US hardwood lumber exports to Middle East and North Africa region up 11%

By Trade Arabia

The total exports of US hardwood lumber and veneer to the Middle East and North Africa region surged by 11% in 2022 to hit $107 million, said a report by American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) released ahead of a key industry event - Dubai WoodShow.

To be held from March 7 to 9 at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre, the event will see AHEC host a large American Hardwood Pavilion with individual booths occupied by 14 US hardwood exporting companies as well as the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.

The 14 companies participating in the pavilion are Allegheny Wood Products, Baillie Lumber, Boss Lumber, Cascade Hardwood, Cummings Lumber, Hardwoods of America, Kamps Hardwoods, Kennebec Lumber, Midwest Hardwood, Missouri Walnut, Nina Company, Oaks Unlimited, Penn-Sylvan International and Wheeland Lumber.

According to AHEC, the Mena region remains a very important export market for American red oak lumber, which is the dominant species in the US hardwood forest and the most commercially-available.

Last year, shipments of red oak lumber to the region reached 46,248 cu m, accounting for 45% of the total volume exported, stated the report.

AHEC has participated in the Dubai WoodShow since its first edition, hosting American Hardwood Pavilions and bringing US hardwood exporting companies to the show.

“We are looking forward to this year’s show and bringing back a large contingent of US hardwood exporters. The American hardwood industry is committed to supplying the Mena region for the long term and supporting regional growth in wood processing and consumption,” remarked AHEC Regional Director Roderick Wiles.

Citing US Department of Agriculture data, he said that shipments of American hardwood lumber (sawn timber) to the Mena region reached a value of $81.98 million and a volume of 103,246 cu m last year, marking an increase of 9% and 13% respectively over 2021.

Significant increases were seen in exports to the UAE (up 13% in volume to 14,388 cu m), Turkey (49% in volume to 24,165 cu m), Morocco (up 16% to 8,315 cu m) and Pakistan (6% to 15,582 cu m), he stated.

The direct exports of American hardwood veneers to the region grew by 20% over 2021 to reach a value of $25.2 million, with the majority shipped to the UAE, Turkey and Israel, he added.


I look forward to seeing all of the participating AHEC members in Dubai next month!


@David_Stallcop @Rami_AlAzzeh @Tigran_Makarian

Why is hardwood demand rising in the MENA region? And therefore prices rising accordingly??!
You guys all attended trade shows and conferences in Egypt and Dubai!


It is definitely not rising to Egypt. That country’s government is not allowing US$ transactions and they haven’t since early last year. So, very little trade is going into Egypt. Inflation is extremely rampant there and the Egyptian Crown is extremely weak. I took a 35 minute Uber from the airport to my hotel and it only cost me 75 cents. That same Uber ride in the US would cost $40~$50. In other Northern African countries, however, there are massive increases in immigration of wealthy people from Russia and Europe into that region in countries such as Morocco. Average apartments or townhouses sell for between $25,000 ~ $80,000 to locals. A middle class neighborhood home sells for around $250,000 ~ $300,000. But an elite class of immigrants are building custom homes along the coast that cost millions of dollars. These home buyers are wanting high end hardwood and clears for furniture, doors, windows, flooring, wall paneling, accent ceilings, etc…


Wow, yet another surprising effect of the wars impacting the wood market!


@David_Stallcop these are fascinating facts! @Andrey_Tikhomirov and @David_Bagdy did you know that the Russian rich instead of pumping the high end wood demand in Russia itself, have immigrated to other North African and Middle Eastern countries and are now driving the wood markets there? And in Russia itself the market demand is dwindling …

I bet what you are saying re: Morocco also applied to the gulf countries, as high end modern wood furniture is more and more in vogue, and everything is custom build for the ultra wealthy.

@Rami_AlAzzeh any such trends in Jordan?


@Nadia I met with a UAE government official last week in Dubai and he said that since January 1st there have been over 700,000 Russians who have immigrated to the UAE. He said that is just in the first 2 months of 2023 and not including those who immigrated in 2022 since the war in the Ukraine broke out. The maximum tourist visa for a Russian visitor is 90 days, however if they apply for a business license and have roughly $13,600 in shares in that company then they can get a Business Residence Visa for life.

UAE Business Residence Visa Website

Here is an article on the New York Times website yesterday talking about just this topic.


@David_Stallcop Sounds appealing. How is the weather in Dubai this time of year? :rofl:


A gorgeous 86 degrees F (30 degrees C)! Going to bed at 4am and waking up at 8am to lay by the hotel swimming pool for an hour before getting ready to head to the trade show each day when it opens at 10am was fantastic. And the food there is absolutely amazing. Some of the best Lebanese food I have ever had! Then I came back to Spokane to snow. :slight_smile:

Off to Korea on Saturday and it should be more like springtime weather there and then onto Japan after that.


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