American Hardwood Southeast Asia Supplement 2019

10 AMERICAN HARDWOOD Southeast Asia Supplement 2019 Adapted and modified from an article by Mike Jeffree, courtesy Timber Trades Journal, UK T here has never been a better time to buy American red oak. That’s partly because it’s in plentiful supply, partly because it is now very affordable and competitive, with the price differential versus European oak as wide as it’s ever been. American Hardwood Export Council technical consultant Neil Summers acknowledges that both these positives for Asian buyers are to some extent the consequences of a negative; the fact that China, as part of ongoing trade arm-wrestling with the U.S., last year imposed a 10% tariff on American hardwood imports. The Chinese are by far the biggest buyers of U.S. red oak, and indeed American hardwoods generally; recently accounting for up to 60% of all American exports. So the tariff has left a lot of red oak seeking customers. Mr Summers doesn’t deny that Chinese tariffs pose a challenge for U.S. hardwood mills, leading to price cuts to red oak in particular, which have left 4/4 (1”) now 40% cheaper AHEC exhibition booth made from red oak