Data for each plywood type are provided in terms of that product’s standard thickness. In order to improve the comparability of plywood demand in volume terms across different board types, data are converted to a 3/8-inch basis. These measures are used for product aggregations.

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