AHEC confident of increased demand for American hardwoods in the MENA region in 2012

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Press Release

Roderick Wiles, AHEC Director for Africa, Middle East, India and Oceania. Photo:Supplied

Trade servicing mission reinforces the UAE’s position as a regional wood import and processing hub

March 04, 2012 – Demand for American hardwoods in the MENA region is poised to remain strong in 2012 according to the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry. Confident about the continued growth in the regional demand for US hardwoods this year, Roderick Wiles, AHEC Director for Africa, Middle East, India and Oceania recently undertook a trade servicing mission to the UAE, which continues to remain the region’s wood processing and distribution hub. With imports of hardwood lumber in excess of USD 8.3 million in value from January to October 2011, the UAE has emerged as an important market for American hardwoods in the MENA region, wherein the total imports of American hardwood lumber totalled USD 41.26 million over the same period.

The trade servicing mission saw Wiles conduct site-visits with various saw mills, wood processing factories and importers of hardwoods across the UAE. These included Phoenix Timber Factory and Decovision in Abu Dhabi, Timber Market, Mohiudeen Wood and Al Nibras in Sharjah and Ajman, and Farlin Wood, Dubai National Saw Mills, Madar Emirates and Danube Building Materials in Dubai. The visits, which were aimed at reinforcing trade ties with key players from the timber industry, revealed that the majority of them acquired and maintained large stocks of American hardwoods, including kiln-dried and shipping-dried timber in view of the market’s healthy appetite for both. While significant increases were seen in the volume of shipments of white oak and tulipwood to the Middle East and North Africa during the January to October period of 2011, red oak still accounted for just over 44 per cent of all exports of American hardwood lumber to the region at a volume of 25,998 m3. The other major species exported were ash, white oak and and tulipwood at volumes of 7,616 m3, 6,902 m3 and 6,451 m3 respectively.

“This trade servicing mission provided us a great opportunity to interact with major players in the timber industry, and to reinforce the positive attributes of American hardwoods. The visits have revealed a high level of awareness and understanding about various species and their applications, which is further reflected in the high demand for American hardwoods across the region. We will continue to raise awareness, as we intend to bolster the UAE’s position as the processing and distribution hub in the region,” said Roderick Wiles. “The uncertainty experienced in markets such as Egypt and in some other parts of the region in early 2011 dissipated towards the end of the year, and we are positive that the trend will continue in the same direction. Fair growth in the economic sector and a significant movement towards recovery from the global financial crisis has seen the entire region stabilize, and we are confident that this will reflect positively in the year ahead.”

As part of its efforts to increase the usage of American hardwoods across the many ongoing projects in the region, AHEC has announced its participation in the 2012 edition of the Dubai International Wood and Wood Machinery Show (Dubai WoodShow), to be held from April 3 – 5, 2012 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC), where key U.S. hardwood exporting companies will be present under the banner of the American Hardwood Pavilion. The 16 participating U.S. hardwood companies are Northland Corporation, American Hardwood Industries, Wheeland Lumber, Nina Company, Sonoking Corporation, Shannon Lumber International, Buchanan Hardwoods, Bridgewell Resources, Northland Forest Products, Classic American Hardwoods, Allegheny Wood Products, American Lumber, Baillie Lumber, Frank Miller Lumber, Kretz Lumber, and Roy Anderson Lumber. In addition, Hardwood States Export Group (HSEG), which is a collation of 13 major US hardwood exporting states HSEG, and the Wood Component Manufacturers Association (WCMA) will also be participating.

Trade Servicing mission in Dubai
Trade Servicing mission in Dubai

“With the region demonstrating a healthy appetite for American hardwoods, we are confident that 2012 will be a positive year. The UAE has already registered impressive growth in import figures in 2011 and we expect Egypt and Saudi Arabia to follow this lead in 2012. We are looking forward to the Dubai WoodShow, which will allow us an opportunity to further the knowledge and awareness on the benefits and advantages of American hardwoods, whilst also highlighting its environmental credentials. We look forward in particular to announcing the results of our ongoing Life Cycle Assessment study, which highlights AHEC’s commitment to promoting the environmental credentials of American hardwoods in line with the region’s demands for sustainability in the construction sector,” concluded Wiles.
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About AHEC:
The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is the leading international trade association for the U.S. hardwood industry, representing the committed exporters among U.S. hardwood companies and all the major U.S. hardwood production trade associations. AHEC runs a worldwide programme to promote American hardwoods in over 50 export markets, concentrating on providing architects, specifiers, designers and end-users with technical information on the range of species, products and sources of supply. In addition, AHEC also produces a full range of technical publications. Visit: www.americanhardwood.org.

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