Assessing Eastern White Pine Lumber Production and Use in the Eastern United States
Duvall, Paul Mason
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A survey of primary and secondary manufacturers of eastern white pine (EWP) was executed within three regions of the Eastern US: New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Lake States. Two hundred ninety-six usable questionnaires were returned in total, with 185 coming from primary manufacturers and 111 from secondary manufacturers of EWP. The data from these surveys was used to identify differences in market characteristics between the three regions producing EWP, and also between primary and secondary industries. It was found that markets for EWP were growing in all three regions. Overall growth among primary manufacturers was estimated at 6.9% during the next 5 years, with 18.9% expected from the secondary industry. Industry members in all three regions reported that they would be able to sell more EWP products if they could get more logs. This theme of log shortage and availability was present in all three regions, and likely has to do with the loggers in those regions and how much importance they place on harvesting EWP. Results indicated that primary manufacturers overestimated how highly secondary manufacturers valued machinability, product range, and the rustic look of EWP, as significant differences were found in all of those categories. This implies that sawmills need not emphasize these aspects as much as they have been, as they are less important to customers than sawmills may have believed. Conversely, primary manufacturers underestimated how highly secondary manufacturers valued on-time delivery, consistent price, JIT delivery, and flexible payment options. These results suggest that EWP sawmills would be able to gain an advantage by putting more effort into providing these services. The effect of imported species appeared to be less than anticipated, with more than one-half of both primary and secondary respondents reporting that imports had had no impact on their operation. However, primary manufacturers were more likely to report a negative effect than their secondary counterparts, with negative response rates at 41% and 20%, respectively.
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