Roderick Wiles

U.S. hardwood lumber exports to India continue upward trajectory during the first quarter of 2022

Q1 sees 20 percent and 36 percent increase in the value and volume of lumber exports respectively

U.S. hardwood lumber exports to India continued their upward trajectory in the first quarter of 2022, with the total shipped to the market rising by 20 percent in volume to 2,262 cubic metres and by 36 percent in value to USD 1.58 million, as compared to Q1 in 2021, according to AHEC. The statistics, which have been compiled from the latest data released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), were announced on the sidelines of INDIAWOOD, which runs until June 6, 2022.

Shipments to India during the first quarter of this year were dominated by red oak, white oak and hickory. The increase in exports in Q1 follows a new record for exports of U.S. hardwood lumber to India in 2021. The total volume shipped (11,109 cubic meters) was almost triple the previous record set in 2019, indicating far more than just a post-COVID recovery. The biggest increases in value and volume were seen in hickory (99 percent and 53 percent), white oak (160 percent and 121 percent), and red oak (51 percent and 86 percent.) AHEC’s participation at INDIAWOOD is testament to its belief in the market, which is going through a fairly intense period of modernization.

“American hardwoods are gaining acceptance in India. The process is slow but sure and many manufacturers are only using U.S. hardwoods for the first time now, having been very used to working with teak, sheesham, mango and acacia, amongst other species. That being said, India is one of a few significant global markets that remain largely untapped for American hardwoods. It offers a substantial market opportunity, and it is expected that we will see U.S. hardwood exports to India rise significantly in the coming years, as they gain wider acceptance,” said Roderick Wiles, AHEC Regional Director.

INDIAWOOD 2022 will see the participation of seven U.S.-based hardwood lumber and veneer exporters and one U.S. hardwood industry association under the banner of the American Hardwood Pavilion. AHEC’s participation at the show is aimed at promoting American hardwoods across the country’s growing number of construction, interior design and furniture projects and reinforcing its market presence in India. During the five-day show, AHEC is hosting a pavilion, which will serve to highlight the variety of American hardwood species while also throwing the spotlight on the benefits the value-added processes undertaken to treat American hardwoods.

“There is absolutely no doubt that India is now waking up to American hardwoods and many factors are contributing to the rise in demand. The country's wood furniture industry is thriving and expanding, with production increasing for both export and the domestic market. Demand for wood furniture, joinery, doors, windows, flooring, cladding and other products is also increasing both in India itself and around the world, giving the industry the opportunity to expand rapidly and leverage skilled labor and lower-cost manufacturing. At the same time, the availability of locally sourced hardwoods is in terminal decline, which bodes well for the future of American hardwoods in India,” concluded Wiles.