US hardwood exports to Mena top $14m
Dubai, July 12, 2010
The value of direct US hardwood lumber exports to the Mena region has reached $13.9 million from January to April this year, according to the American Hardwood Export Council (Ahec).
The growth is highly evident in the numbers recorded across leading regional markets such as the UAE, which is showing renewed and steadily increasing interest, with the import value hitting $2.5 million during the first four months of the year. The recorded export to the Emirates during the specified period has also doubled - from $1.17 million last year to the aforementioned level this year, thereby distinguishing the UAE as the top importer in the GCC region.
Usage of US hardwood lumber in the Mena region has been increasing significantly in recent years, with red oak emerging as the most in-demand among all species in the Middle East, recording a total export volume of 4,688 cu. metres. In the North Africa region, red oak has also seen high demand, but demand for white oak has been increasing and shipments reached over 1,000 cu. metres in the first four months of this year.
Optimistic of the growth potential in American hardwood exports to majority of the regional countries, Ahec is focusing heavily on all aspects of the UAE’s interiors sector and looking at the furniture, flooring, kitchen cabinets, doors and internal joinery, which have all emerged as strong drivers of the regional wood processing business.
“Despite the influence of the global economic recession on export volumes to some leading regional markets, we are, once again, seeing stable growth since the beginning of the year, which indicates that local customers are now becoming more active again,” said Roderick Wiles, Ahec director for Africa, Middle East, India and Oceania.
In addition to the UAE, other top importers of US hardwoods in the Middle East region from January to April 2010 include Saudi Arabia, which ordered products with a total value of almost $1.9 million and Egypt, which accounts for the bulk of US hardwoods shipments to the North Africa region, with more than $3.1 million in total exports delivered to the country during the same period.
Identifying the prospects within other emerging US hardwood markets, AHEC is looking to extend its awareness drive to Lebanon, Jordan and Qatar, in addition to Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain.-TradeArabia News Service