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

Examine the impact of a sustained housing recovery on the demand for OSB in North America, focusing specifically on the US South where more than 50% of US and Canadian OSB capacity is located.


OSB Capacity Expansion

The study provides:

  • 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

Revealed through a series of charts and data in a slide presentation format, the study clearly shows how much additional OSB will be needed to meet the expanding demand as the housing market continues its recovery. 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 unidled OSB mills, new potential OSB mills and the developing US pellet market compete for resources.

OSB Capacity ExpansionTo complete the picture, the study examines the many end-use products competing for the same fiber in the US South: wood pulp, non-structural panels, OSB and wood pellets. It examines whether wood fiber supply in the US South will hinder potential OSB capacity expansion. It also analyses how increased fiber demand will affect the fiber paying capability of each end-use market.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

  • Overview of the study
  • Study Findings

OSB Market Overview

  • Recap of the collapse of the housing market
      List of mills shut/idled since 2005 by region
  • The beginning of the housing recovery and resurgent OSB demand
    • OSB demand by end-use forecast through 2017
  • Growing demand against a backdrop of curtailed capacity
    • Overview of three main sources of additional supply
      • Offshore Imports
      • Capacity Restarts
      • Capacity Expansion (existing mills and potential for Greenfield mills)
  • List of mills announced to restart through 2014
    • Includes startup curve assumptions
  • Where will the capacity required beyond announced restarts come from?
    • Probability of restart analysis of all remaining idle OSB mills in the US and Canada
    • Explanation of probability of restart analysis methodology
    • How many mills will likely be restarted beyond those already announced?
    • List of the top five OSB mills most likely to restart based on probability of restart scores
  • Forecast of average variable costs of OSB production by region
  • Forecast of wood costs for OSB by region

Overview of US South fiber market

  • Total fiber supply forecast (including chips from lumber and plywood production)
    • Pulpwood supply forecast
  • Pulpwood demand forecast by end-use

Outlook for the US Pellet Export Market

  • Fiber paying capability by end-use with sensitivity analysis

Helping you understand how demand and supply of OSB in North America will develop through 2017

The study is available online as a presentation by the study author. It provides you with a concise, easy-to-digest analysis of how OSB capacity can be expanded to meet demand.

Additionally, all of the data used in the development of the study will be available in spreadsheet format. This will allow you to manipulate the data yourself and see how the growing demand on wood fiber will affect your business.

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