Regional demand for American Hardwood to remain strong, says AHEC
The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has projected that the regional demand for American Hardwood will remain strong amidst the current slowdown in the construction market. The organisation further revealed that exports will remain stable, after registering a 19.6 per cent jump to reach USD 55.5 million across the MENA region in 2008, according to latest data released by the United States Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS). In line with its aims to bolster import volumes to the region, AHEC has recently completed a successful participation at the 'Dubai International Wood and Wood Machinery Show 2009', where it networked with potential customers and introduced the latest American Hardwood products.
According to the USDA-FAS report, Hardwood lumber, which is the principal value-added US hardwood product exported to the region, saw an increase in volume of 3.7 per cent to 48,698 m3 and in value of 3.8 per cent to USD 35.5 million. Furthermore, latest data also reflected that shipments of both hardwood veneers and logs grew significantly in 2008, rising by 59.7 per cent to USD 18.6 million and by 58.6 per cent to USD 25.5 million (51,547 m3), respectively. In the UAE alone, lumber exports from the US in 2008 have reached USD 10.0 million (11,643 m3), while veneer and flooring shipments have reached USD 2.5 million and USD 167,000 respectively during the same year. Recording what is so far the largest hardwood delegation from the US that has ever exhibited at a trade show in the Middle East, all 20 exhibitors who participated under AHEC’s American Hardwood Pavilion secured significant deals.
“Our presence at this year’s Woodshow has been another tremendous success, as all the US exhibitors have had a chance to highlight their individual products to regional customers at the event,” said Roderick Wiles, AHEC Consultant for International Markets. “Our efforts to establish strong visibility within this event are part of our strategy to fuel the imports and exports of US Hardwood to the region. We are expecting positive upshot even after the conclusion of this year’s show, which has always been an effective platform to showcase our products to this lucrative market.”
In addition to an extensive display of the latest innovation in wood products and wood equipment, AHEC also hosted an evening seminar and reception at the Park Hyatt Hotel, Dubai, in conjunction with the exhibition. The seminar included a presentation that gave importers and end-users an insight on the environmental credentials of American Hardwood and what the industry is doing to address green procurement and sustainable building material standards globally. An introduction to the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) rules for grading American hardwood lumber, which is the basis of every transaction between US hardwood exporters and importers around the world, was also comprehensively discussed at the seminar.
“We are committed to strengthening the ties between US exporters and MENA region importers, manufacturers and specifiers and maintaining the status of US hardwood products as the top choice among clients in the region. This underlines how important the region has become to American hardwood producers in recent years, and we are optimistic to see further growth in our MENA export figures in the coming years,” concluded Wiles.
AHEC member companies comprise one of the largest groups of exporters of wood products across the globe, including American Hardwood Export Council, Missouri-Pacific Lumber Company, American Walnut Manufacturers Association, Hermitage Hardwoods Lumber Sales, Oaks Unlimited Inc., Hillwood Products Inc., Prime Lumber Company, Baillie Lumber Company, Anderson Tully Lumber Company and the National Hardwood Lumber Association. Other member companies that export top quality wood products and technologies are AHC Export Lumber, Nina Company, LLC, Mississipi Development Authority, Frank A. Conkling Company, Weyerhaeuser Company, National Hardwood Lumber Association, Pike Lumber Company Inc., Virginia Department of Agriculture, Wheeland Lumber Company Inc., Turman Wood Group and Northland Corporation.