Organisers of the 45th China International Furniture Fair (CIFF) and China International Furniture Machinery & Furniture Raw Materials Fair 2020 (CIFM Interzum) due to take place in March in Guangzhou say the shows have been postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in the country.

It follows the recent announcement by the provincial government in Guangdong Province and Guangzhou Municipal Commerce Bureau that all large-scale economic and trade events should be suspended. The events were due to host 4,400 exhibitors over two sessions, attracting an estimated 750,000 visitors.

Industry production shutdowns at the behest of China’s national and provincial governments in order to try and contain the virus have already impacted company operations this year. It is hoped that the restrictions will ease in coming weeks and impacts can be minimised. There was good news at the Xylexpo international press conference recently, with organisers saying the biennial event in Milan during May will go ahead as planned.

In this issue we bring some updates on prospects of bio-chemicals use in the world of wood-based panel adhesives and additives. We look at two R&D projects using pine and Sitka spruce tannins and speak to Evertree CEO Nicolas Masson about the company’s recent commercial launch of Green-Boost, which is now in full commercial use in two western European wood-based panel producers. Evertree is also optimistic about its second technology – a bio-adhesive which is also a plantbased product.

No-one expects standard petroleum-based resins to be replaced anytime soon, but the bio alternatives are making steps forward fuelled by increasing regulation on formaldehyde and a growing focus on green issues generally.

We also contain updates from two plywood manufacturers – Lumin in Uruguay and Europe’s Garnica.

Lumin is embarking on an ambitious thin veneer / panel investment which will give it new product opportunities and help it more fully realise the benefits of its top clear grade eucalyptus. Garnica has started building work on its seventh factory and second in France. Investment at the site in Troyes will initially produce veneer and eventually plywood.

We also give some glimpses into the future with articles on a new innovation – transparent wood, which is already seeing potential applications in the automobile sector, as well as ‘mixed reality’ technology from Microsoft, which has the potential to redefine the world of work.