To better understand this issue, we asked a few questions to the representative of the UAFM’s member company LLC ” Kronospan UA”.
What is the current situation on the domestic market of board materials, in particular particleboard? Do Ukrainian manufacturers of board materials meet the current needs of the market – in terms of range, quality, price?
– At the moment, there is a shortage of board materials, in particular, particleboard and particleboard in the Ukrainian market. Moreover, there is a demand for particleboard/particleboard of Ukrainian origin in foreign markets (Poland, Moldova, etc.), however, given the lack of plates on the Ukrainian market, it is not possible to talk about increasing the export potential of Ukrainian plate manufacturers.
As a stove manufacturer, of course, we would like to say one hundred percent that we satisfy our customer and market needs, but this is not always the case. Today we can definitely say that the products of LLC ” Kronospan UA” are not inferior to a plate of imported origin. The range of products is similar, but, nevertheless, on certain grounds – variety, decoration, moisture resistance – foreign products differ from domestic and Ukrainian consumer-manufacturer of furniture can sometimes prefer imported products. Given the shortage of slabs, the demand for imported goods is only increasing.
How can Ukrainian board producers fail to meet the existing demand?
– First, chipboard/chipboard manufacturers are experiencing an acute shortage of wood, which is the main raw material in the production of wood-based panels. We believe that such a shortage of wood is artificial, but as a result – we suffer and our customers. We are forced to reduce our production capacity and send workers to downtime.
Secondly, as already mentioned, the Ukrainian furniture manufacturer itself sometimes prefers the importer for various reasons – decors, structure, more loyal terms of cooperation, and so on.
Especially in the conditions of shortage of a plate about which you note. It does not seem logical and expedient to impose an anti-dumping duty in the conditions of a shortage of goods. That is why this issue has escalated today?
– Indeed, to date, two anti-dumping investigations have been opened – on plywood and on chipboard / laminated chipboard. In neither of these investigations is a complainant, although in both investigations we are registered as an interested party and take an active part in the investigations to really investigate whether there was dumping or not. Why is this issue on the agenda now? – It seems that the producers of board materials have felt significant competition in the Ukrainian market and the only weapon they have today is to reduce the import of particleboard/particleboard by introducing an anti-dumping duty. But the introduction of anti-dumping duty is not always a reduction in imports. It is possible that imports will remain at the same level, but the price of imports will increase significantly due to additional duties.
This result of the investigation is not exactly what the Ukrainian economy needs. We must always remember that the board industry (production of particleboard and particleboard) does not work for the end-user, but rather for the furniture manufacturer. In turn, furniture companies are experiencing fierce competition in exporting products to European markets. And if the basic raw materials (particleboard or particleboard) will become more expensive due to the introduction of duties or uncontrolled pricing, the furniture industry will lose prospects. And from this, the Ukrainian economy only loses.
Will their clients – furniture makers and builders – support the position of Ukrainian “ tilers ” in the anti-dumping investigation regarding particleboard/particleboard, since it is profitable for them to buy cheaper imported board materials?
– First of all, it should be noted that this is not about the position of Ukrainian ” tilers “, but rather about the position of one player. Anti-dumping measures are never positive for development because they make competition impossible and are not a panacea.
And we expect to hear the position of Ukrainian furniture makers directly during the investigation, as several TV furniture manufacturers and the Ukrainian Association of Furniture Manufacturers has registered as participants in the investigation, so it is obvious that they have something to say.
What should the government do to support Ukrainian board manufacturers so that they do not suffer losses in an already unfavorable business situation?
– Support is needed not only for manufacturers of board materials but for the woodworking and furniture industry as a whole. So that the industry can plan its activities and development. The most important issue now is a transparent market for the sale of wood, both in the procedure and in price parameters.
In addition – the introduction of additional incentive bills (industrial parks, special investment agreements to support domestic manufacturers or manufacturers of furniture or board materials).