Total exports of U.S. hardwood lumber and veneer to India for the first half of 2021 reached USD 3.685 million, according to the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry. Statistics compiled from the latest data released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealed that U.S. hardwood lumber exports to India reached USD 2.019 million whilst U.S. hardwood veneer exports were valued at USD 1.666 million.
A closer look at the numbers reveal that total hardwood lumber shipped from the United States to India increased by 228 percent in value to USD 2.019 million (up from USD 615,000) and by 218 percent in volume to 3,322 cubic meters (up from 1,044 cubic meters). The top five American hardwood species exported were hickory (USD 715,000 and 1,172m3), ash (USD 437,000 and 642m3), white oak (USD 335,000 and 589m3), red alder (USD 252,000 and 455m3), and red oak (USD 223,000 and 381m3).
“Significant increases were seen in both value and volume of exports across all species, which proves that 2020 was a temporary dip in an otherwise upward trend. Despite global lumber shortages, uncertainty in freight rates and availability of containers, and generally increasing prices across all species, exports of both U.S. hardwood lumber and veneer to India were up year-on-year, whilst exports of logs continued their downward spiral, in line with the general shift seen in recent years by Indian buyers towards importing value-added kilndried lumber instead of logs,” said Roderick Wiles, AHEC Regional Director.
AHEC expects demand for American hardwoods in India to at least return to the record levels seen in 2019 this year. However, the market environment that developed through the pandemic and has pushed prices ever upwards worldwide is still with us, according to AHEC. It is a unique mix of increased global international demand, record transport costs, combined with restricted global production due to harvesters and mills running short of personnel because of Covid-19 infection and the implementation of pandemic safe work practices.