February 21, 2024

DHA eNews – DHA Signs Carbon Agreement With U.S. Forest Service

DHA Insights: February 22, 2024

DHA joined industry leaders and the U.S. Forest Service in signing a formal memorandum of agreement that will help document the carbon benefits of wood products and help us all market wood products in today's climate-conscious building industry. This data will be essential in the coming years as we compete against fake materials with higher carbon emissions for government and commercial projects. We will talk more about our data collection efforts at our annual meeting.

Last year, we saw decreased imports of hardwood plywood and engineered wood floors following years of dramatic increases. Inventories had been built up due to supply chain disruptions, causing the slowdown in 2023. Now, monthly data shows increasing imports, going forward, despite some weakness in end markets.

I'm happy to report that a Florida couple has been sentenced to 57 months in prison for trying to cheat by avoiding duties on Chinese imports of hardwood plywood.

If you have questions or comments, contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Keith A. Christman, President
Decorative Hardwoods Association

DHA Signs Carbon Agreement With U.S. Forest Service

Decorative Hardwoods Association signed a memorandum of agreement with the U.S. Forest Service and a number of wood industry groups to help document the carbon benefits of wood products. Together, the team will create a USDA-sponsored digital platform with multiple user-friendly tools that will provide transparent, high-integrity forest and wood product carbon data throughout the value chain.

Florida Couple Imprisoned For Evading Plywood Duties, Will Pay $44M

A Florida couple was sentenced to nearly five years in prison after they confessed to disguising the Chinese origin of millions of dollars' worth of plywood imports to avoid paying $42 million in duties. In addition, the couple was ordered to pay $44 million in duties and fees.

Imports Of Hardwood Plywood Reverse Downward Trend

Following huge increases in 2021 and 2022, the value of hardwood plywood imports fell by 50% in 2023 due to high inventories at the beginning of the year and lower demand. However, monthly data shows significant increases in later parts of the year: imports in December were 53% higher vs. one year ago. Indonesia and Canada were the largest sources of imports; Vietnam fell to third place after the circumvention ruling.

Imports Of Engineered Wood Flooring Fell In 2023, Now Rising

The value of U.S. imports of engineered wood flooring declined by more than 28% in 2023, also as a result of high inventories early in the year and decreased demand, following dramatic increases in 2021 and 2022. Monthly data shows a similar story to imports of hardwood plywood, with increases in later parts of the year: imports in December grew by 13%.

Industry Responds To Draconian Changes To Particulate Rule

The American Forest & Paper Association and the American Wood Council stated that EPA's Air Quality Rule delivers a devastating blow to U.S. manufacturing and the economy while doing nothing to address the largest sources of particulate matter, including smoke from wildfires. The organizations said that the unworkable rule undermines President Biden's promise to grow and restore manufacturing jobs.

Proposed Law Will Expedite Customs Processing, Undermine Lacey Enforcement?

U.S. lawmakers introduced new legislation to expedite customs processing for wood products, with the support of the International Wood Products Association. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Environmental Investigation Agency argue that this will undermine enforcement of the Lacey Act.

U.S. Forest Service Releases Report On Old-Growth Threats

The U.S. Forest Service's assessment highlighted a number of threats while predicting increases in the amount of mature and old-growth forests until at least 2070. At that time, a significant number of younger and mature forests will age into older forests.

6 Governors Oppose New Forest Rules

A coalition of six governors criticized federal agencies for their plans to adopt new forest management rules without addressing states' concerns. This is in response to a notice from the U.S. Department of Agriculture of their intent to prepare an environmental impact statement amending all land management systems to include old-growth forest conditions.

Furniture, Wood Products Manufacturing Declines

Wood products and furniture and related products manufacturing declined in January. Wood products fell the most out of the sectors measured; furniture and related products ranked fifth in the list of sectors that declined.

Furniture Market Will Grow To $877 Billion

Experts predict that global demand for furniture will increase due to rapid urbanization and the purchasing power of millennials. The value of the global furniture market, measured at $556 billion in 2020, is expected to reach $877 billion by 2031, a 3.8% compound annual growth rate. Residential furniture will comprise the lion's share of the market.

Mass Timber Will Provide More Affordable Housing

The Carpenters' Regional Council in Ontario, Canada, has recommended mass timber as a solution to the need for more affordable housing. The Ontario government established a mandate to build 1.5 million homes by 2031, but homebuilders have the capacity to construct only a fraction of that. Affordable prefabricated mass timber homes can make up part of the difference.

Montreal Wood Convention: April 9–11

The 2024 Montreal Wood Convention will be held in Montreal on April 9–11. The event, the largest in Canada for the wood products industry, typically attracts more than 1,000 attendees from North America and overseas.

Innovation In Engineered Wood Moves Into Production

A Maryland company has developed a new type of wood engineered to the strength of steel. Thanks to a $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, InventWood will move from a lab into a large manufacturing facility and begin manufacturing in 2025. 

Mass Timber Faces Challenges As Green Building Grows

Demand for homebuilding materials continues to rise. While the 767 mass timber projects across the U.S. can help, pandemic-era economics and trade policies are causing supply chain issues. These challenges are slowing the industry just when more sustainable buildings are needed.

A Century Of Reforestation Helped Cool The East

New research shows that the significant loss of timber from the late 18th to early 20th centuries was due to clearing land for agriculture. In the 1930s, farmers abandoned subpar fields, and U.S. forests in the east made a comeback: about 37 million acres of forest grew back.

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