American Hardwood Southeast Asia Supplement 2018

the widely accepted NHLA Grading system offered by American exporters that is capable of providing container after container of material produced to the same standard. This is not the case for most other major hardwood producers around the world. Key to NHLA grading is the ability to predict useable yieldwith the accuracy not matched by other grading systems. In the end it is the environmental credentials of this resource that are second to none which influence buyers fromgovernments and retailers to individual consumers. All the scientific evidence shows that they are growing – by natural regeneration - faster than they are being harvested; a truemeasure of sustainability. The national hardwood forest inventory of standing timber in the USA is estimated at 13.9 billion cubicmetres. Recent work with interactive maps has revealed that in every hardwood-growing U.S. State the annual growth exceeds annual harvest and mortality. Some time ago theUNexpressed concern that the American hardwood forests are not sufficiently harvested and utilised. Reduction in harvesting, during the economic downturn of 2008/9, can lead to greater tree mortality returning CO2 to the atmosphere as well as a build-up of dead fibre presenting forest fire risk. Why therefore is the North American hardwood resource so important to Asian manufacturers? By using American hardwoods, no forests are threatened, which is one way to take the pressure off Asia’s natural forest resources. In any case many of the unique American species offered are highly acceptable in world markets ensuringmarket access for wood product manufacturing exporters in Asia. While the USA contains only 8% of the world’s hardwood forests, it is by far the largest exporter of sawn hardwood, the majority of which is shipped to Asia, surely a demonstration of its availability and competitive pricing. Finally, American hardwood exporters increasingly understand the requirements of Asian manufacturers and their need to work together – at such events as the annual AHEC and NHLA conventions where huge numbers of producers and traders gather together under one roof. First published in ‘International Hardwood Matters’ journal by NHLA, Memphis, USA. Michael Buckley, Fellow of the Institute of Wood Science, is an independent wood industry consultant who has specialised in temperate hardwoods since 1988. your SINGLE SOURCE for the world’s HARDWOODS 15 AMERICAN HARDWOOD Southeast Asia Supplement 2018