Norbord, the global wood-based panel producer has reported a threefold EBITDA increase in 2016 to USD 383 million.
The improvement, driven by rising housing starts in the US and Norbord’s key European markets, the UK and Germany, has increased demand and prices for the Oriented Strand Board (OSB) Norbord manufactures. Norbord’s European mills produced at 99% capacity in 2016 and annual production records were set at its OSB mills. Norbord also stated that the modernisation and expansion of its Inverness OSB mill was on track for start-up in the second half of 2017. The £100 million plus investment doubles capacity to 640,000 cubic metres per annum with the annual wood requirement rising to around 740,000 cubic metres, sourced from forests in the north of Scotland.
Demand growth for OSB in the UK and Germany has hit double-digits and is gaining market share versus plywood. Plywood is not manufactured in the UK; nonetheless the country consumes around 1.4 million cubic metres annually, all of it met by imports. The displacement of imported plywood by Scottish produced OSB will directly affect demand for homegrown timber, a positive development for UK forestry owners.