Exports of U.S. hardwoods to the MENA region reach $86.54m in 2012
- United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, March 05 - 2013 at 09:29
- PRESS RELEASE
Total exports of U.S. hardwood lumber and veneer to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region reached $86.54m for the year 2012, according to a statement issued by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry.
In addition, direct shipments of U.S. hardwood veneers to the MENA region during 2012 reached a total value of $24.10m, rising by 17% in comparison to the previous year.
In general, exports to the region increased significantly for the year on account of a substantial increase in demand for American hardwoods in the UAE, Turkey, Jordan and Pakistan.
The statistics have been released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and show that the UAE, in value, was the number one destination for U.S. hardwood lumber for 2012, with total shipments reaching $11.62m, rising by 14% in comparison to the previous year.
Turkey emerged as the second most significant destination with the value of shipments reaching $9.62m and marking an increase of 68% over 2011. In volume terms, Pakistan has emerged as the number one buyer in the region, taking 16,056 cubic meters of American hardwood lumber for the year, which equated to $8.63m in value terms. These numbers mark increases of 133% and 170% respectively over 2011.
Speaking on the sidelines of a trade servicing mission to the UAE, Roderick Wiles, AHEC Director for Africa, Middle East, India and Oceania, said: "Demand for American hardwoods in the MENA region is poised to remain strong this year as well. The majority of importers continue to acquire and maintain large stocks of American hardwoods, driven by the renewed surge in the construction sector. While significant increases were seen in the volume of shipments of ash and walnut to the Middle East and North Africa in 2012, red oak still accounted for 29% of all exports of American hardwood lumber to the region. In addition to ash and walnut, the other major species exported included white oak and tulipwood."
A closer look at other markets across the region reveals strong demand for American hardwood lumber in Saudi Arabia ($7.79m), Egypt ($4.49m), Jordan ($4.49m), Lebanon ($3.29m) and Qatar ($2.06m).
In terms of value, the biggest increases in exports of U.S. hardwood lumber were seen in Oman (238%), Qatar (149%), Algeria (474%) and Jordan (50%). With respect to U.S. hardwood veneers, the biggest markets were Egypt ($10.22m), Turkey ($6.91m), Lebanon ($2.96m) and the UAE ($2.54m).
According to Wiles, fair growth in the economic sector and a significant movement towards recovery from the global financial crisis has seen the entire region stabilize, which is evident in the overall increase in exports across most markets.
"Given the on-going political and, therefore, economic uncertainty in Egypt, imports for timber products as a whole have been impacted negatively. However, the demand for American veneers remained strong and imports to Egypt actually grew by 10% in 2012. Significantly, increases in exports of U.S. hardwood lumber and veneers were seen in most markets across the region including for the first time in recent history, direct shipments of U.S. hardwood lumber to Libya and Iraq. With demand expected to remain strong through 2013, we are looking forward to our participation at the upcoming Dubai WoodShow, which will provide us with another opportunity to interact with major players in the timber industry and to further promote the many positive attributes of American hardwoods," concluded Wiles.
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