Apologies were received from David Venables who could not attend the meeting. Instead, the presentation was
made by Neil Summers (Timber Dimension) on behalf of AHEC.
Neil initially showed the audience slides depicting the US forest cover; not unsurprisingly the Hardwood
Forest is densest in the Appalachian region. He then highlighted the key export markets and trends by showing statistics. The US remains by far the world hardwood leader, followed by Thailand
and Malaysia. The main markets for sawn hardwood are China, the EU, Canada, Vietnam, Mexico and Japan. Hardwood Lumber products exported to China from the US are now mainly for Chinese domestic
consumption while exports to Vietnam are processed there and re-exported for other markets. The largest importer of US hardwoods in Europe is now the UK followed by Italy, Germany and Spain. In the
UK, White Oak is by far the primary species. In Germany it is Tulipwood, while Italy imports more red oak than White (possibly) indicating a trend that might sweep the rest of Europe. In Italy the
Red Oak is stained to a darker finish for interior joinery and furniture components. AHEC is hoping this could be a great opportunity for US hardwood producers as a third of US forests is covered by
On legality and sustainability, AHEC has developed the American Hardwood Environmental Profile. AHEP; is a
document which can be sent by AHEC members to their buyers to give proof of legality while also providing life cycle data. Lastly, Neil showed some great examples of US hardwood applications such as
the Endless Stair and the Smile, both showcasing the potential of cross laminated hardwood using tulipwood.