Opportunities & Challenges for Plywood Trade

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The Ply Reporter team members keep interacting with markets across the corners of different states of India to gather information and data. There are many people from the industry who ponder questions related to wood panel industry scenario and future of different products, threats from emerging prospects and trends etc. This article is a combination of free flow views that make some sense in response to general queries. The article may underline some truths to clear up doubts and queries often asked by producers, sales people, retailers, distributors and other related people of the industry. The future challenges and opportunities mentioned here are on the basis of thoughts and views gathered by experts and experience owners of various companies. Enjoy reading without notion…

2008 onwards, Smooth journey for all!

The boom in the residential real estate industry over the last few decades has given enormous boost to entire home décor material market. The productsbe it decorative laminates, plywood, doors, exotic wood veneers, high end highlighters, decorative panels and finishes, PVC boards, paint and polishes, adhesives and edge bands, kitchens hardware and slide systems etc, the demand for each one of these has grown multifield. The demand in many of the decorative products have risen up sharply thanks to an increased consciousness among home owners for stylish interiors and beautiful indoors.

No single item has been out of demand going by the housing sector’s growth and urbanisation of many cities in the country. The consumption of panel products has largely grown from two typr of consumption one that is new and the second that is renovation. Even big orders of plywood, laminates comes from not the new houses but instead it comes from the change in mindset of those consumers who are looking forward to redoing their home or office space as well. These days such redoing of interiors is no more a once in a lifetime, one-off occasion but keeps repeating the cycle more often is the trend and like. And that market choose the pricy, great looking and of finest quality material.

The total Market Size for all the key products an established plywood & interior grade retail counter sells can total up to 60000 crore or more. The entire product category in this bucket has grown at an average growth rate of 12 percent to 25 percent during last 7-8 years. The retailers have seen enormous growth in their demand, stocking, product variety and value per sheet growing superbly.

The growth in retail can be understood by the number of swanky retail showrooms of ply, decorative and highlighters. On the contrary the growth in commodity materials like PB/ MDF has also grown multi fold that establish that every segment and section of indian society has grown to consume more of wood panel decorative materials in last one decade. Now the doubt about future markets comes with questions due to squeeze in margins, increase in capex, competition, rising inventory and growing spread of substitute materials.

The industry, trade and retail all have grown at very robust annual growth so far. Now the doubt arise with huge capacity expansions in every product category, increasing brand and marketing spend that often does not fit in to calculations. Even after 25 years of open markets only a few names have come to the level of big companies are have been able to cross 1000 crore. Yet there are 1000 of companies pursuing the dream to touch the sky with their limited resource that makes people ask ‘what lies ahead?’

Out of 2300 operational plywood units in India, how many would be sustaining the pressure of new tax reforms, labour reforms and mounting branding and marketing expensesn will be a phase to observe. All would agree that there is no doubt that plywood industry is all set to an era of consolidation where fittest would grow and weak ones will fall or turn in to ‘manufacturing kitchens’ for the popular brands.

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