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The global medium density fiberboard market size was USD 38.25 billion in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 39.04 billion in 2021 to USD 57.11 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 5.6% during the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with these products witnessing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a huge decline of 3.8% in 2020. The sudden decline in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
MDF is an engineered wood panel that is formed by coalescing wood fibers obtained from breaking down hardwood and softwood in a defibrator. It has a non-directional grain structure, making it an ideal wooden material for cutting, machining, and drilling processes without the production of chips or splinters. Furthermore, the absence of knots makes it easier for finishing, making it suitable for application in interior decoration of houses and offices.
Medium Density fiberboards are usually denser than plywood, along with being considerably inexpensive. These factors make it an excellent alternative material for application wherein moisture resistance and very high impact resistance are not obligatory attributes. For instance, MDF is largely utilized in the assembly of furniture cabinetry and wood flooring subsurface.
Medium Density fiberboard has to meet the specification voluntarily set by American National Standard Institution (ANSI A208.2). The standard classifies this type of fiberboard by physical and mechanical properties and categorizes the product grades. The standard ascertains the dimensional tolerances and formaldehyde emission limits in the Medium Density fiberboard panels. As the market is steadily converting into an organized sector, companies have made it necessary to meet these specifications, which will further improve the consumer’s confidence in these products.
COVID-19 Pandemic Significantly Disrupted Supply Chain of MDF
The entire wood industry has been disturbed by the spread of coronavirus. Many major wood producing countries had announced lockdowns since the first half of 2020, which has affected the supply of wood and consequent products such as wood fibers. Besides, many companies operating in the global market also faced restrictions in their production activities, which has disrupted the entire supply chain of this market.
However, as the consumers are spending a major part of their time at home, the demand for mass-produced furniture is gaining traction. It has been gaining impetus for manufacturing furniture products such as tables, chairs, stands, and dining counters owing to its excellent machinability and knotless structure. Furthermore, as the demand for wood flooring is growing due to the requisite for mesmeric aesthetics at homes, this industry is expected to obtain lucrative business growth in the forthcoming years.
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Demand for Sustainability in Construction & Interior Designing to Boost Market
The support from many governments across the globe to increase the sustainability of the construction industry has provided a push to the demand for wood products such as plywood, MDF, and particle boards. For instance, Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery (MAFF) has passed a law to promote the use of wood materials in the construction of public buildings. Such initiatives are expected to boost the demand for these wood-based products in the near future.
The utilization of this type of Medium Density fiberboard is expanding because of its use as sustainable materials. As it is made from wood wastes, it has become a material of choice for consumers supporting the green building initiative. Furthermore, the material is gaining quite an impetus in developing economies of Asia and Latin America due to the easy availability of the primary raw materials, wood and adhesives. According to the estimates carried out by Indian companies such as Rushil Décor and Greenply, the ratio of MDF to plywood consumption at the global level is 65:35, whereas, in India, the ratio is lopsided in favor of plywood at 6:94. However, as the cost of this type of fiberboard is lower than plywood with an insignificant difference in performance, the demand is expected to gain huge impetus in these emerging economies during the forecast period.
Shifting Demand from Plywood to Medium Density Fiberboard Can Foster Market Growth
As both MDF and plywood have similar properties, both have been largely utilized in the manufacture of furniture such as tables, sofas, beds, and library shelves. MDF costs significantly lower than plywood while being devoid of particle grain and knots in its structure. Owing to these properties, this fiberboard proves to be an excellent alternative to plywood for application in areas wherein moisture and impact resistance are not the primary requirements.
Moreover, Medium Density fiberboard has proved to be an excellent material for the formation of partitions in office spaces to ensure privacy and social distancing between the employees, which has been a key reason behind the sustenance of the material demand in the time of coronavirus. As many companies have taken up projects to renovate the offices to provide a homely feel to the returning employees after the reduction of lockdown restrictions, the market is expected to stay healthy in the near future.
Increasing Adoption of Wood Flooring Provisioning Growth for Global Market
The increasing population in countries such as India, China, Brazil, and the U.S., has fueled the demand for housing and public infrastructure, which is expected to benefit the market in the near future. The higher spending capacity of people will push the demand for products that can improve the aesthetics in living spaces. The increasing emphasis on the construction of smart houses and aesthetically designed interiors have revived the market for wood flooring.
However, it is critical for wood flooring to have a smooth subsurface, even, and strong to easily support its weight. As MDF has a clear structure with no presence of knots and rings, the weight and impact distribution of the fiberboard is much superior to other wood sub surfaces such as particleboards and plywood. Also, the subsurface requires to be inexpensive, which is the key reason behind the product being the prime alternative among other competitors.
Emission of Formaldehyde to Limit its Utilization
The production process of MDF requires adhesives and resins that consist of formaldehyde as a constituent material. Exposure to formaldehyde in large quantities has been linked to the formation of cancer among humans and thus, the emission of formaldehyde from these products has attracted several regulations against the utilization of fiberboard with high formaldehyde content. For instance, ANSI A208.2 regulation standardizes the emission limits of formaldehyde from the fiberboards. Furthermore, regulations set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have established the maximum limits of formaldehyde emission to 0.11 ppm for MDF panels. Such regulations are expected to create a hurdle in the adoption of fiberboards with Medium Density.
