WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. imports of wood flooring and hardwood plywood, led by China, doubled between 2002 and 2007, according to a market analysis report released by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

According to the study, “Wood Flooring and Hardwood Plywood: Competitive Conditions Affecting the U.S. Industries,” the market share of imported wood flooring and hardwood plywood grew from one-third in 2002 to one-half in 2007.

The ITC conducted the study at the request of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. The ITC analyzed the U.S. wood flooring and hardwood plywood industries, providing an overview of the U.S. markets, a description of the U.S. industries and those of principal supplier countries, and an examination of trade patters and the factors affecting the competitive position of U.S. producers.

Highlights of the report include:

  • U.S. wood flooring consumption grew rapidly over the period studied, driven by strong demand from residential construction and remodeling and rising consumer preference for wood flooring relative to other types of flooring. Increased demand for hardwood plywood in some end uses, including cabinets and fixtures, was partially offset by weak demand in furniture and other categories. The housing slowdown resulted in decreased consumption of both products in 2007.

  •  U.S. imports increased faster than U.S. production as shifting preferences for pre-finished flooring, exotic species and engineered wood flooring benefited imports more than domestic production.

  •  Combined global trade of wood flooring and hardwood plywood increased by 80% with the United States and the top foreign suppliers (Brazil, Canada, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Russia accounting for more than three-fourths of global exports.

  •  The declining U.S. dollar had uneven effects on the currencies of the major foreign suppliers to the U.S. market, with Malaysia and China having a definite advantage over other countries.

  • Illegal logging contributed to increased production and consumption of these products. Major exporters implemented measures designed to conserve and/or retain forest resources for their domestic producers and major markets, including the United States, European Union and Japan, have either implemented or are developing policies to address illegal logging.

PDF of the complete study is available on the ITC’s Web site for viewing or downloading. A CD-ROM of the report may be requested by e-mailing publicrequest@usitc.gov or phoning (202) 205-2000.

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