European consumption of MDF registered the same growth rate as production of 9.4% and equally set a new record in 2002 at 9.6 million m3. Particularly the countries with high MDF consumption volumes registered strong growth rates. Exports to non-European markets increased massively by 29%, but still represent just somewhat more than 8% of total sales. The main foreign destinations were located in the USA, Poland, Canada, Turkey, South Korea and Israel in descending order of importance, whereas exports to the East were also noticeably enhanced. Extra-EU imports were dominated by the MDF producing countries in Central and Eastern Europe, such as Switzerland, Poland, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Romania in descending order of importance. The flourishing trade in MDF with these countries is due to the fact that their national production sufficiently exceeds domestic demand. For the MDF imports originating outside the European continent, main importers were located in Chili, Australia, Malaysia and Brasil in descending order of importance .
Germany remains by far the largest consumer of MDF in Europe, accounting for 28% of the overall European consumption. The UK is the second largest MDF consumer holding a 13% share, followed by Italy with 10% and Spain with 8%. Belgium passed France to take the fourth position with 7%, thanks to a massive increase of almost 20% in 2002. MDF consumption in France declined by 1% and its market share fell just under 6%. Turkey recorded the strongest growth in MDF consumption with +25% during 2002, climbing to the sixth position with a 5% share. The other European countries each represent less than 5% of total MDF consumption and include Poland, the Netherlands, Greece, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Ireland in descending order of importance, with a share in the overall European consumption between 4.7% and 1%.