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China’s U.S. Hardwood Import Increase

CHINA: China’s rapid-growth in real estate and eco-friendly building markets had caused the value of U.S. hardwood export to China to rise 4.8 percent year-on-year to $520 million between January and April.

“Rising wages in China have created an exploding middle class, and new, additional demand for US hardwood products,” said John Chan, regional director for Southeast Asia and China of the American Hardwood Export Council. “All the new homes, hotels, shopping centers, restaurants and office blocks being built in China need flooring, cabinetry, doors and windows, as well and building materials made using wood products,” he said. “The potential is immense.”

A report by China Daily said that US hardwood product exports to China have more than doubled in the previous five years with the value of more than $1 billion.

According to the executive director of the Washington DC-based AHED, Mike Snow, China and the United States have both made public pledges to curb carbon emissions, and the US exporters will have opportunities to grow markets and see continued demand in China.

“Forest expansion in the US is another encouraging reality for the Chinese furniture and building industries, which depend on on a stable source of raw materials to satisfy growing Chinese demand,” said Snow.

All major US hardwood production trade associations and more than 100 US hardwood companies are represented by AHEC, which has a regional branch in Hong Kong to coordinate business in China and Southeast Asia covering China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The China and Southeast Asia regional market accounted for $621 million, which is 53 percent of global exports between January and April this year. Data from the foreign agricultural service of the US Department of Agriculture revealed that China alone represents 44 percent of these exports.

“New technologies including ‘cross-laminated-timer’ and ‘thermally modified timber’ have begun to open even more uses and applications for sustainable US hardwoods in the contraction and exterior markets in both China and the US,” said a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Scott Bowe. He added that these solutions would help to replace materials like steel, concrete, aluminum and plastics that have a higher environmental impact.