NHLA holds 3-day grading course in Vietnam

by Michael Buckley

In a very busy month for American hardwoods in Vietnam, the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) conducted a three-day grading seminar in Ho Chi Minh City in March.

The 3-day grading course was conducted at Tavico’s premises in Dong Nai province, just outside Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam/ Photo Credit: Michael Buckley

Held at the in-house training centre at Tavico’s distribution centre in Dong Nai province just outside Ho Chi Minh City, the course was open to all and attracted 23 participants, including five of Tavico’s own staff.

Conducted by NHLA Inspector Roman Matyushenko in English, the course included classroom instruction and practical grading experience in Tavico’s extensive storage facilities. Matyushenko introduced the NHLA and its long history of grade development to the point of its universal acceptance today in both domestic and international markets. He then described the role of NHLA in education, networking, advocacy, promotion and inspection services.

The course commenced with the fundamental principles of grading; establishing that both sides of a board are assessed so as to choose the poor side of the board to determine the grade – an issue not always understood in Asia. If the same for both sides then the least number of cuttings determines the side for establishing the grade.  The first day focused on the method of establishing surface measure and coming to grips with measurement in feet and inches, not always easy in Asia. The day was completed with a series of theoretical exercises before proceeding to the yard for practical grading.

Speaking at the end of the course Matyushenko said, “The two last days of the seminar were perfect. This was my first grading class outside China and I enjoyed it much. I am glad, that now Vietnamese hardwood companies are interested in hardwood grading rules, which means they seriously want to do the business on a higher level. It looks like the Vietnamese are now becoming more and more important players in the global hardwood market.” 

About Roman Matyushenko

Roman Matyushenko was born and lives in Omsk, in central south Russia. He started work with lumber in 2008 and for four years worked with Randy Wilson a former NHLA Inspector, before formally joining NHLA in 2013.  Since then he has worked extensively in China including giving up to four seminars a year as well as lumber grading demonstrations at Sylva Wood in Shanghai in 2015, with plans to repeat the exercise this year. Roman has also conducted inspections in Malaysia as part of his role for NHLA in Asia.

(This report was first published in Wood Purchasing News, Memphis TN)