Botin Foundation (Image credit_Alfonso Quiroga)

Hickory, red oak and white oak drive growth of U.S. hardwood lumber exports to India in the first half of 2022

Total value of American hardwood lumber and veneer exported to India was USD 3.543 million in the first six months of this year

Total exports of U.S. hardwood lumber and veneer to India for the first half of 2022 reached USD 3.543 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 2.728 million whilst U.S. hardwood veneer exports were valued at USD 815,000. Testament to the maturation of the market, there has been a continued and sustained shift from importing U.S. hardwood logs to importing kiln-dried lumber.

A closer look at the numbers reveal that total hardwood lumber shipped from the United States to India increased by 36 percent in value to USD 2.728 million (up from USD 2.004 million) and by 15 percent in volume to 3,791 cubic meters (up from 3,286 cubic meters). The top three American hardwood species exported were hickory (USD 1.245 million and 1,400m3), white oak (USD 647,000 and 944m3), and red oak (USD 572,000 and 966m3). A significant increase was also seen in exports of walnut, with the value and volume of shipments both increasing by 279 percent to reach USD 57,000 and 53m3 respectively.

Limited domestic hardwood supplies, coupled with strong sustained growth in the retail furniture, handicraft and hospitality sectors have driven the demand for new species, making India an attractive and long-term prospective market for U.S. hardwoods. The first half numbers are in line with the new record high for U.S. hardwood exports to India achieved last year, which saw both the value and volume of hardwood lumber shipped to the country more than double the previous high set in 2019. AHEC expects demand for American hardwoods in India to continue to rise and is committed to servicing this growing demand.

“The biggest increase in the first half of this year was seen in red oak lumber exports to India, with both the value and volume of exports increasing by 174 percent and 180 percent respectively. American red oak is the dominant species in the U.S. hardwood forests with its distinctive grain pattern and is suitable for a wide range of applications including furniture, flooring, doors, architectural joinery, mouldings and kitchen cabinets. Given that there is more red oak growing than is being harvested, it is promising to see India embrace the most sustainable and widely-available American hardwood species,” concluded Roderick Wiles, AHEC Regional Director.