WASHINGTON — The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has projected that the regional demand for American Hardwood will remain strong amidst the current slowdown in the construction market. The organization further revealed that exports will remain stable, after registering a 19.6% jump to reach 55.5 million across the MENA region in 2008, according to latest data released by the United States Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS). In line with its aims to bolster import volumes to the region, AHEC has recently completed a successful participation at the Dubai International Wood and Wood Machinery Show 2009, where it networked with potential customers and introduced the latest American Hardwood products.

According to the USDA-FAS report, hardwood lumber, which is the principal value-added US hardwood product exported to the region, saw an increase in volume of 3.7% and in value of 3.8% to $35.5 million. Furthermore, latest data also reflected that shipments of both hardwood veneers and logs grew significantly in 2008, rising by 59.7% to $18.6 million and by 58.6% to $25.5 million respectively. In the UAE alone, lumber exports from the US in 2008 have reached $10 million while veneer and flooring shipments have reached $2.5 million and $167,000 respectively during the same year. Recording what is so far the largest hardwood delegation from the US that has ever exhibited at a trade show in the Middle East, all 20 exhibitors who participated under AHEC’s American Hardwood Pavilion secured significant deals.

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