Engineered wood products output projected to increase 5 percent in 2017
The 2017 Structural Panel & Engineered Wood Yearbook has been released by APA–The Engineered Wood Association. The yearbook includes an analysis of the U.S., Canadian, and global economies, focusing on factors that impact demand for engineered wood products across several market segments as a basis for forecasting expected production of engineered wood products over the next five years. Besides the analysis and forecast, the yearbook also includes historical data on engineered wood production. Topics examined in the yearbook include:
- U.S., Canada, and world economies
- Residential construction in the U.S. and Canada, new and repair/remodel
- Nonresidential and industrial markets
- North American imports and exports
- Outlook and production statistics for structural panels (OSB and plywood), including historical data
- Engineered wood product demand and production (glulam, I-joists, and LVL)
With the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, the U.S policy agenda is undergoing a major shift. The effects of this shift are yet to be determined, but new attitudes suggest a dramatic change in climate from that of the past 20–30 years. With unified Republican control of the Presidency, the House, and the Senate, policymakers are poised to make extensive adjustments to international trade and immigration. Emergence of an “America First” attitude leading to implementation of limitations on immigration could further erode the supply of skilled labor for home builders, constraining construction. At the same time, business and consumer sentiment has strengthened, so the outlook is a mixed bag of caution and optimism.
Despite these uncertainties, housing starts increased 5.2 percent for the year 2016, totaling 1.17 million units, and growth is expected to continue through 2017, with housing starts projected to be just shy of 1.3 million units. Like the previous year, the increase was focused in single-family starts. Commercial buildings also saw an increase in investment of 9.5 percent in 2016. This increase was driven by office building and education building construction.
The entire 2017 market forecast, including all market segments and production outlook, as well as statistical data, is included in APA’s 2017 Structural Panel & Engineered Wood Yearbook, Form MKOE183. The yearbook can be purchased for $275 at www.apawood.org.