PRESS RELEASE – February 2016

Global exports of American Hardwoods top $3.3 billion  

Total US hardwood products exported including lumber, logs, veneers, flooring, hardwood plywood, chips and mouldings amounted to a value of over US$3.3 billion in 2015.  

Worldwide exports of American hardwood lumber alone in 2015 exceeded US$2 billion, with the top destination China accounting for 46.6% of the value of all lumber shipments.  Southeast Asia imported US$217 million – a further 10.5% placing the greater China and Southeast Asian markets at over 57% of global lumber exports from the USA.  The long-term trend for lumber exports shows growth from under US$1billion in 2009 to over US$2billion in 2015.

The latest data reveals the global market demand for the top ten commercial species of lumber from the American hardwood forests of the Eastern states and Pacific North-west.  The top five species in order of value of exports were Red Oak (25% by volume), White Oak (16%), Ash (10%), Tulipwood (15%) and Walnut (5%) amounting to a total of 71% by volume.  Maples, Red Alder, Cherry, Hickory and Birch make up the balance.  Cherry has shown the greatest increase in value, up 15% and up 21% in volume, amounting to US$ 90.7million on 118,198 m3.

For Southeast Asia, leading lumber species were White Oak (33% by value), Tulipwood (28%), Walnut (9%), Red Oak (6%), and Cherry (5%).  In Vietnam, Tulipwood was the leading species amounting to 32% of the country’s imports by value followed by White Oak at 28% with Red Oak and Walnut next.  Cherry imports by Vietnam increased by 140% by value (US$8.8 million) and 126% in volume (8,660 m3).  Vietnam, as the second largest market outside North America for American hardwood lumber, accounted for 71% of Southeast Asian shipments at US$154.7 million.  Other markets in order of value were Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines.

In addition to lumber shipments of US$217 million, Southeast Asia also imported American hardwood logs to the value of US$58.8 million.  Leading log species were in Vietnam and Thailand: Tulipwood and White Oak; Indonesia and Malaysia: Red Oak and White Oak; Singapore: Red Oak and Ash and Philippines: White Oak.

Indonesia was the leading destination in Southeast Asia for American hardwood veneer (US$7.9 million) with Oak by far the most important species at 67%.  Malaysia imported a further US$5.4 million with White Oak accounting for 61% and Vietnam imported US$5.2 million with Red Oak the leading species at 25%, followed by Walnut, White Oak, Maple, Cherry and Ash.

AHEC Director for Greater China and Southeast Asia in Hong Kong John Chan said “This data demonstrates the long-term growth and importance of these markets and the diversity of species from the sustainable forests of the USA.