American Wood Importers, 7 Reasons for Boom in Wood Imports

American Wood Importers, 7 Reasons for Boom in Wood Imports

7 Reasons Why American Wood Importers Are Thriving in 2023

The wood industry is one of the oldest and most versatile sectors in the world. Wood is used for a variety of purposes, from construction and furniture to paper and energy. However, not all wood is created equal, and some countries have more advantages than others when it comes to producing and exporting wood products. In this article, we will explore why American wood importers are thriving in 2023, and what benefits they offer to consumers and the environment.


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1. American wood importers have access to a diverse and abundant supply of wood from around the world.

One of the main reasons why American wood importers are thriving is that they have access to a wide range of wood species and qualities from different regions of the world. According to the International Wood Products Association (IWPA), the United States imported wood products from over 100 countries in 2020, with the top sources being Canada, China, Brazil, Indonesia, and Vietnam . This means that American wood importers can offer their customers a variety of options to suit their needs and preferences, from hardwoods and softwoods to tropical and temperate woods.

2. American wood importers follow strict standards and regulations to ensure quality and sustainability.

Another reason why American wood importers are thriving is that they follow strict standards and regulations to ensure the quality and sustainability of their products. The United States has one of the most comprehensive legal frameworks for forest products in the world, which includes the Lacey Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and the Customs Modernization Act . These laws require American wood importers to verify the legality and origin of their products, as well as to comply with environmental, social, and economic criteria. Additionally, many American wood importers also adhere to voluntary certification schemes, such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), which provide independent verification of responsible forest management practices .

3. American wood importers contribute to the U.S. economy and employment.

A third reason why American wood importers are thriving is that they contribute to the U.S. economy and employment. According to the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), the U.S. domestic exports of forest products amounted to $32.1 billion in 2020, while the U.S. re-exports of forest products amounted to $1.3 billion . This means that American wood importers not only provide raw materials for domestic industries, but also add value and create jobs by processing, manufacturing, and distributing wood products to other markets. The IWPA estimates that the imported wood products industry supports over 500,000 jobs in the United States, including direct, indirect, and induced employment .

4. American wood importers offer competitive prices and high-quality service.

A fourth reason why American wood importers are thriving is that they offer competitive prices and high-quality service to their customers. Due to their global sourcing network and efficient logistics system, American wood importers can take advantage of lower production costs and favorable exchange rates in some countries, which allows them to offer lower prices than domestic producers or other competitors . Moreover, American wood importers also provide high-quality service by delivering on time, meeting specifications, providing technical support, and ensuring customer satisfaction.

5. American wood importers support local communities and social causes.

A fifth reason why American wood importers are thriving is that they support local communities and social causes in their source countries. Many American wood importers work with smallholders, indigenous groups, women, and youth who depend on forests for their livelihoods . By providing them with fair prices, market access, training, and capacity building, American wood importers help them improve their income, skills, and empowerment. Furthermore, many American wood importers also engage in philanthropic activities, such as donating to schools, hospitals, charities, and environmental organizations .

6. American wood importers promote innovation and technology.

A sixth reason why American wood importers are thriving is that they promote innovation and technology in the wood industry. American wood importers are constantly looking for new ways to improve their products, processes, and services by investing in research and development (R&D), adopting new technologies, and collaborating with other stakeholders. For example, some of the innovations that American wood importers have introduced or supported include live edge slabs, eco-friendly epoxy resins, engineered wood products, biobased chemicals, and digital platforms.

7. American wood importers enhance environmental protection and climate action.

A seventh and final reason why American wood importers are thriving is that they enhance environmental protection and climate action. By sourcing wood from sustainably managed forests, American wood importers help conserve biodiversity, protect ecosystem services, and prevent deforestation and degradation. Moreover, by using wood as a renewable and biodegradable material, American wood importers help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, waste generation, and energy consumption. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), wood products have a lower carbon footprint than other materials, such as steel, concrete, or plastic.