However, to cater to the impact caused by these regulations, product manufacturers such as Arauco, Roseburg, and Uniboard have developed no-added formaldehyde (NAF) and ultra-low emitting formaldehyde (ULEF) products.
Increasing Usage of MDF in Furniture Expanding Demand of Moisture-Resistant Segment
Based on type, the market is segmented into standard, moisture resistant, and fire-rated.
MDF finds significant application in the construction of furniture and products such as photo frames, shoe cabinets, door skins, and display boards. Furthermore, it is also utilized in significant quantities as a subsurface to wooden floorings. These places are prone to the presence of humidity and water spillage which can seriously damage wood fibers used in the usual fiberboards. Companies operating in the market have developed products with moisture resistant properties by adding a hydrophobic resin layer during the manufacturing process in order to reduce this impact and such products are expected to gain immense traction during the forecast period.
On the other hand, owing to its inexpensive nature and properties comparable to plywood, the standard product type currently holds the dominant share of the market. As the product is largely utilized for designing cost-effective interiors such as in the assembly of shoe racks, television cabinets, book racks, and frames that are not prone to the attack of moisture, the segment is expected to grow at a steady CAGR in the global market through the forecast period.
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Superior Physical Properties of MDF leading to its increasing Application in Interior Designing Applications
Based on application, this market is segmented into furniture, construction & flooring, interior designing, packaging, and others.
Currently, furniture holds the dominant share among other applications. Owing to its cost-effective nature, MDF is quickly replacing plywood in the manufacture of furniture. Furthermore, the smooth and uniform structure of the panel makes it easier to process such as cutting, drilling, and other machining techniques, making it the material of choice for furniture manufacturers.
On the flip side, the development of moisture-resistant and fire-rated MDF grades have provided a push to their utilization from the interior designers and stylists to design appealing interiors, especially in offices and hospitality sectors. Furthermore, the demand from residential customers for designing items such as kitchen trolleys, storage drawers, and almirah has expanded at a significant rate and may result in providing a steep growth trend to the interior designing segment.
Asia Pacific Medium Density Fiberboard Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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Asia Pacific to Lead Market due to Increased Utilization of Product
The medium density fiberboard market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 22.29 billion in 2020. In Asia Pacific, the market is driven by China, which currently holds about 90% share on the volume basis in the regional market. The market in China is projected be growing at a CAGR of over 6% during the forecast period owing to the significant demand for Medium Density fiberboard for construction & flooring applications.
Furthermore, the market in the Asia Pacific is expected to lead the global market in the future as the utilization of MDF is growing at an excellent pace in India and Southeast Asia for the production of furniture cabinetry and aesthetically designed interiors for both, residential and commercial customers in these countries, replacing traditionally used plywood.
North America has experienced enormous growth in the previous year, thus, it is a vital region for the product manufacturers. The market in North America will be driven by the increasing spending of people on projecting mesmeric visual impressions in the interiors of the houses and offices.
On the other hand, the market in Europe will experience growth owing to the renovation activities being carried out by the consumers. Architects and designers in the region have shifted their focus towards MDF to produce elegant furniture and house décor products. Such activities have provided a novel pathway for the global medium density fiberboard market growth in Europe.
Latin America has an ample supply of raw material, wood, due to the presence of huge forests in the region, including the Amazon Rainforest. Owing to the easy and cheap availability of wood, its products including fiberboard have gained immense traction for utilization in local construction activities and the growth is expected to further steepen during the forecast period.
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The market in the Middle East & Africa is still in its early stage, with particleboard holding the larger share in the region among the wood paneling alternatives owing to it’s extremely low cost and ease in production. However, as the benefits of fiberboard with Medium Density gain popularity in the region during the forecast period, the demand is expected to grow at a swift rate over the forecast period.
Partnerships and Enhanced Distribution Networks Are Key Strategies of Leading Companies
Product innovation & partnerships with distributors to improve the sales network are important strategies employed by major key players to maintain their position in the market. Arauco is one of the most prominent companies operating in the market. The company is known for manufacturing advanced wood composite panels using an automated manufacturing platform.
The company operates from multiple production facilities in North and South America and serves customers across 3,500 destinations across the globe. The company offers over 35 MDF grades under its brand, Trupan, including a variety of specialty grades such as moisture resistant and ‘VESTA’, a panel formulated using low-emitting technologies.
An Infographic Representation of Medium Density Fiberboard Market
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The market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, types, and applications. Also, the report offers insights into key market trends and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors that have contributed to the growth rate of the market over recent years.
Value (USD billion); Volume (MCM)
By Type, By Application, and By Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 38.25 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 57.11 billion by 2028.
In 2020, the market value stood at USD 38.25 billion.
Growing at a significant CAGR of 5.6%, the market will exhibit considerable growth in the forecast period (2021-2028).
The furniture application is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
Shifting demand from plywood to MDF in furniture is a key factor driving the market.
Arauco, Uniboard, Unilin, and Roseburg Forest Products are the leading players in this market.
China held the largest share in the global market in 2020.
The need for inexpensive yet strong construction and furniture materials is an important reason driving the adoption of fiberboards. Another key factor is the high sustainability of fireboard in various products
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