November 02, 2023

DHA eNews - EU Reverses Ban On Hard Maple Veneer

This Week's Insights

After reporting on Europe's recent ban on the imports of maple veneer from many U.S. states, I’m delighted to inform you that this problem appears to be solved with a new letter from the European Commission and guidance from USDA. DHA had been working with USDA officials to make the case that maple veneer was being misclassified and that drying and heat treatment prevent the spread of sapstreak disease from veneer. After receiving a European Commission letter agreeing that veneer had been misclassified, DHA shared the letter with the USDA who revised its guidance the next day.

DHA and the Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood recently met with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to help with enforcement of the new Vietnam circumvention findings in the Coalition's efforts to fight for U.S. jobs and against dumping and other unfair trade practices by China.

On a related note, we are pleased by the recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice of a guilty plea related to the evasion of more than $42 million in duties on hardwood plywood from China. The story below shows the lengths some people will go to for illegal profits from Chinese hardwood plywood. Unfortunately, there are likely to be more of these cases. If you are aware of any attempts to evade these duties or others on hardwood plywood, please contact me and we will be happy to help share the information with U.S. authorities.

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

Keith A. Christman, President
Decorative Hardwoods Association

EU Reverses Ban On Hard Maple Veneer

The European Commission admitted that veneer had been misclassified, reversing its ban on imports of maple veneer from some U.S. states. In a letter to stakeholders, the EC stated its commitment to correcting the error. The specific error is that four CN codes that refer to veneer sheets are listed under point 86 instead of under point 85 where they belong. In response, USDA immediately provided additional guidance: hard maple veneer originating in all U.S. states may now be exported to the EU and the wood or wrapping must be marked both "KD" and "HT."

Importers Guilty Of Evading $42M In Duties On Chinese Plywood

U.S. plywood manufacturers and workers are getting some justice after two U.S. importers pled guilty to years of evading customs duties on hardwood plywood from China. According to court filings, the guilty parties illegally imported hundreds of shipments of plywood into the U.S. between 2016 and 2020, evading $42 million in duties.

DHA Continues To Push For "Jobs In The Woods"

On October 18, DHA and nearly 70 other forestry and forest product associations signed a statement of support for the bipartisan Jobs In The Woods Act, which is now moving forward in Congress. The act will provide grants of $500,000 to $2 million to education programs that promote jobs in the understaffed timber industry and the U.S. Forest Service.

Wood Industry Opposes Unachievable EPA Particulate Restrictions

DHA, the Hardwood Federation, and other wood industry groups oppose the EPA proposal to lower air quality standards for fine particulate matter from 12 to 9 micrograms per cubic meter. Lowering the standards would place 589 counties in nonattainment (an area considered to have air quality worse than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards), with hundreds more on the cusp, preventing permits for expansion or new facilities and hindering the growth and day-to-day operations of sawmills.

USDA Invests $50M In Wood Products

The USDA will invest nearly $50 million in projects that create new markets for wood products. The agency will fund innovative uses of wood in the construction of low carbon buildings, as a renewable energy source, and in manufacturing and processing.

USDA Publishes New Report On U.S. Carbon Market

USDA just released the General Assessment of the Role of Agriculture and Forestry in the U.S. Carbon Market, which identifies opportunities and barriers to accessing carbon markets. Analysts found that farmers face limited return on investment due to high transaction costs in carbon markets, including the costs of greenhouse gas quantification, verification, and reporting. 

Cabinet Sales Fall By 15%

The volume of cabinet sales fell by 15.1% year-to-date through September. Overall dollar sales remained flat. Volume was down by 21% vs. September 2022 and 1.5% vs. August 2023.

Hardwood Forestry Fund & Rockler Garner Media Attention

The DHA-affiliated Hardwood Forestry Fund and Rockler partnered to plant 80,000 trees in Minnesota's Finland State Forest. WDIO in Duluth aired a segment showing that the planted trees survived despite drought and wildfires.

AWI Revises Standards

The Architectural Woodwork Institute will revise ANSI/AWI 0620-2018 for Finish Carpentry/Installation and propose draft standards AWI 0642: Wood Paneling, AWI 1235: Specialty Casework, and AWI 0622.0646: Millwork & Wood Trim. Watch for announcements about how to comment on the proposed standards. These standards reference DHA's American National Standard for Hardwood and Decorative Plywood, ANSI/HPVA HP-1-2020, and DHA will review the standards.

World Is Off Track To End Deforestation By 2030

Although U.S. forests continue to grow and exceed harvest, other nations across the world are moving too slowly to achieve the promises to end deforestation by 2030 that were made at the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference. Deforestation actually increased by 4% in 2022, as about 25,000 square miles of forests were destroyed last year.

Younger Trees Capture More Carbon

New research describes how the European Space Agency observed, by satellite, how the world's carbon stocks have changed at regional and global sites. Researchers found that young and middle-aged forests, made up of trees 50–140 years old, absorb more carbon from the atmosphere and accumulate more biomass.

Portland's New Airport Of The Future

Portland, OR, will unveil a new airport terminal in May. The gorgeous new terminal will be accented by sweeping mass timber construction that boasts a nine-acre roof with beautiful curves and skylights. Every piece of wood used in construction was sourced from within 300 miles.

See 10 Innovative Plywood Ceiling Designs

Feast your eyes on these ten plywood ceiling designs that are both innovative and beautiful. The benefits go far beyond beauty; plywood ceilings are durable and come in a wide variety of textures and finishes.

U.S. Housing Starts See "Unexpected" Boost
Existing Home Sales Plunge To 13-Year Low
Pending U.S. Home Sales Grow Slightly
Canadian Housing Starts Trend Up
Canada's Inflation Rate Slows To 3.8%
Mortgage Rates Continue Their Climb Toward 8%
U.S. Economy Surges By 4.9% In Q3
A Recession Is No Longer The Consensus
U.S. Hardwood Flooring Imports Rise By 4%
Expect Remodeling Activity To Weaken In 2024
Wood Trivia: Test Your Knowledge

Which state has the least amount of forest, and what percentage of that state's land area is covered by forest?

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