IFMAC 2016 was fundamentally a woodworking machinery show with a small element of wood material, including a cluster of American hardwood exporters as the most prominent wood exhibitors.
Northland Forest Products NH, Gardner Hardwoods LLC VA, BOSS Lumber Corp VA, Turman Wood Group VA and MacDonald & Owen Lumber WI clustered with the America Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) at the show together with a team of staff from AHEC, led by Regional Director John Chan from Hong Kong. The cluster was housed in a cherry veneer lattice structure, designed by Mr Jarrod Lim and made in Indonesia by Dietmar Dutilleux – the team that had created the award-winning American hardwood pavilion at the Singapore furniture show earlier in the year. Robinson Lumber and APP Timber, both AHEC members, also exhibited separately at the show.
Mr Eddy Budiono, President of PT Abadi Indorono, presented at a technical seminar organized by Himpunan Industri dan Mebel Kerajinen Indonesia (HIMKI) on the first morning (28th September) on the subject of American hardwoods in Indonesia, for which he has long experience. Introducing Mr Budiono, John Chan took the opportunity to introduce AHEC as the leading international trade organisation for the U.S. Hardwood industry representing over 180 US hardwood companies and major US hardwood product trade associations promoting sustainable U.S. hardwood’s variety of species, grades and grading rules, supply sources and applications. Over 80 delegates attended his presentation. HIMKI (Indonesian Furniture and Craft Industry Association) is the recently formed amalgamation of the former ASMINDO furniture association and AMKRI the rattan and craft association, said to have been encouraged by Indonesia’s President Jokowi, himself a former furniture industry trader.
Visitors to the show, which was generally quite busy, were invited to an ‘open house’ lunch reception on the opening day at the AHEC booth, attracting many ‘friends of AHEC’. Throughout the exhibition and at the seminar 500 copies of the American Hardwood Supplement 2016 in Bahasa Indonesia language were distributed. This is an annual trade promotion supported by AHEC and published by Indonesian publisher Pose; distributed to the wood-working industries throughout Indonesia.
During the show a press delegation visited the American group and interviewed John Chan on a range of subjects relating to hardwoods in Indonesia. Each of the media was given AHEC publications, the latest American hardwood supplement in Bahasa and a press pack with information and statistics on the American hardwood trade in Asia,.
In 2015 American hardwood lumber exports to Indonesia were valued at $21 million and total hardwood products, including logs and veneer etc., amounted to $36 million. Over half the import of lumber was white oak, whereas in logs red oak exceeded white oak. Indonesia’s economy has strengthened in recent months as infrastructural projects have progressed and this has been reflected by an increase in the value of the Indonesian Rupiah from around IR14,000 to $1, now valued at IR12,800, which in some small measure improves the competitiveness of American hardwoods in Indonesia. A recently introduced tax amnesty is also expected to raise government revenues significantly and reduce capital outflows, further strengthening the currency. In September Indonesia concluded its Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU on SVLK licensing of Indonesian wood products exported to EU countries, which is expected to benefit its furniture industry exports, some of which use American hardwoods.
Feedback on IFMAC 2016 from the exhibiting American hardwood exporters was generally positive, with sentiment expressed that it was ‘a useful show’, particularly for those new to the Indonesian market. Several said that there were frequent Indonesian visitors who were looking for American hardwood supplies for the first time. The next main promotional opportunity in Indonesia will be the IFEX furniture show in Jakarta 11th -14th March 2017.