Total U.S. hardwood lumber exports amounted to over US$1.1 billion in the first half of 2016, up 6% compared to the same period last year.
More than half of all U.S. hardwood lumber exports in the first six months of 2016 were shipped to China, up 16% in value compared to the same period last year.
Lumber shipped to the European market (28 countries including UK) rose 13% in volume and 7.5% in value indicating some shift in buying.
Southeast Asia performance
The total by value of exports to Southeast Asia amounted to US$110 million. Some countries eased buying while others such as Thailand demonstrated steady sales.
Vietnam continued its spectacular growth on the back of its furniture sector boom and strong domestic demand. with shipments swelling a further 3%. The country remains the third largest export market for American hardwoods after China and Canada.
Species in demand
The top four species in demand in Southeast Asia were White Oak, Tulipwood, Walnut and Red Oak. In Vietnam, Tulipwood now leads White Oak; these two are way ahead of all other species and its popularity is still growing.
Hickory also showed strong growth from a small base with Ash and Red Oak increasing as a likely material for Vietnam’s developing flooring sector.
Exports of Walnut also saw an increase in shipments to Vietnam and China, which surged 42% in the first half of this year.
Cover image: American hardwoods in production. Credit: AHEC