US hardwoods to make a mark with its own pavilion

Fourteen US hardwood lumber and veneer exporters are showcasing the beauty and versatility of American hardwoods at IndiaWood 2024.

The American Hardwood Pavilion, which will occupy 224 square metres, will serve to highlight the variety of US hardwood species while also throwing the spotlight on the benefits of the value-added processes undertaken to supply such a high-quality and high-yielding kiln-dried raw material.

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the US hardwood industry, has reported a record year of exports to India   in 2023, coupled with India’s growing appetite for temperate hardwoods.

Participating companies include Baillie Lumber, Banks Hardwoods, Bingaman & Son Lumber, Cascade Hardwood, Classic American Hardwoods, Crown Hardwood Co., Hartzell Hardwoods, Midwest Hardwood Corporation, Midwest Timber Exports, Missouri Walnut, Ron Jones Hardwood, Turman Group, Wheeland Lumber and W.M. Cramer Lumber.

“Demand for North American hardwood lumber has been increasing in recent years. Data provided by the US Department of Agriculture for the first 11 months of 2023 revealed that US hardwood exports to India were valued at US$6.54 million, equating to a volume of 10,905 cubic metres,” said Roderick Wiles, AHEC’s Regional Director.

According to AHEC, whilst the export-focused furniture and handicraft manufacturers (concentrated in Rajasthan) represent the greatest current market opportunity for US hardwood lumber in India, the long-term target market will be domestic consumers.

Currently, this market is primarily serviced by smaller furniture, joinery and flooring manufacturers, who offer bespoke solutions and who are not export-focused.

The size of the domestic furniture market cannot be understated. According to Mordor Intelligence, it is estimated at US$15.79 billion in 2023, and is expected to reach US$26.85 billion by 2028, growing at an annual rate of over 11% during the forecast period. In recent years, the market has expanded beyond chairs

and tables to include designed interiors, wardrobes and upholstered furniture.   Escalating demand for customisation is another major growth-inducing factor, as consumers are seeking personalised, functional, and design-centric furniture, Roderick added.

“Despite increasing demand, there are very few importers and distributors, especially for such a large market.

This means that, while large manufacturers can import containers directly and with relative ease, the smaller ones (of which there are hundreds), are restricted to buying from very limited and geographically spread out imported stocks,” he said.

“Our participation in IndiaWood and the record attendance of US hardwood exporters will certainly help our members grow their business ties in India and create stronger trade relations between India and the American hardwood industry for many years to come,” Roderick concluded.


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