October 05, 2023

DHA eNews - EU Restrictions Disrupt The Veneer Industry

This Week's Insights

DHA recently cohosted a webinar with the U.S. Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to clarify new restrictions on hard maple veneer exports to Europe. These restrictions are causing major disruptions throughout the veneer industry. DHA is taking numerous steps to address the crisis, including detailing typical log heat treatment and veneer drying procedures to APHIS. These procedures are likely to be more effective in preventing the spread of Davidsoniella virescens, a fungus that causes sapstreak disease, than the kiln drying of hardwood lumber permitted throughout Europe.

Promoting the benefits of decorative hardwoods is a primary goal of DHA. We are pleased to announce our new Material Guide to Decorative Hardwood Plywood, now available from Material Intelligence. This guide for design professionals highlights the enduring beauty of decorative hardwood plywood and its climate benefits.

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

Keith A. Christman, President
Decorative Hardwoods Association


Photo © Simon Pierre Barrette

EU Restrictions Disrupt The Veneer Industry

DHA collaborated with the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to host a briefing for DHA members to clarify the new European restrictions on hard maple exports. Despite high-temperature processes used in the U.S. that prevent the spread of pests and disease, France and Spain pushed for a new interpretation of requirements: now, the EU requires "area freedom" from Davidsoniella virescens, a fungus that infects hardwood trees. As a result, hard maple logs and veneer sheets produced from those logs that originate in NY, VT, MI, WI, and NC cannot be certified for shipment to the EU.

DHA Partners On New Material Guide For Hardwood Plywood

DHA partnered with Material Intelligence to publish a new Material Guide to Decorative Hardwood Plywood for design professionals. The guide highlights the natural beauty of hardwood plywood as well as its strength, stability, and climate benefits.

EPA Invests $100M To Support Manufacturers Of Building Materials

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will provide $100 million in grants to support the development of environmental product declarations for building materials. Grants are available to manufacturers of building products—including DHA members—and nonprofits. EPA requests that those interested submit their intention to apply by October 27.

Congress Acts To Help Regenerate White Oak Forests

U.S. lawmakers have introduced the bipartisan White Oak Resilience Act to help regenerate and sustain the country's rapidly aging white oak forests by improving land management practices. More white oak trees mean more jobs for those who manufacture hardwood plywood, veneer, flooring, and other wood products.

Clarify WOTUS, Please

The National Association of Homebuilders is urging the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide additional guidance on the new rule for the waters of the United States (WOTUS). NAHB stated that the lack of clarity that could result in "continued federal overreach, bureaucratic delays during the wetlands permitting process, and continued regulatory confusion."

Canada Signs Law For More Environmentally Sustainable Buildings

Canada signed a new law that will encourage the use of more environmentally sustainable materials in public buildings. Now, the government must assess the environmental benefits of all building materials, including their carbon footprint, before approving their use in public buildings. The forest sector is expected to benefit as a result.

U.S. Imports Of Hardwood Plywood Are Up

The volume of U.S. hardwood plywood imports soared by 38% in July vs. June. July imports were also 31% higher than July 2022 imports, making it the first time this year that imports for a month surpassed that of the previous year. Imports from Indonesia, Vietnam, and China grew by 50%, 30%, and 27%, respectively.

Russian Conflict Timber Flows Into The U.S.

Russian birch plywood continues to flow into the U.S. due to the lack of government sanctions on these high-risk imports. An analysis of shipping records showed that U.S. imports of Russian birch plywood continue to grow, providing revenue to the Russian regime to fund weapons and war.

Engineered Wood Flooring Imports Increase

In July, U.S. imports of hardwood flooring fell by 9% vs. last year. Imports of engineered wood flooring, however, grew for the fourth consecutive month, up 7% in July due to a surge in imports from Indonesia and Thailand, but were down by 14% year-over-year.

Timber Products Invests In State-Of-The-Art Panel Repair

The Timber Products plant in Grants Pass, OR, will install a state-of-the-art panel repair system installed in April. The Argos PRS Compact system can repair up to 675 panels per hour, performing multiple operations including routing, applying water-based putty, and injecting liquid polyurethane.

Weyerhaeuser Will Sell Forest-Carbon Offsets

Weyerhaeuser, owner of 11 million acres of U.S. timberland, will now sell carbon offsets. The company joins a growing number of forest owners who will leave trees standing to absorb carbon dioxide in exchange for payments from companies seeking to offset greenhouse gas emissions.

Expect The Cabinet Market To Grow

Experts predict that the global market for cabinets will grow by $22.57 billion from 2022 to 2027. Expect kitchen cabinets to account for the lion's share of that growth. A significant challenge, however, is the unstable price of raw materials.

Hardwood Plywood Kitchen Cabinets Are Making A Comeback

Hardwood plywood kitchen cabinets are a growing trend in Great Britain. Designers and buyers say that plywood's gorgeous grain makes it a top choice for a stylish kitchen. Gloss cabinets are out.

Replanted Forests Recover More Quickly

Researchers at the University of Oxford found that replanted forests recover faster. Satellite observations showed that replanting logged forests with a diverse mix of seedlings can significantly accelerate forests' recovery.

A New Threat To Oak Trees

The Oregon Department of Forestry warned foresters about an invasive insect from Europe and the Middle East that attacks oak trees. When the Mediterranean oak borer infects trees, it transmits fungi, some of which cause oak wilt, which can kill a tree within 2–3 years.

U.S. GDP Grows By 2.1%
Canada's GDP Stays Flat
U.S. Housing Starts Plunge To Lowest Level In 2 Years
U.S. Existing Home Sales Fall By 0.7%
U.S. New Home Sales Drop By 8.7%
Canadian Housing Starts Are Flat
Canada Needs 3.5 Million Additional Housing Units By 2030
Mortgage Rates Reach Highest Level In Almost 23 Years
Construction Employment Grows In 45 States
Consumer Confidence Falls Again
Builder Confidence Declines By 5 Points
Expect Furniture Retail Sales To Rebound In Q2 2024
Wood Trivia: Test Your Knowledge

What European country has the least amount of forest?

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