U.S. hardwood lumber exports totaled 115 million board feet (MMBF) in August 2012, 16% higher than in August 2011. August was the 14th straight month in which exports exceeded the same month a year earlier, and the 4th straight month in which shipments to China set a new record for that particular month.
Overall exports to Asia were relatively good in October, though contacts indicated slower activity in one or two markets, including Vietnam. U.S. hardwoods are reportedly gaining market share in Asia. The struggling European economies resulted in slower hardwood markets, as credit was very tight, home building was slow and secondary wood products manufacturing was down.
Many European buyers and U.S. exporters expect the EU Timber Regulation to bolster demand for U.S. hardwoods when it takes effect in March 2013. Mexican imports of hardwood lumber remain well ahead of last year. According to one Mexican flooring manufacturer, the Mexican government forecasted that construction will grow 40% over the next five years.