News 2019

FEP: most markets stable or slightly positive
The European parquet markets are generally showing stable to slightly positive trends, according to a market update by the European Federation of the Parquet Industry (FEP).

When compared to the same period last year, the provisional results for the three first months of 2019 indicate stable or moderately increasing parquet consumption, except for Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom which are reporting limited declines in parquet sales. On the other hand, according to FEP, parquet consumption restarted to grow in Germany.

FEP: “While there is no shortage of raw material for the time being, affordability is decreasing also for layers (HDF, plywood) other than the top one.” A brief per country market recap is provided below.

The Austrian parquet sales slightly increased by 1% during the first quarter 2019 compared to the first three months of 2018.

Available information indicates that parquet consumption fell by 4% during the first quarter 2019 compared to the same period last year, reflecting among others the competition from ‘wood look’ floor coverings.

Baltic States
Baltic countries’ markets remained stable during the first quarter of the current year.

Czech Republic
Data points to a positive development on the Czech parquet market for the three first months of 2019.

The Danish parquet market remained flat, supported by the performance of residential building which is observable in the whole Nordic Cluster (Denmark, Finland and Norway).

Parquet sales were stable on the Finnish market during the first quarter 2019 – residential market is performing well while retail is declining.

After a difficult fourth quarter 2018, the French market developed slightly positively during the three first months of the year 2019. As the first quarter 2018 was also relatively good, this can be seen as an encouraging trend although the market is lacking visibility, especially as some contracts are reaching an end.

Parquet sales upturned by 4% in Germany during the first quarter 2019. Even if the first quarter 2018 showed a very low level of consumption, the current trend reflects better market conditions.

The Italian parquet market remained flat during the three first months of the current year. No improvement is expected as there are some uncertainties regarding the forthcoming EU elections.

The information received points to a decline of the parquet sales (-4%) on the Dutch market during the first quarter 2019, reflecting the competition from ‘wood look’ floor coverings.

Data indicates that the Norwegian market remained flat during the three first months of 2019, which is encouraging compared to the significant decreases in parquet consumption reported last year.

An increase by 2% of the parquet sales is reported for Poland during the first quarter 2019 compared to the same period last year.

The Spanish market was stable during the first quarter of the year 2019, echoing the uncertain political context.

Parquet consumption continued to slightly rise by 1% during the first quarter 2019 compared to the first quarter 2018. Renovation is the main driver of the Swedish market.

Data indicates that parquet consumption fell by 2% in Switzerland during the three first months of 2019, reflecting the completion of new construction projects.

United Kingdom
Information available points to a slight decline by 1% of the parquet consumption on the British market during the three first months of 2019. The influence of the Brexit is starting to be discernible.

FEP/GFA, May 2019

European Parquet Market slightly dropped in 2018
The European Federation of the Parquet Industry (FEP) estimates, as a preliminary forecast, that the overall consumption figures of the European Parquet Industry for the year 2018 have moderately contracted by a bit less than 2%.

After three years of moderate growth or stabilisation, and despite a generally good start of the year, the consumption figures of parquet in Europe downturned for 2018. A drop close to 2% is forecasted for the whole year. As was witnessed in the past, the results show some variation from country to country, FEP explains.

The market contraction is mainly due to decreases of parquet consumption observed in Germany, Switzerland and the Nordic market (Denmark, Finland and Norway) as a whole. The Nordic market remains volatile with regional differences reflecting the evolution of residential building activity. Finally, France and Benelux are also reporting declines in consumption.

On the contrary, parquet market continues to improve in Austria, Italy and Poland, while it is stable in Spain and Sweden. Complete market data will to be communicated at FEPs annual General Assembly mid-June in Lisbon, Portugal.

FEP continues: The FEP Board of Directors fears that the negative trends will continue in the concerned countries at the beginning of 2019. The captains of the industry also underline the still harsh competition from wood like flooring solutions, especially from LVT. On the other hand, FEP welcomes the increasing recognition by the EU authorities of the positive contribution of wood products, including parquet, to fight Climate Change and to support Circular Economy, Circular Bioeconomy & sustainability.

FEP/GFA, January 2019

Laminate flooring sales EPLF minus 4,6%
In 2018, manufacturing members of the EPLF achieved worldwide sales of European-produced laminate flooring totalling 455 million m (2017: 477 million m, which corresponds to -4.6%). In Western Europe, the home market of the EPLF, sales declined further in 2018, whilst Latin America and Asia once again recorded the biggest increases. North America saw a reduction in sales, whereas Eastern Europe remained stable.

In Western Europe (including Turkey), total sales reached 225 million m in 2018 (2017: 243 million m). This represents a drop of -7.3% compared to the previous year. Germany was still by far the most important individual market in Central Europe with 52 million m2 (2017: 57 million m) albeit with a -8.3% reduction caused by the continuing trend towards substitution with alternative flooring types, EPLF explains.

France continues to occupy second place in Europe, declining slightly in 2018 with 36 million m (2017: 37.6 million m). The positive trend for EPLF members did not continue in the United Kingdom: at 29.8 million m for 2018 (2017: 33.8 million m2), a further reduction of -11.8% was recorded. This puts the UK in third place again for sales in Western Europe ahead of Turkey, where laminate revenues for the association continued to decline in 2018, falling -18.2% down to 20.4 million m (2017: 24.9 million m). The Netherlands remains in fifth place with sales figures of 18.3 million m (2017: 19.7 million m). Once again, Spain follows on behind with a stable outcome of just under 16.5 million m (2017: 17 million m).

