We used to believe that the forest industry inheritance Russia — export logs and pulp. Subject of timber as an alternative to constantly procrastinate at all levels, but there was no special achievement. However, little by little, the situation began to change. And the evidence of that — plywood market.
In 2011, plywood production in Russia is almost twice the peak performance (see Figure 1), made in the best Soviet years, topping up to 3 million cubic meters. Built two new large enterprise — Yenisei and Vyatka plywood mills. Finally, there was a major player in the industry — a group of "Sveza", the main beneficiary is businessman Alexei Mordashov. The other day it was announced the acquisition of a plywood mill "Funk." With this purchase, "Sveza" is not only a key producer in Russia, controlling a third of the market, but also the largest European player.
Except for a brief period of 2008-2009, the production of plywood has grown steadily since 1997. In 2011 was made another historic high. In 2010, Russia ranked fifth in the world after China, the U.S., Malaysia and Indonesia, moved three places up compared to 2002. Export plywood Russia ranks fourth after China, Malaysia and Indonesia.
In the early 1990s, Russian plywood company worked mainly for export. The share of exports of plywood increased from 17.8% in 1992 to 71.3% in 1995. Entry of Russian producers on the world market favored the high quality and relatively low cost of the main raw material for the production of plywood — birch, having a high thermo-mechanical properties compared with other tree species. Export growth also contributed to the low trade barriers.
Even now, according to representatives of "Ilim Timber", plywood exports to the EU during the first six months are not subject to duties, the second half-year fee is 3.5%.
Another reason podstegnuvshey increase in production of plywood has been a significant increase since 2007, export duties on unprocessed timber products, including plywood raw material. Finally, since 2008, is growing faster pace, domestic demand for plywood, which has already exceeded pre-crisis levels and, and the volume of exports.
The main consumers of plywood in Russia are traditionally two industries — construction and furniture.
"This growth, as in the 2000s, we probably will not see. One of the major factors that can severely limit the growth of domestic demand, the launch is planned plants OSB — a direct competitor of plywood. By the year 2014 is expected to launch at least two large plants with a total capacity exceeding the volume of today’s consumption, which can lead to overcapacity and price wars that will hit the market and plywood " — Says the consultant of the Finnish branch agency Poyry Management Consulting Alex Beschastnov.
However, not all market participants agree with this statement. According to representatives of "Ilim Timber", the possible competition with the OSB caused a judgment of softwood plywood as a material with a low utility value. However, this is due only to the fact that the whole quality softwood plywood from Russia was exported, the domestic market is implemented only low-grade products, which really makes sense to replace OSB-plates.
Nevertheless, the major Russian plywood mills are opportunities for expansion. Almost 20% of the products in Russia plywood accounted for dozens of small plywood mills, working mainly on local consumers. Increased competition could squeeze them from the market and make room for the big players with great potential control costs.
And on the international market, Russian companies still have a distinct competitive advantage in the form of high-quality birch plywood for the production of which Russia has been and will remain the leader.
"It is expected that, despite the rise in the cost of key components (wood, labor, electricity, middleware), Russia will improve their position in the global market of plywood" — Alexey Beschastnov. Combine the "Funk", located in the village of Upper Sinyachikha Sverdlovsk region, consistently ranks among the top five plywood mills Russia.
With its purchase of "Sveza" will be able to produce annually 900 million cubic meters of plywood and 300 thousand cubic meters of chipboard. As a result, "Sveza" will control more than 30% of production in the Russian plywood industry (see Chart 2).
In addition to "Fankoma" in the production of softwood plywood specialize in the group of "Ilim Timber" Fraternal dock and a new, launched last year, the Yenisei Plywood Mill. Secondly, and most importantly, after the purchase of "Sveza" finally be established as the largest European manufacturer. At present, the size of production capacity first in Europe holds the Finnish UPM, but, taking into account the acquisition of "Fankoma" and the expansion of other factories of the group, "Sveza" from this year can get around the former leader (see Figure 3).