Exports of U.S. Hardwood Products: Increasing Performance in Asia and Western Europe
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The identification and understanding of factors impacting international markets for primary hardwood products (i.e. lumber) in key US overseas markets is essential for US hardwood producers to shape successful marketing strategies. Previous research (Parhizkar, et al. 2009, Buehlmann, et al. 2007, and Luppold 2006) indicates that exporting activities are vital for the US hardwood industry to survive. Exports haven’t risen to match 2007 records, but they have certainly become a key market for present and short term US hardwood production. In 2011, exports represented 17.3% of the volume of all Eastern US hardwood production (1.2 BBF), which translated into a 46.5% of all grade lumber markets and 58.0% of the volume of mid-to upper-grade markets (HMR, 2012). From 2009 to the end of 2012, the volume of exports of hardwood lumber increased by 60% (USDA FAS GATS, 2013). The key hardwood species exported to international markets include: Red Oak, White Oak, Ash, Walnut and Yellow poplar (HMR, 2012). International markets are growing in importance and have become a marketing research priority.