May 6, 2022. – The hardest shock effect in the plywood market has passed and corrective measures are in process. Companies have had no other choice but to keep calm and adapt to the situation. However, as the Russian share in birch plywood is huge, the second wave is probably approaching. Russia will not disappear from the plywood production scene but the supply to western countries will be disturbed for a longer period of time.
The hardwood plywood market that we knew in February 2022, is not coming back. Replacing the missing Russian supply will bring up new solutions. There is no simple salvation to the problem and that’s why there will be several ways to adapt in different companies. The cocktail could include new log sources, new veneer sources, mixed species constructions, alternative products for plywood, plywood/OSB/veneer/blockboard -hybrids, subcontracting, strategic partnerships, acquisitions, etc. Some of the solutions will be too difficult and expensive in long run, some will become a permanent part of the new plywood world order.
The current situation may be almost an existential crisis for companies that have leaned on the Russian plywood supply. At the same time, it is an opportunity for many. If there was a time the wood business was slow and static, it is not anymore.