US hardwood exports to India in Q1 2022 experiences uptick

Roderick Wiles, regional director of AHEC speaking at Wood in Architecture + Design at INDIAWOOD 2022

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has released the latest figures for US hardwood exports to India, commenting that US hardwood lumber exports to India continued their upward trajectory in the Q1 2022, with the total shipped to the market rising by 20% in volume to 2,262m3 and by 36% in value to US$1.58 million, as compared to Q1 in 2021.

The statistics, which have been compiled from the latest data released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), were announced on the sidelines of INDIAWOOD.

According to AHEC, shipments to India during Q1 were dominated by red oak, white oak and hickory. The increase in exports in Q1 follows a new record for exports of US hardwood lumber to India in 2021. The total volume shipped, 11,109m3 was almost triple the previous record
set in 2019, indicating far more than just a post-COVID recovery.

The biggest increases in value and volume were seen in hickory, which experienced 99% and 53% growth respectively, white oak with 160% and 121%, and red oak with 51% and 86%. AHEC’s participation at INDIAWOOD is testament to its belief in the market, which is going through a period of modernisation.

“American hardwoods are gaining acceptance in India. The process is slow but sure and many manufacturers are only using US hardwoods for the first time now, having been very used to working with teak, sheesham, mango and acacia, amongst other species,” said Roderick Wiles, regional director of AHEC.

“That being said, India is one of a few significant global markets that remain largely untapped for American hardwoods. It offers a substantial market opportunity, and it is expected that we will see US hardwood exports to India rise significantly in the coming years, as they gain wider acceptance.”

AHEC’s participation at INDIAWOOD is aimed at promoting American hardwoods across the country’s growing number of construction, interior design and furniture projects and reinforcing its market presence in India. During the five-day show, AHEC hosted a pavilion, which will serve to highlight the variety of American hardwood species while also throwing the spotlight on the benefits the value-added processes undertaken to treat American hardwoods.

“There is absolutely no doubt that India is now waking up to American hardwoods and many factors are contributing to the rise in demand. The country’s wood furniture industry is thriving and expanding, with production increasing for both export and the domestic market,” said Wiles.

“Demand for wood furniture, joinery, doors, windows, flooring, cladding and other products is also increasing both in India itself and around the world, giving the industry the opportunity to expand rapidly and leverage skilled labor and lower-cost manufacturing. At the same time, the availability of locally sourced hardwoods is in terminal decline, which bodes well for the future of American hardwoods in India.”