Roderick Wiles, director American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) Africa, Middle East, India and Oceania has visited a number of saw mills and wood processing factories to learn about trade ties in the region.
Plants included Phoenix Timber Factory and Decovision in Abu Dhabi, Timber Market, Mohiudeen Wood and Al Nibras in Sharjah and Ajman, and Farlin Wood, Dubai National Saw Mills, Madar Emirates and Danube Building Materials in Dubai.
The visits, aimed at reinforcing trade ties with the timber industry, revealed the majority of them acquired and maintained large stocks of American hardwoods, including kiln-dried and shipping-dried timber in view of the market’s appetite for both.
While increases were seen in the volume of shipments of white oak and tulipwood to the Middle East and North Africa during the January to October period of 2011, red oak accounted for just over 44% of all exports of American hardwood lumber to the region at a volume of 25,998 m3. The other major species exported were ash, white oak and and tulipwood at volumes of 7,616 m3, 6,902 m3 and 6,451 m3 respectively.
“We will continue to raise awareness, as we intend to bolster the UAE’s position as the processing and distribution hub in the region,” said Wiles.
“The uncertainty experienced in markets such as Egypt and in some other parts of the region in early 2011 dissipated towards the end of the year, and we are positive that the trend will continue in the same direction.
“Fair growth in the economic sector and a significant movement towards recovery from the global financial crisis has seen the entire region stabilise, and we are confident that this will reflect positively in the year ahead.”
With imports of hardwood lumber in excess of USD 8.3 million in value from January to October 2011, the UAE has emerged as an important market for American hardwoods in the MENA region, wherein the total imports of American hardwood lumber totalled USD 41.26 million over the same period.
As part of its efforts to increase the usage of American hardwoods across the region, AHEC has announced its participation in the 2012 Dubai International Wood and Wood Machinery Show (Dubai WoodShow), April 3-5, at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.