US hardwood exports to Mena up 21pc
Dubai, December 5, 2012
Total exports of US hardwood lumber and veneer to the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region increased to $66.95 million during the first three quarters of 2012, a report said.
The 21 percent increase in exports over the same period last year has been driven by a significant increase in demand for American hardwoods in the UAE, Turkey and Pakistan, said a statement issued by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry.
Shipments of American hardwood lumber reached a value of $48.87 million and a volume of 70,270 cu m, marking an increase of 24 percent and 20 percent respectively over the January to September period of 2011. In addition, direct shipments of US hardwood veneers to the Mena region during the period reached a total value of $18.085 million, rising by 16 percent in comparison to the same period last year, it said.
The statistics have been released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and show that the UAE, in value, was the number one destination for US hardwood lumber during the first nine months of this year, with total shipments reaching a value of $9.80 million, rising by 34 percent in comparison to the same period in 2011.
“The increases seen in the demand for American hardwood lumber and veneer in the Mena region can be attributed to economic development and increased construction sector activity in the main. The UAE real economy expanded by around 3.2 percent in 2011 on account of higher oil prices and production and is expected to increase by about 3.5 percent in 2012. In addition, real GDP growth in the GCC is projected at 4.6 percent this year. In the case of the Turkish economy, growth is expected to slow sharply to 3.5 percent this year as domestic demand weakens but the strong furniture and joinery sector has driven demand for American hardwoods in the country,” said Roderick Wiles, AHEC director for Africa, Middle East, India and Oceania.
A closer look at other markets across the region reveals strong demand for American hardwood lumber in Saudi Arabia ($6.21 million), Egypt ($3.47 million), Jordan ($3.38 million), Lebanon ($2.44 million) and Qatar ($1.6 million), it said.
“Red oak, white oak, ash and walnut continue to dominate the exports of American hardwood lumber to the Mena region with most of the lumber going into high-end hospitality, real estate, private residences and public spaces,” said Wiles. – TradeArabia News Service