US hardwood product exports to the MENA region reach USD 52.2 million in 2007
US hardwood product exports to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region reached USD 52.2 million during the first ten months of 2007, a rise of 32.3 per cent from the same period in 2006 according to the United States Census Bureau. In an effort to further maximise the increased demand for US hardwood in the region, the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the US hardwood industry, has announced its presence at the upcoming Dubai Woodshow 2008 for the third consecutive year, along with 15 hardwood exporting companies exhibiting at the American Hardwood Pavilion. AHEC will also host a dinner in conjunction with the region’s largest wood and wood machinery exhibition on February 05, 2008 at the Al Bustan Rontana Hotel to provide Middle East importers and manufacturers an opportunity to meet the major players from the US hardwood industry.
The remarkable boost in large-scale real estate projects in the region has continuously driven up the demand for wood and wood products, particularly in the case of hardwood lumber, sparking greater interest from leading American hardwood producers. Leveraging this tremendous growth, US wood exporters shipped a total of USD 28.4 million worth of hardwood lumber to the MENA region from January to October 2007; reflecting an increase of 24.0 per cent over the same ten months in 2006. The UAE’s imports accounted for USD 13.2 million of the total amount, which corresponds to a 59.0 per cent increase from the country’s USD 8.3 million imports of US hardwood products in 2006 during the same period. Of the UAE’s total hardwood imports, US hardwood lumber shipments grew by 54.2 per cent to reach USD 8.4 million.
“American hardwoods are becoming increasingly well-established in the Middle East’s hardwood market and with the present boom in the economy of the region, more particularly within the real estate sector, we are convinced that this is a perfect time to reinforce the position of US hardwood products to the MENA market,” said David Venables, Director - Europe, Middle East and India, AHEC. “In preparation for our third participation at the Dubai Woodshow, we look forward to facilitating high-level networking with the top US hardwood exporters and representatives from three of the major US hardwood exporting states, in order to strengthen ties between US exporters and Middle Eastern importers, manufacturers and specifiers and promote even more viable business prospects within the region.”
Included among the participating companies at the American Hardwood Pavilion are Baillie Lumber, Sonoking Corporation, Nina Company, Bradford Forest, and Pennsylvania Hardwood Development Council; all of which were present at last year’s event. In addition, new exhibitors such as the UCS Forest Group, Augusta Lumber, Weyerhaeuser Hardwoods, Interforest Lumber, Taylor Lumber, Pike Lumber, NHLA, Mayfield Lumber Company, Anderson Tully, Gilco Lumber, Matson Lumber Company, Indiana State Department of Agriculture and West Virginia Development Office will also be on hand to provide general information on products, species, and applications.
AHEC is also set to host an evening reception during the Dubai Woodshow 2008, set to run from February 5 - 7, 2008, in a bid to gather representatives from the 15 US companies present at the show and regional hardwood customers for an opportunity to engage in high impact networking activities. The reception pursues last year’s successful event, where AHEC released the first Illustrated Guide to American Hardwood Grades, which was met with favourable interest by industry professionals from the region.
“Through our robust involvement with the Dubai Woodshow since its inception in 2006, we have witnessed its growth as a serious forum for the wood sector in the region. We recognise the wide array of opportunities that the event has continuously created for international wood exporters, manufacturers and customers across the globe, which has been our motivation to create a large-scale networking venue for the Middle East traders and American exporters. By doing so, we are expecting to further entrench the presence of the American wood industry amidst Middle Eastern markets,” concluded Venables.