British designer and manufacturer of kitchen cabinets Daval has revealed the latest lifestyle trends it predicts will influence and inspire the shape of kitchen design in 2021.  

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The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) has released its November 2020 Containerboard Monthly report. According to the report, total containerboard production in November increased two percent compared to November 2019. It was up four percent when compared to the same 11 months of 2019.

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According to Madison’s Lumber Reporter, prices of softwood lumber continued to rocket upwards amid acute supply shortages. 

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The UK imported 83,500 cu.m of tropical hardwood faced plywood from China in the first nine months of this year, 47% less than the same period last year (Chart 7). UK imports of plywood from China ground to halt earlier this year when China went into lockdown, reported by Global Wood Trade Network.

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Despite a tough year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the national wood sector looks set to achieve its export turnover target of 12 billion USD, and some wood processing businesses have so many orders while they are in short of workers to complete them, according to the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association (Vietforest).

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According to Madison's Lumber Reporter, western S-P-F suppliers in the United States had another solid week of sales, with sawmills extending their order files on bread and butter items to the end of November. Prices advanced in fits and starts on certain commodities while most remained flat. However, the strong tone of demand was inarguable. Demand for 2×4- and 2×6-9’s was again the hottest as multi-family projects continued to generate strong demand for that trim. Even as sales of #4/Economy lagged behind the rest of dimension items, prompt availability of even that weaker category was drying up with alacrity as demand strengthened further.

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In September Ministers of Forests, Industries and Environment in the Central Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) met in an effort to stimulate domestic processing of wood products in order to raise the contribution of the forestry sector to GDP. The communique and press release from the meeting says member countries of the Congo Basin have taken the unanimous decision to end log exports from January 2022, reported by todaynewsafrica.com.

The meeting also agreed an effort to harmonised forestry tax systems in member states.

The domestic press has commented on the latest meeting and Todaynewsafrica.com has pointed out that some CEMAC member countries already have legislation to this effect. Gabon endorsed a ban in 2010 and Equatorial Guinea announced such a measure in 2019. The Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon had aimed to introduce a log export ban but this is yet to be implemented.

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The Cabinet Office has reported Japan's consumer confidence improved in September by the second-largest margin ever. It was the biggest improvement since June this year and July 2004, when the index rose by 4.4 points on each occasion, the largest increase since the survey began on a monthly basis in April 2004.

The improvement was put down to the slowing rate of corona virus infections in the country and the government travel subsidy programme 'Go to' which aims to revive domestic tourism.

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The bedroom furniture market has been severely impacted by Covid-19, according to the latest report from AMA Research.

The Domestic Bedroom Furniture Market Report – UK 2020-2024 forecast that bedroom furniture sales will fall to £595 million in 2020, down by nearly a quarter (22 percent) from £760m in 2019.

The report blamed the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic, which has changed consumer buying habits with homeowners prioritising the conversion of spare rooms into home offices rather than spare or guest bedrooms.

Good news for those retailers who have moved into selling home offices and studies but bad news for bedroom furniture sales.

The bedroom furniture market had been on an upward trend, with sales up 6 percent in 2019 (£760m) from £715m in 2018. There were also increases in sales of freestanding and fitted bedroom furniture, which accounted for 27 percent of the market by value. Modular furniture also showed an increase in popularity, according to the report – a trend likely to be sustained by the trend towards smaller houses.

The report concluded that prospects for the next four years remained uncertain, “with the end of the pandemic still not in sight and the outcome of the ongoing Brexit negotiations yet to be determined”.

The report forecast that post-Covid, sales over the next few years would regain their upward trajectory. The AMA graph shows that forecasts suggest sales would rise by 10 percent to around £655m in 2021, £695m in 2022, reaching £720m in 2023.

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The Province is announcing changes to lumber regulations which are aimed at increasing domestic production, according to energeticcity.ca.

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