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Egypt 'top market for American hardwoods'

CAIRO, December 23, 2017

Egypt has emerged as a key market for American hardwoods, with the wood imports to the Arab world's most populous nation surging to over $1.365 billion in 2016, said a report by American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), a leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry.

The announcement follows the council's successful participation at the third edition of the Cairo WoodShow, held recently. In addition to its presence at the show, it was also involved with the Cairo WoodShow seminar.

Aiming to address some of the biggest issues that Egyptian contractors, importers and specifiers have in working with American hardwoods, Dana Spessert, the chief inspector of the National
Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) gave an introduction to American hardwood species
and hardwood lumber grading.

As per the latest statistics from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the total exports of US hardwood lumber and veneer to the Middle East & North Africa (Mena) region hit $73.36 million for the first three quarters.

A closer look at the statistics revealed that US hardwood lumber shipments to Egypt for the same time period reached a value of $4.523 million (volume equivalent to 5,961 cu m), emphasizing the importance of this major furniture producing market.

In addition, total direct exports of US hardwood veneers to Egypt reached a value of $4.298
million from January to September of this year.

Market reports indicate that wood imports to Egypt reached $1.365 billion in 2016 whilst the wood-based furniture domestic production was valued at $750 million, said the Ahec statement.

Moreover, the Egyptian wood industry is poised to grow domestically, as the Government of Egypt engages in large-scale infrastructure projects, it added.

Whilst these developments present ample opportunities for American hardwood species; Roderick Wiles, the Ahec director for Africa, Middle East, South Asia and Oceania, believes that market development activities need to take place to capitalize on these opportunities.

Ahec is confident that American tulipwood, as well as the full range of American hardwood species, could all work well in the products being produced in Egypt. However, it is crucial that the key industry players are made fully conversant with what is available from the US and also the NHLA lumber grading rules, noted the top official.

"Exports to Egypt, which saw significant growth during the past two years, fell by 20 percent
in volume and value during the first nine months of this year. The majority of this decrease
was accounted for by lower shipments of red oak, which accounted for over 50 percent of
the volume of lumber shipped to Egypt," stated Wiles.

In contrast, exports of white oak to the market actually picked up marginally. Despite the slight decrease in exports, Egypt is still in the top five markets for lumber in the region and remains the number one market for US hardwood veneers, he noted.

“Given that Egypt is a major consumer of solid wood, primarily for furniture production, our
participation was aimed at educating visitors about the wide availability and variety of
American hardwood species as well as their proven environmental credentials,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Egypt | Exports | Ahec | American Hardwoods |

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