Growth potential

By: in Environment, Comment, Technical Information

As wood industries around the world recover after the global economic downturn, the largest hardwood producer, the US hardwood industry, has good reason to be optimistic about the long-term future. Why, well principally because its raw material resource is still growing at a phenomenal rate. A fact supported by a recent quote from Judd Johnson of the Hardwood Market Report, an experienced commentator on the US hardwood industry.   
American tulipwood, forest
“Hardwood growing stocks in the US nearly doubled within a 50 year period (1953 -2003), and 10 years later stand at 129.3% of the base year 1953. This growth in supplies occurred after fire, infestation, tree mortality, highway and railway right of ways, urbanization, and commercial harvesting. That is a tremendous result by any measure. What other resource has more than doubled in volume within the past 60 years?”

But this is not the only good news. Having the trees available on a truly sustainable basis is one thing, but, when you consider these forests contain many of the worlds most exciting looking, versatile and high performing timber species, the market potential is even more significant. US hardwood exports continue to increase worldwide, 2013 was record year, and with the industry still producing well under its current capacity the ability is there to satisfy the growing demand.  Where AHEC has a vital role is to encourage global markets to take a balanced approach and look at all the species available. When you consider that nearly 50% of the growing resource is made up of 4 species: red oak, tulipwood, hard and soft maple, then we must do more to promote these timbers, especially in Europe, or that growth potential will never be realised.