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Bahrain National Theatre, where US hardwood has been used.

US hardwood lumber exports to Mena hit $56m

DUBAI, November 20, 2014

The total exports of US hardwood lumber to the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region reached a value of $56.3 million and a volume of 71,761 cu m during the first three quarters of the year, according to recent figures.

The statistics which were complied by the American Hardwood Export Council (Ahec), a leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry, from the latest data released from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), revealed an increase in value of 19.5 per cent over the same period last year and an increase in volume of 6.4 per cent.

The direct exports of US hardwood veneers to the Mena region also reached a total value of $22.5 million during the January to September period of this year, rising by 20 per cent from the same period last year, it said.

The most significant increases in shipments of US hardwood lumber were seen in Qatar (up 81 per cent), Lebanon (up 41 per cent), the UAE (up 26 per cent) and Jordan (up 20 per cent).

Meanwhile, a marginal downturn in shipments was seen to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Morocco. The UAE was the number one destination for US hardwood lumber during this period and was followed by Pakistan, Turkey and Egypt.

In addition, exports of American hardwood logs to the Mena region during the first three quarters of this year reached a volume of 28,232 cu m.

In US hardwood veneers, the main destination in the Mena region during the nine-month period was Egypt, which took $8.75 million worth, marking a rise of 23 per cent from the same period last year, followed by Turkey.

In terms of species, 32 per cent of the volume of US hardwood lumber shipped to the Mena region during the period was accounted for by red oak. However, its share of the total is much less than it has been in previous years and this is because higher volumes of ash, white oak, walnut and tulipwood are being shipped to the region currently in response to global trends.

The increased exports of white oak, walnut and hard maple to the region demonstrated a consistent demand for American hardwoods across a variety of species.

The volume of ash exported to the region reached 14,360 cu m, with around 50 per cent of the total being shipped to Pakistan and about 40 per cent of the remainder being shipped to Turkey, mainly for the production of thermally-modified decking and cladding.

Roderick Wiles, Ahec director for Africa, Middle East, South Asia and Oceania, said: “All signs point to a record year for exports of American hardwood lumber and veneer to the Mena region. With massive building and infrastructure spending driving the GCC’s construction boom, the total value of construction contracts awarded this year is expected to soar to $195.7 billion, up from $159.87 billion in 2013.

“Valued at $1.3 trillion, the outlook for the GCC’s construction sector remains positive and we expect sustained demand for American hardwoods, mainly in interior joinery, flooring and furniture, as projects near their completion dates.” - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Mena | US | import | Hardwood | Veneer |

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