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Significant growth for American hardwoods in India

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The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is confident that increased demand for American hardwoods will accelerate in India in 2011. The expected growth is bolstered by the US$ 4.8 million worth of American hardwood products that were shipped to India in 2010, consisting of lumber, veneer, logs and flooring. This figure reflects a 65% increase over the previous year. This increase complements recent forecasts that India’s construction sector will grow by 10% this year.
Aiming to capitalize on this anticipated growth, AHEC has announced that it will conduct seminars in Mumbai and Bangalore on February 22, and February 24 respectively. The announcement coincides with the ongoing ‘Delhiwood 2011’, which opened today (Thursday, February 17, 2011) at Pragati Maidan, Delhi.
AHEC’s focus at ‘Delhiwood 2011’ is to raise awareness and knowledge levels of American hardwoods amongst visiting importers, architects, designers and manufacturers. AHEC will also be the main sponsor of the Delhiwood Seminars to be held at the show, where AHEC consultants will speak about the environmental credentials of American hardwoods, the range of species available for end use applications and the grading of American hardwood lumber.
American hardwood logs have long been in high demand by Indian importers. However, American hardwood lumber saw a significant rise in demand, particularly in 2010, widening acceptance of imported kiln dried (KD) lumber amongst manufacturers. The volume of U.S. hardwood lumber shipped to India during the period was 2,030 m3 and this was mainly accounted for by hickory, as well as volumes of ash, maple and walnut. In 2010, U.S. hardwood lumber imports grew by 112% compared to the previous year, while import of logs grew by 107% and veneer imports rose by 7%.
Speaking at the sidelines of ‘Delhiwood 2011’, Roderick Wiles, said: "AHEC is seeing an increased demand for American hardwoods in India – a positive indication of the country’s continuous growth and development. In line with this, we are presenting a series of seminars and talks that can help raise more awareness on hardwoods and their uses. Events like these help us understand the requirements of the Indian market and cater to it better, and, at the same time, the direct interaction fosters development of new business relationships."
AHEC, through its active participation in industry related events, will also focus on providing technical information to architects, specifiers, designers and end-users about the wide range of species of American hardwoods, their diverse usage and sources of supply. The seminars in Mumbai and Bangalore will target architects, interior designers, wood processing companies and importers, with a view to further strengthen the market for American hardwoods.
The seminars will feature keynote presentations from Luke Hughes, renowned UK furniture designer-maker and Bob Sabistina, AHEC’s Technical Consultant. To date, AHEC has successfully participated in the first edition of Delhiwood in 2009, followed by Indiawood 2010 and is currently hosting the American Hardwood Pavilion at ‘Delhiwood 2011’, where, apart from general promotion of hardwood and lumbar grading area, 10 U.S. hardwood exporting companies, the Hardwood States Export Group and the Pennsylvania Hardwood Development Council are also present.
“There has been a high interest in American hardwoods from different user segments in India. Architects, interior designers, wood-processing companies, importers and other industry professionals were able to gain an in-depth understanding of unique characteristics, technical aspects and advantages of American hardwoods. I am grateful for the encouraging participation and look forward to more such direct interactions with the industry in this growing market,” concluded Wiles.

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