Increased OSB Capacity likely to drive up woodfiber prices in US South

Expected growth in export of wood pellets from US South to further impact pricing.

Sep 25, 2013, 15:00 ET from RISI

BOSTON, Sept. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The return of the US housing market is driving up demand for lumber and wood panel products. In response Oriented Strand Board (OSB) capacity is expected to expand, according to a new study published today by RISI, the leading information provider for the global forest products industry.

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Additional capacity will come from idle mills being reopened, expansions at currently operating locations and potentially from newly opened mills. 4.5 billion square feet (BSF) in increases to OSB capacity has already been announced as coming on line through 2014.

"Since the collapse in the US housing market, a significant amount of OSB capacity has been idled. The recent recovery in the US housing market is now driving up demand for OSB both cyclically and seasonally. This increased demand is juxtaposed by a curtailed capacity base. As capacity is added to meet cyclically improving demand, additional woodfiber will be needed. The US pellet export market is developing at the same time that OSB production is ratcheting up and will have implications for woodfiber demand and ultimately prices," said David Fortin, Senior Economist, Wood Products at RISI.

OSB Capacity Expansion and the Development of US Pellet Exports - Impacts on Woodfiber Supply examines the impact of a sustained housing recovery on the demand for OSB in North America. The study clearly shows how much additional OSB will be needed to meet the expanding demand. It also indicates where this OSB will come from: imports, mill restarts, mill enhancements, and potential greenfield mills. The study then looks at whether wood fiber availability will become an issue as mills compete for resources with the developing US pellet market.

Included in OSB Capacity Expansion and the Development of US Pellet Exports – Impacts on Woodfiber Supply:

  • A detailed analysis of the expanding OSB market and developing US Pellet export market and their projected impact on the fiber market in the US South.
  • A 5-year forecast
  • 17 years of historical data
  • Mill level analysis of idled OSB mills including: estimated mill scores quantifying their likelihood of restart based on size, age, down time, location, costs and corporate significance
  • Maps of operating and idle OSB mills, pellet facilities, non-structural panel mills, and pulp mills in the US South
  • Fiber paying capabilities of each end-use category for wood fiber

For more information on this study, download the prospectus or visit

The key OSB producers from the US South who are covered by this report include: Georgia-Pacific, Tolko, Norbord, Langboard, Louisiana-Pacific, Huber, Weyerhaeuser, Arbec Forest Products, Canfor, Martco.

About RISI (

RISI is the leading information provider for the global forest products industry. The company works with clients in the pulp and paper, wood products, timber, biomass, tissue, nonwovens, printing and publishing industries to help them make better decisions.

Headquartered in Boston, MA, RISI operates additional offices throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia.

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