In Eastern Europe, although the upward trend of the previous years cannot continue, its stable result, according to the association, means this region will nevertheless continue to be an important market for EPLF producers in future. Sales within the area reached around 128 million m (2017: 128 million m) in 2018. The EPLF is aware that in 2017 just under 28 million m of laminate produced by Russian members was not covered by the statistics for various reasons. In 2018, EPLF members in Russia reported sales of 39 million m (2017: 36 million m), which corresponds to a growth rate of 10.6%. Poland achieved a consistent result in 2018 at over 29 million m (2017: more than 30 million m). Romania exhibited a slightly weaker outcome, however, with 11 million m2 (2017: 13.2 million m). Behind Romania, in the same order as before, are: Ukraine with 7.6 million m (2017: 7.4 million m) i.e. +4% growth, Hungary at 7 million m (2017: 6.5 million m) and Bulgaria with 4.4 million m (2017: 5 million m).

EPLF 2018 wereld

At 44.3 million m (2017: 49 million m), total sales for North America in 2018 stand at around -10.4% down against the previous year. With around 30.7 million m sold in 2018 (2017: 32 million m2), the USA exhibited a slight reduction of -2.4%, whilst Canada recorded just under 13.6 million m for 2018 (2017: 18 million m), representing a drop of -24.5%.

The biggest increase in 2018 was 7.8%, gained in Africa, although total sales there only amounted to 5 million m. The region of Latin America again recorded an increase in EPLF sales statistics, achieving a growth rate of +4.7% for 2018 with 18.5 million m (2017: 17.7 million m). Sales figures for Chile, the largest individual market, rose by +5% compared with the previous year, standing at 8.1 million m (2017: 7.7 million m). Mexico recorded 3.9 million m (2017: 4.3 million m), Columbia registered 2.1 million m (2017: 1.6 million m), and the poor economic situation in Argentina led to a downturn to 1.5 million m (2017: 2.1 million m).

In the Asia region, EPLF producers achieved total sales of around 30 million m (2017: 29 million m) in 2018, representing a rise of around +2.8% over the previous year. The number one position for Asia in 2018 was again held by China (including Hong Kong), although figures were down -7.2% compared to the previous year: sales there reached 8.9 million m2 (2017: 9.6 million m). The EPLF is encouraged to see ongoing growth in Kazakhstan, where market data has been gathered since 2016: 4 million m sold (2017: 3.6 million m), an increase of +11%. Israel attained 2.3 million m (2017: 2.2 million m), Saudi Arabia rose slightly with 2.9 million m (2017: 2.7 million m2); behind this lies Uzbekistan with nearly 2.1 million m (previous year 0.8 million m) followed by Taiwan with 1.7 million m (2017: just under 1.8 million m2) and Azerbaijan with 1.6 million m (2017: 0.9 million m2). Meanwhile, it appears laminate has also gained a foothold in the huge Indian market: in 2018, EPLF members achieved sales there of 1.6 million m (2017: 1.4 million m).

EPLF 2007-2018

EPLF/GFA, January 2019

Sales figures MMFA approaching 75 million m2
Sales figures for members of the Multilayer Modular Flooring Association (MMFA) continued to rise in 2018, and in 2019 the association forecasts continuing sales growth for all product categories and markets within the modular multilayer flooring (MMF) segment.

For MMF flooring with HDF core, the association currently estimates that its members hold a world market share in excess of 90%. By 2017, MMFA producers had already achieved global sales in this category of almost 10 million m2, of which 80% were accounted for by Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In 2018, the total quantity rose to 12 million m2.

For modular multilayer products based on polymer or polymer composite, MMFA members worldwide achieved sales of 62 million m2 in 2018 (2017: over 48 million m2), of which more than 31 million m2 (2017: 23 million m2) came from Western Europe and around 26 million m2 (2017: 21 million m2) from North America. In 2018, MMFA members in Germany achieved sales of wood-based and polymer-based products amounting to nearly 20 million m2 (2017: just under 15 million m2) – continuing the upward trend.

Last november, members of the MMFA agreed to reclassify the various MMF product groups. The category ‘Wood’ (previously Class 1) applies to products with a wood-based core. The category ‘Polymer’ (previously Class 2) includes polymer-based and polymer composite-based substrates and is divided into heterogeneous, (semi-) resilient LVT Click products (mostly in accordance with EN 10582) and the more stable Rigid products (usually in accordance with EN 16511). ‘Rigid’ includes polymer Click products based on either EPC (Expanded Polymer Core – polymer foam middle layer) or SPC (Solid Polymer Core – high-filled middle layer). Lastly, the category ‘Mixed’ includes all other types of construction (previously Class 3). In all three categories, the polymers can be either PVC or other synthetic material alternatives.

MMFA Leather-fibre-LICO
This environmentally-friendly flooring is based on leather fibre material made from genuine recycled,
chrome-free leather, natural latex, natural fat and natural tanning agents. (Photo: Li&Co AG)

MMFA/GFA, January 2019