Looking forward

Mike Botting, editor of WBPI, looks forward to 2010

I am sure that very few of us will look back on the business year 2009 with any fondness.

I will certainly remember it for a long time as the year that the global financial markets got flattened by a heavily-loaded run-away train which they really should have seen coming.

However, those businesses which have survived the difficulties of that year are likely to be leaner and fitter and ready to face what must be an improving future.

As I write this column, there appears to be ‘growing’ evidence of green shoots in several economies. Those shoots, if they do exist, will be very tender and will need to be carefully cultivated, but hopefully 2010 will see some improvement on its predecessor year.

Personally, I don’t expect it to be dramatic though.

Meanwhile, pent-up demand for housing and development is a source of hope for the panel industry.

I have said it before, but I think it bears repeating, that the environmental debate is also a source of hope. It is one in which we have a very strong argument which we must put forward vigorously, both to promote our products and to defend our wood resources.

As the only truly international magazine dedicated to the panel industry globally, Wood Based Panels International has its own exciting plans for 2010. In addition to the rebuilt website, digital issues and online Buyers’ Guide launched in 2009, we plan to enhance our web presence going forward and to offer a premium website with valuable industry information available at the click of a button, as well as other new web-based initiatives, during 2010.

All this is in addition to our familiar printed issues six times a year, of course and our continued coverage of news, industry events, the latest technology and our highly-valued surveys of the OSB, MDF and particleboard sectors.

Finally, I would like to thank our advertisers for their continued support in a difficult year and for their faith in WBPI.

As we celebrate our 30th anniversary in 2010, I look forward to another interesting and enjoyable year working in and with the international panel industry.


Around Europe

We will bring a selection of stories from some of the mills and the machinery and service suppliers in Europe, keeping you up-to-date on the latest developments.

ZOW Preview

The annual ZOW show for the surfaces and interiors industry, held in Bad Salzuflen in Germany each February, gives us an ideal opportunity to look at the latest design trends.

WM Fair Beijing Preview

This biennial show for the woodworking industries in China, to be held on March 10 to 13, is the most important show for the Chinese panel manufacturing sector and we will be looking at what is on offer this year.


Xylexpo Preview

This biennial exhibition for the woodworking industries and the interiors sector takes place in Milan from May 4 to 8, 2010. We will preview what new technologies are on offer at the show.

Focus on OSB

Our annual listing of the mills throughout the world will also bring interviews and informed commentary on the market for OSB in 2009 and looking ahead into 2010 and beyond.


WBPI IS 30!! Having launched its first edition in 1980, WBPI is looking forward to celebrating its 30th anniversary with its readers and advertisers with some special features in the June/July 2010 issue

MDF World Survey Part 1 (Europe & N America)

All the mills in Europe and North America will be listed, with their capacities, in part 1 of this invaluable an authoritative survey of the world MDF producing industry: the mills, the capacities and the market outlook are all covered in unique depth by our industry expert John Wadsworth.

Focus on China Part 1

We will report on the WM Fair held in Beijing in March and will also bring first-hand reports from the latest mills to be built in this fascinating country.

Focus on North America

Bringing you mill and supplier stories from all over this vast continent, our specialist correspondents will keep you informed of the latest developments.


Derek Steel will bring another fascinating report from the world of adding value to panel products.


MDF World Survey Part 2 (Rest of the World)

The mills outside Europe and North America will be listed, together with their capacities, and, carrying on from part 1, our expert John Wadsworth will, as always, analyse the current situation and the outlook for MDF worldwide.

Focus on Italy

Our major report from this important producer of technology for panel manufacture and processing will feature the latest machinery and some made-in-Italy panel products.

IWF Atlanta Preview

IWF is the major North American exhibition and we will preview some of the latest products and technology on offer at this biennial show in Atlanta, Georgia in the US, which takes place on August 25 to 28.

Focus on China Part 2

More stories from the editor’s visits to panel mills in this vast and vibrant country.


Particleboard World Survey Part 1 (Europe & N America)

Once again, John Wadsworth will turn his attention to this industry, listing all the mills, their major machinery and the prospects for the market.

Focus on Latin America

Our Latin America correspondent Richard Higgs will be visiting mills in the region and reporting on the latest developments and the economic outlook.

IWF Review

What were the innovations on show in Atlanta? This is the place to find out.


Increasingly important in tough competitive markets, adding value to panels will again come ‘under the microscope’ of Derek Steel.

December 2009/January 2010

Particleboard World Survey Part 2 (Rest of the world)

In this final part of our series of panel surveys, John Wadsworth lists the mills outside Europe and North America and analyses the likely market worldwide for the immediate future.

Focus on Germany/Austria/Switzerland

As one of the most important suppliers of machinery and services to the panel industry, as well as being a major panel manufacturing country itself, Germany always offers some interesting stories, while specialist manufacturers abound in its neighbouring countries too.

IPPS Conference Report

The International Panel Products Symposium is an important annual forum for discussion of the latest science and technology for the panel industry, with delegates  attending from around the world.

European wood based panel symposium

We report from the seventh biennial edition of this conference, organised by the European Panel Federation and the Fraunhofer-Institute for Wood Research (WKI).

This is not a final, complete listing of the stories that will appear in the 2010 editions. As always, up-to-the-minute reports on all aspects of the industry will be added as the year progresses.