American Hardwood Export Council gears up for participation at inaugural ‘Woodtech Forum’ in the heart of Egypt’s furniture & woodworking industry.
Total exports of U.S. hardwood lumber and veneer to Egypt reached a value of USD 8.74 million in the first five months of 2016, according to the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry. The statistics, which have been compiled from the latest data released from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), reveal that U.S. hardwood lumber shipments to Egypt rose by 16 percent in volume (5,128 cubic meters) and by 4 percent in value (USD 3.944 million), marking a significant comeback in this major furniture producing market. In addition, direct exports of U.S. hardwood veneers to Egypt reached a total value of USD 4.708 million during the January to May period of this year, marginally falling by 2 percent in comparison to the same period in 2015.
A closer look at the statistics reveals that around 75 percent of the volume of lumber shipped to Egypt was red oak with ash, white oak, walnut and maple accounting for the remainder. With an aim to raise the profile of American hardwoods in Egypt, AHEC has announced its participation in the inaugural ‘Woodtech Forum’, which will take place at the Damietta Sports Hall in Ras El Bar, Damietta from November 26 - 27, 2016. Given that Damietta is the main hub for furniture production in Egypt, AHEC’s participation is aimed at educating visitors about the wide availability and variety of American hardwood species as well as their proven environmental credentials.
In addition, Dana Spessert, Chief Inspector, National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) will provide an introduction to grading American hardwood lumber and a practical demonstration of the NHLA Rules for grading American hardwood lumber. The presentation will aim to help attendees obtain a better understanding of the physical properties, grades and the potential for applications offered by the different species of American hardwoods, while reflecting AHEC’s renewed commitment to cater to and expand further in Egypt, which has demonstrated a growing appetite for U.S. hardwoods, driven by the growth in both domestic and overseas demand for Egyptian wood products.
“The Egyptian wood industry is poised to grow domestically, as the Government of Egypt engages in large-scale infrastructure projects, including the construction of one million affordable housing units in 13 locations with an estimated value of USD 40 billion, and the Mena Holding Group’s Ayaat City project at a cost of USD 24 billion. These projects present ample opportunities for American hardwood species; however, market development activities need to take place to capitalize on these opportunities,” said Roderick Wiles, AHEC Regional Director. “AHEC’s participation will help strategically reinforce the position of U.S. hardwoods as a favored material, mainly for interior joinery, flooring and furniture, and more importantly as key projects near their completion dates.”