Hickory, red oak and white oak drive growth of US hardwood lumber exports to India in H1 2022

The total value of American hardwood lumber and veneer exported to India was US$3.543 million in the first six months of this year

According to the American Hardwood Export Council(AHEC), the total exports of U.S. hardwood lumber and veneer to India for the first half of 2022 reached US$3.543 million, statistics compiled from the latest data released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealed that U.S. hardwood lumber exports to India reached US$2.728 million whilst U.S. hardwood veneer exports were valued at US$815,000. Testament to the maturation of the market, there has been a continued and sustained shift from importing U.S. hardwood logs to importing kiln-dried lumber.

A closer look at the numbers reveal that total hardwood lumber shipped from the United States to India increased by 36% in value to US$2.728m (up from US$2.004m) and by 15% in volume to 3,791m3 (up from 3,286 m3). The top three American hardwood species exported were hickory (US$1.245m and 1,400 m3), white oak (US$647,000 and 944 m3), and red oak (US$572,000 and 966 m3). A significant increase was also seen in exports of walnut, with the value and volume of shipments both increasing by 279% to reach US$57,000 and 53 m3 respectively.

Limited domestic hardwood supplies, coupled with strong sustained growth in the retail furniture, handicraft and hospitality sectors have driven the demand for new species, making India an attractive and long-term prospective market for U.S. hardwoods. The first half numbers are in line with the new record high for U.S. hardwood exports to India achieved last year, which saw both the value and volume of hardwood lumber shipped to the country more than double the previous high set in 2019. AHEC expects demand for American hardwoods in India to continue to rise and is committed to servicing this growing demand.

“The biggest increase in the first half of this year was seen in red oak lumber exports to India, with both the value and volume of exports increasing by 174% and 180% respectively. American red oak is the dominant species in the U.S. hardwood forests with its distinctive grain pattern and is suitable for a wide range of applications including furniture, flooring, doors, architectural joinery, mouldings and kitchen cabinets. Given that there is more red oak growing than is being harvested, it is promising to see India embrace the most sustainable and widely-available American hardwood species,” concluded Roderick Wiles, AHEC regional director.