In conclusion, American wood importers are thriving in 2023 because they offer a diverse and abundant supply of wood from around the world, follow strict standards and regulations to ensure quality and sustainability, contribute to the U.S. economy and employment, offer competitive prices and high-quality service, support local communities and social causes, promote innovation and technology, and enhance environmental protection and climate action. These benefits make American wood importers a valuable partner for consumers and the environment.

Trends in American Wood Importers Industry

The United States is one of the largest consumers and producers of forest products in the world. However, the industry has faced significant challenges in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted global trade, transportation, and demand for wood products. In this blog post, we will examine some of the key statistics and developments that affected the American wood importers industry in 2020 and the outlook for 2021.


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Wood Pulp and Recovered Paper

Wood pulp and recovered paper are important raw materials for the paper and paperboard industry. The United States is the second-largest producer of wood pulp after China, and the largest exporter of recovered paper. However, in 2020, U.S. domestic exports of wood pulp and recovered paper decreased by 10.7 percent and 8.2 percent, respectively, compared to 2019. The decline was mainly driven by three COVID-19 related factors: transportation disruptions at international ports; increased domestic demand for e-commerce packaging that diverted products from export channels to the domestic market; and the partial idling of industries that supply or purchase forest products in the United States and abroad.

The main destination markets for U.S. wood pulp exports were China, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Germany, while the main destination markets for U.S. recovered paper exports were China, India, Mexico, Canada, and Indonesia. China’s import policies on recovered paper have been a major factor affecting the global trade of this commodity. In 2020, China announced that it would ban all imports of solid waste, including recovered paper, by the end of the year, as part of its efforts to improve its environmental quality and domestic recycling capacity. This has created uncertainty and challenges for U.S. exporters of recovered paper, who have been seeking alternative markets or investing in domestic processing facilities.

Lumber

Lumber is one of the most widely used forest products for construction and furniture. The United States is both a major producer and importer of lumber, mainly softwood lumber. In 2020, U.S. general imports of lumber increased by 14.6 percent in value terms, while U.S. domestic exports of lumber decreased by 5.4 percent. The increase in imports was partially due to record high lumber prices resulting from supply constraints in Canada combined with strong demand in the United States for home improvements. The decrease in exports was partly due to reduced demand from overseas markets affected by the pandemic.

The main source of U.S. lumber imports was Canada, which accounted for 95 percent of the total value in 2020. The trade relationship between the two countries has been governed by the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) since 2006, which expired in 2015 and has not been renewed since then. In 2017, the United States imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports, alleging that they were unfairly subsidized and sold at less than fair value. The dispute is still ongoing and has been subject to various legal challenges and negotiations.

The main destination markets for U.S. lumber exports were China, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Vietnam. China’s demand for U.S. lumber has been growing steadily in recent years, as it seeks to diversify its sources of supply and meet its domestic needs for housing and infrastructure development. However, in 2020, China imposed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. lumber imports as part of the ongoing trade war between the two countries. This has affected the competitiveness and profitability of U.S. lumber exporters in the Chinese market.

The American wood importers industry has experienced a turbulent year in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on global trade and demand. The industry has also faced various policy challenges such as China’s ban on recovered paper imports and tariffs on lumber imports, as well as the unresolved softwood lumber dispute with Canada. However, the industry has also shown resilience and adaptability in finding new opportunities and markets for its products. The outlook for 2021 is cautiously optimistic, as the global economy recovers from the pandemic and the demand for forest products increases.

References:

http://www.smithtrail.net/captain-john-smith/the-shallop/

http://ann.sagepub.com/content/193/1/110

Forest Products | United States International Trade Commission
China announces import ban on an additional 32 types of solid waste
Softwood Lumber from Canada
China’s Growing Demand for U.S. Softwood Lumber

https://americanwoodimporters.com/
https://www.iwpawood.org/
https://www.usitc.gov/research_and_analysis/tradeshifts/2020/forest.htm



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