Turning Points of 2019 - Laminate: Liner Becomes the Survival Anchor

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The Laminate manufacturing sector saw lesser number of new plants in 2019 compared to the last 3 years but there were about a dozen new presses which started their commercial production in Northern India between January to November. Although 2019 has not been very much favourable for the laminate industry in terms of demand and many laminate manufacturers in Gujarat and North were compelled to increase the production of liner grade laminate. These resulted in the production of liner grade laminate reach almost above crore sheets per month.

Favorable raw material prices throughout the year helped liner grade producers to survive the year, hence year 2019 would be remembered as ‘Liner, the survival anchor for Laminate’. The rise in liner laminate was also due to demands coming from Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and some other neighboring countries and the demand pushing up in rural areas within the country also helped the rise of liner laminates.

The Ply Reporter’s regular study had already mentioned that out of 300 HPL manufacturing units, more than 100 units are running their plants on the liner laminates supplies. An experts commented, “Due to rise in competition in the decorative laminate category, let's see how long this trend will continue. Will the bigger players root out many of the smaller players, and who are the smaller players to meet that fate in 2020?”

With reports of many struggling plants and brands with few already closed, the decorative laminate industry is said to have consolidated in 2019. The big and established companies too are heading towards starting liner laminate productions that will further create pressure on single press based plants, forcing financially weak plants to operate on a Job work basis. The crowded laminate segment in India has been focusing more exports of HPL sheets and growth in Industrial laminate and compreg sheet production in 2019.

The 1 mm laminates market continued to see consolidation whereas the big laminate brands such as Greenlam, Merino, Century Laminates, Royale Touche, Stylam, AICA, etc successfully increased their revenue and profit margin this year. GST, Product offering, Showrooms, Innovation, Aggesive working, Government project approvals, etc helped them to maintain their growth this year despite oversupply and dull market. Mid-sized 1 mm laminate brands were found struggling this year, which gave a chance to increase the supply of 0.92 mm laminates. The year 2019 also witnessed the growth in all value-added products such as Exterior Grade Laminates, Digital, Interior Cladding, Anti-Finger Print Laminate; etc that helped stronger brands to offer such products.

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