The Beauty Of American Hardwoods

North America has one of the most diversified forests in the world and is a great resource for the Southeast Asian woodworking industry. 

By Michael Hermens, Group Managing Director of APP Timber, a ‘solution provider’ company he founded 23 years ago that specialises in imported certified timber solutions

These forests yield a continuous supply of well know species like Red & White Oak, Tulipwood (aka Yellow Poplar), Ash, Walnut, Hard & Soft Maple, Cherry, Alder and Hickory. 


The total export value of US hardwoods to Southeast Asia was about US$370million in 2020 which was slightly less compared to US$390million in 2019 or about five percent less, which, considering the lack of containers and vessels, is not bad at all.


Tulipwood (Yellow Poplar) continued to be the most favourite species exported to Southeast Asia and White Oak second most favourite species; both species are good for more than half of all exports to Southeast Asia.


Vietnam at US$223million is by far the largest importer of American hardwoods with Indonesia a distant second but it is expected that the export to both Indonesia and Malaysia will increase this year due to less strict Covid measures. 


The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has teamed up with the Wallpaper Magazine to create their first-ever ‘Global Design Project’. 


The purpose of this collaboration is to promote the use of species such as Cherry, Hard & Soft Maple and Red Oak. 


AHEC has invited twenty global designers from 16 different countries to create an item from lumber and these items will be displayed via various virtual platforms around the world, and, Covid-19 pandemic restrictions lifted, at the London Design Museum later this year. 


It is great to see that AHEC continues to promote the use of a wider range of species than Tulipwood and White Oak alone.


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