Bahrain hardwood imports rise 52pc
Dubai, April 13, 2010
Bahrain imported 52.6 per cent more American hardwood lumber in 2009 despite the global downturn, said the American Hardwood Export Council (Ahec).
The announcement was made at the opening of the Dubai WoodShow 2010. The show will run until April 15 at the Dubai Airport Expo.
Ahec, the international trade association for the US hardwood industry, also reported that exports of US hardwood products in the Mena region reached $71 million in 2009.
The numbers represent a decrease from the $80.6 million figures posted in 2008 but are significantly higher than the $62.4 million figures of 2007. Whilst the decline in 2009 was widely anticipated due to the presence of the global economic downturn, Ahec officials remain upbeat given the strong demand for lumber and veneer.
The UAE continues to remain an integral market with its role of being the region’s wood processing and redistribution hub, Ahec said.
Despite Dubai’s drop in demand over the last eighteen months, the increasing demand for more American hardwood in Abu Dhabi has helped in consolidating the country’s position as a key market for American hardwood.
In addition, the Saudi Arabia market is also expected to post an increased demand to help complement its rapidly developing construction sector while Egypt’s massive furniture and interiors sector is also forecasted to drive in similar increases.
“The growing demand for more American hardwood products in the Middle East has allowed us to look forward to a stronger market presence in the region,” said Roderick Wiles, Ahec director for Africa, Middle East, South Asia and Oceania.
“Participating as the Official Knowledge Partner at the Dubai WoodShow 2010, which is the region’s only wood-focused exhibition, provides us with the strategic vehicle to create new partnerships and business opportunities that can leverage the growing awareness and market knowledge of American hardwoods,” he added.
Ahec is also actively involved in the three new initiatives being introduced at the annual event, including the Dubai WoodShow Forum, Dubai WoodShow Roundtables and Dubai WoodShow Workshops.
The American pavilion will occupy 144 sq m of floor space at the expo, where Ahec will be demonstrating hardwood lumber grading and distributing technical publications on US hardwood species.
“We are confident that our increased activities within the region will build awareness on the advantages of using American hardwoods, not only in terms of quality but also amidst the widespread demand for proof of sustainability,” Wiles concluded. – TradeArabia News Service