Booming construction sector in the GCC drives demand for softwood lumber

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American Softwoods’ participation at ‘Dubai WoodShow 2015’ to help bolster stronger trade ties with the MENA wood sector

April 19, 2015 – Demand for timber and timber products is expected to witness unprecedented growth in the GCC region on account of the booming construction sector according to a report by Ventures Middle East. With the total value of GCC building contracts awarded expected to surge to USD 91,516 million by the end of this year, the potential for further growth is significant. Aiming to leverage the potential across the region, American Softwoods (AMSO), the promotional partnership formed by three major U.S. softwood trade associations, has successfully participated at the Dubai WoodShow 2015, which ran from April 14 – 16, 2015 at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Center.

According to the ‘Future Outlook of the Wood Industry in the GGC’ report, growth in the construction market has led to an overall increase in regional wood imports, particularly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which have seen phenomenal growth over the last three years. Currently, the construction sector consumes the largest quantities of softwood products for applications such as concrete forming and scaffolding while demand for pallets, crates and boxes is largely stemming from the oil & gas as well as the logistics and transportation industries. The upward trajectory of the construction industry in the region bodes well for AMSO, which hosted an American Softwoods pavilion at the Dubai WoodShow with over fifteen U.S. softwood lumber exporters.

“American softwoods have been traditionally exported to the MENA region. In fact, total exports of U.S. softwood lumber reached a value of USD 27.445 million in 2014. This represents an overall increase in value of 26 percent over 2013 and is reflection of how well the market has accepted our species and products,” said Charles Trevor, Consultant to American Softwoods. “Given the positive demand for American softwoods, AMSO is looking to leverage its presence at the Dubai WoodShow to further increase knowledge and exposure of American softwoods to the UAE and wider Middle East audience. Further, our participation at the ‘Talking Timber’ seminar held on the eve of the show allowed us with the opportunity to meet industry players and professionals and share more knowledge on the wide array of commercially available species and products.”

The American Softwoods pavilion served to highlight the variety of American softwood species. Participating companies included Olympic Industries; BCH Trading Company; Seven Seas Group, USA; Coast Clear Wood; Ontario Project Management; Tumac; Elof Hansson; Robinson Lumber; Canadian Wood Products; Almond Brothers Lumber Company; Klumb Lumber; Gulf South; Jazz Forest Products; Bridgeport; Louisiana Pacific; Walsh Industries; and Boise Cascade. In addition, representatives from the Softwood Export Council (SEC), Western Wood Products Association, Missouri Department of Agriculture, and APA – The Engineered Wood Products Association were also available at the stand to answer technical queries.

“As the only dedicated wood and wood machinery exhibition in the region, the Dubai WoodShow plays a vital role in our focus to build a strong market for American softwoods in the region. Further, our continued support of the event and the growing participation of more U.S. softwood exporters is reflective of our strong commitment to the regional market. The show not only allows us direct interaction with the many wood traders, manufacturers and specifiers across the Middle East and North Africa, but also enables our members to create lasting and strategic partnerships,” concluded Trevor.

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