Economic growth and homebuilding will also increase demand for North American structural panels, which are forecast to grow 19%.

APA represents approximately 159 plywood, OSB, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and structural composite lumber mills throughout the US and Canada.

APA said the extremely harsh weather caused home building to stall in the eastern half of the US during the Q1, 2015 but with mortgage rates below 4%, new home sales rose 9% first quarter, an indication that new home demand is improving.

Due to rising domestic demand for North American plywood and the strength of the US dollar, APA anticipates that plywood imports, notably from Chile, will increase through 2019. Imports will account for 5% of North American plywood consumption in 2015.

OSB exports rose 1% in 2014; export growth is expected to accelerate in 2016-17 as world economic growth picks up speed.

From 2015 to 2019, APA expects increasing demand for North American engineered wood products; structural panels are forecast to grow 19% and other engineered wood products will see growth of 20% to 25%.

Driven by a 12% increase in housing starts in the US, demand for structural panels in residential construction in North America is expected to rise10% in 2015, while growth in the other end-uses is projected to be 2.5%.

North American production of OSB and plywood is predicted to hit 32.6 billion ft2 in 2015.