CPA, APA Leaders Size Up Situation

Leadership from two of the major primary panel production associations provided 2022 year-end reports, while also looking ahead to 2023 and both pointed to economic issues moving forward.

“This year (2022) was more ‘back to normal,’ as the COVID pandemic was mostly in the rearview mirror. There were still a few ‘hangovers,’ with the supply chain still being constrained and a shortage of workers limiting productivity,” commented Andy O’Hare, president of Composite Panel Assn. (CPA).

O’Hare added, “The new boogieman is sticky inflation and its cousin high interest rates. We saw the effects of the latter two elements in the fourth quarter of 2022, with declines in composite wood panel shipments. The commercial and residential housing markets have been significantly impacted by the increased interest rates, which will negatively impact construction activity into at least the first half of 2023. We can be hopeful that inflation will wane progressively over the year and be back in the 3-3.5% range by Q4 2023, with an accompanying reduction in interest rates.”

Formaldehyde and climate change policy developments dominated in 2022, O’Hare said, with most of the formaldehyde action occurring in Canada. Health Canada finalized its Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products regulations in 2021 and CPA worked with the ministry throughout 2022 to clarify several details in anticipation of the rule going into force in January 2023.

In the U.S., EPA rolled out an updated version of the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) for formaldehyde, a hazard and exposure assessment for the chemical, which will inform the risk assessment under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The IRIS assessment is presently under review by the National Academy of Sciences.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress passed a climate change bill in August, titled “The Inflation Reduction Act,” which is heavily focused on promoting carbon free electricity generation and incentives for electric vehicles. There are also provisions encouraging the federal government to procure “low carbon” building materials, which could enhance consumption of products made with composite panels. Potential benefits for CPA members will be clearer in 2023 when these programs are implemented.

With climate change being a focus of the national and international policy dialogue, Gary Heroux, CPA technical director, initiated a study late 2022 to complete the environmental lifecycle work begun several years ago. This work in 2023 will examine the “plant gate to grave” portion of the composite panel lifecycle. This will allow CPA to account for the fate of the carbon stored in composite panels after the products in which they are contained have reached the end of their life.

Mark Tibbetts, President of APA—The Engineered Wood Assn., described 2022 as a year of transitions. “Thankfully, we put much of the disruption of the pandemic behind us. We held our first Annual Meeting since 2019. We also returned to routine mill audits and in-person meetings within our Technical Services and Field Services divisions.”

One lingering impact, Tibbetts noted, is inflation—with the response of tightening monetary policy being felt most acutely in the housing market. On a year-over-year basis, new housing starts dropped 16.4% since November 2021, with single-family construction declining 32.1% over the past 12 months.

“I believe we are in store for a shallow recession and don’t buy into the Fed taking its foot off the break,” Tibbetts said.

Tibbetts noted several positives. APA’s proposal to allow OSB sheathing in floor construction in high-velocity hurricane zones in Florida, mainly Miami-Dade/Broward counties, was recommended to the Florida Building Commission for approval as part of the 2023 Florida Building Code by the Florida Code Committee.

APA’s Quality Services Div. spent much of the year conducting a comprehensive review of APA’s quality program and APA is aligning processes across regions, improving documentation and quality of the work product.

Latest News

LP Adds New VPs

LP Building Solutions (LP) has announced that Libby Berman has been named Vice President, Chief Tax Officer and Bob Hopkins has been named Vice President, Treasurer. “Bob and Libby have been invaluable contributors to the LP team for many years now,” says LP Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Alan Haughie…

Con-Vey Promotes Joe Buck To Product Manager

Con-Vey has announced the promotion of Joe Buck from Sales Engineer to Product Manager, having been with the company for nearly four years. In his new role, Buck will lead the strategy development and execution of several products at Con-Vey, including particle board, MDF, and…

Search North America Adds Senior Recruiter

Search North America (SNA), a leading wood products-based search, recruiting, and placement firm, is proud to announce and welcome Dave Rupp as a new Senior Recruiter, mainly focusing on the Western U.S. and Canada. He joins the SNA team with over 40 years of experience in…

Roseburg Adds New VP-General Counsel; Corporate Secretary

Roseburg announced that Matt Lawless has been named Vice President-General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, effective March 1, 2023. Lawless will join the company’s executive team and help set strategy and overall direction for the business…

Egger Invests More Than $42 Million In North Carolina

Egger Wood Products has announced the start of production on a third lamination line at its Lexington, N.C. facility. The $21 million investment will expand the company’s thermally fused laminate (TFL) production capacity by 50%, increasing production to more than 155 million sq. ft. per…

Büttner Expands Product Range

As a globally operating supplier of burners as well as drying and energy plants, Büttner—a member of the Siempelkamp Group—is taking the next logical step by establishing a new environmental technology competence center in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and expanding its product range in the field of environmental…

Tolko Plans High Prairie Rebuild

Tolko Industries Ltd. has commissioned Dieffenbacher to supply the core components of a new OSB line at High Prairie, Alberta, Can. On May 20, 2022, a fire in the press building damaged beyond repair a Dieffenbacher 12-opening press, which Tolko had commissioned in 1995, and much of the surrounding…

Carroll Is COO At Swiss Krono

Swiss Krono Group appointed Steve Carroll as its COO and Technical Director for U.S. operations at Barnwell, SC. Carroll comes to Swiss Krono from Arauco North America where he most recently served as director of the Grayling, Mich. operations. He brings to Swiss Krono more than 30 years of experience in…

Find Us On Social


The monthly Panel World Industry Newsletter reaches over 3,000 who represent primary panel production operations.


Panel World is delivered six times per year to North American and international professionals, who represent primary panel production operations. Subscriptions are FREE to qualified individuals.


Complete the online form so we can direct you to the appropriate Sales Representative. Contact us today!