U.S. hardwood lumber exports climbed 12% to 1.194 billion board feet in 2011, an increase of
127 million board feet (MMBF) from 2010 and 395 MMBF from 2009. Exports of white oak, red oak and poplar grew by 44 MMBF, 37 MMBF and 24 MMBF, respectively, from 2010 to 2011. Ash surpassed alder to become the fourth leading export species, on the strength of a 16%
year-on-year shipment increase.
Shipments to top destination China jumped 37% from 2010 to 2011, reaching a record 451 MMBF. Shipments to Canada were virtually unchanged at 239 MMBF. Exports to Vietnam totaled 110 MMBF, and Mexico was fourth at 90 MMBF. A 22% year-on-year decrease in shipments to Italy—the largest European market—overshadowed solid gains in shipments to the United Kingdom and Germany.
Not surprisingly, Egyptian purchasing was down 43% in 2011. However, total exports to the Middle East and North Africa climbed for the year as buyers in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey increased their U.S. hardwood lumber purchases by 38%, 34% and 73%, respectively.
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