AHEC expands programme of activities in Israel
American hardwood seminar at Israeli Building Centre draws cross section of key players from the construction & furniture sectors.
The event took place on Thursday 21 July and was attended by over 60 architects, designers, importers and manufacturers. Speakers included AHEC Director, Roderick Wiles, AHEC Past Chairman, Orn Gudmundsson Jr and AHEC Technical Consultant, Bob Sabistina. The aim of the seminar was to provide an in-depth insight in to the wide range of American hardwood species and the potential they offer for applications. This was achieved through presentations on the forest resource and its sustainable credentials and on species, applications and lumber grading.
While Israel is not a massive market for American hardwoods by any stretch of the imagination, it is a steady market and U.S. hardwoods are known and appreciated. It is also an important market in relation to others in the Middle East and consistently ranks third or fourth in terms of the import volumes of American hardwood lumber. The Israeli market for hardwoods is well established and has shown steady growth during the past decade or so. American hardwoods are also fairly well established and all the main importers and distributors carry regular stocks of a range of U.S. hardwood species. In particular, American tulipwood, hard and soft maple, the oaks and black walnut are used in numerous applications, including bespoke furniture and cabinets, flooring, doors and mouldings. There is a strong wood culture in Israel and expertise in woodworking, with the market being self-sufficient in wood products manufacturing capacity. However, imports of furniture and flooring from the Far East, in particular, have increased in recent years and this trend is likely to continue, as these products are highly competitive and offer ready-made solutions. Nonetheless, wood processing looks set to remain an important industrial sector and demand for imported hardwoods is likely to increase in the coming years, as both Israel's strong economy and young and fast growing population drive demand for construction and housing. This growth is also being seen in the West Bank, where much of the wood processing is carried out and where recent stable economic conditions are driving up demand for furniture and other wood products.
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The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is the leading international trade association for the U.S. hardwood industry, representing the committed exporters among U.S. hardwood companies and all the major U.S. hardwood production trade associations. AHEC runs a worldwide programme to promote American hardwoods in over 50 export markets, concentrating on providing architects, specifiers, designers and end-users with technical information on the range of species, products and sources of supply. In addition, AHEC also produces a full range of technical publications. Visit: www.americanhardwood.org.
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