US hardwood products exports to the Middle East reach US$ 34 million in 2006
The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the US hardwood industry, has announced that they will release the first Illustrated Guide to American Hardwood Grades at the upcoming Dubai Woodshow 2007. The relevance of the guide to the Middle East is significant since US hardwood exports to the region have continued to grow, totaling over US$ 34 million in 2006. Further, exports of American hardwood products to the GCC reached a total value of US$ 17.2 million for the same year, with UAE and Saudi Arabia representing the biggest importers in the GCC.
AHEC will also host a seminar on lumber grading during Dubai Woodshow 2007, the Middle East’s dedicated wood and wood machinery exhibition, and this will be held at the Al Murooj Rotana Hotel in Dubai on February 27. The seminar will focus on exploring issues of relevance and importance to the regional wood industry and will be followed by a networking reception for industry professionals. Speakers at the seminar include David Venables, AHEC European Director and Bob Sabistina, Former Chief Inspector of National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) who will highlight the concept of how American hardwood lumber is graded.
“In recent years, demand for quality wood products in Middle Eastern countries has seen an exponential growth. Due to strong demand for hardwood veneer and flooring from the regional construction and flooring industry, the composition of US wood exports to the region has changed dramatically over the years. As a clear indication of this change, between January and October of last year, the US exports of hardwood veneer to the Middle East reached a total value of US$8.8 million and shipments of parquet flooring reached US$20, 674 million, “said David Venables, European Director, AHEC.
Owing to the growing maturity in the real estate and property markets in the Middle East, the composition in the market is changing. As more apartments and villas come closer to delivery, suppliers are looking to shift the emphasis from lumber to hardwood veneer. This makes the timing of the Illustrated Guide to American Hardwood Grades all the more pertinent in the local market.
“As the US hardwood export to the region marks good growth over the past years, it is important to create awareness about the hardwood products among Middle Eastern importers' and manufacturers. The seminar will discuss the use of US hardwoods in a range of quality applications, from flooring and panels to furniture manufacturing, and from architecture to interior design,” said Bob Sabistina, Former Chief Inspector of National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA).
“The presentations will feature highlights of many successful projects covering architecture and design, updates on furniture design and furniture trends. The discussion topics will also include how the combination of design and fashionable materials becomes a key element for value-adding,” added Sabistina.
The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is the leading international trade association for the US hardwood industry representing the committed exporters among US hardwood companies and all the major US hardwood production trade associations. AHEC runs a worldwide programme to promote American hardwood products in over 50 export markets AHEC concentrates it efforts on providing architects, specifiers, designers and end-users with technical information on the range of species, products and sources of supply.
© 2007 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)