October 18, 2018

DHA® eNews - Exporters Dodge Tariffs, China's Exports Surge

China's Exports Surge

Chinese exports jumped 15% in September vs. last year, surpassing the previous month's performance and analysts' forecasts. Per China Customs, the value of China's wood products grew to $81 billion in the first half of 2018, up 9% vs. last year, as the value of exports rose 6% to $39 billion.

Tariff Schedule Change Affects Plywood

The U.S. request to revise wood product tariff schedules was approved, separating plywood into two new subheadings. Subheading 4412.32 for plywood has been cut and replaced with 4412.33 for plywood with at least one outer ply of specified species. Subheading 4412.34 was created for plywood with at least one outer ply of a species of non-coniferous wood.

Source: ITTO

Exporters Dodge Tariffs

Some Chinese exporters are changing the HTS destination codes on products to dodge tariffs, reports the Wall Street Journal. Right after the U.S. Department of Commerce opened a Chinese dumping investigation in November 2016 on hardwood-faced plywood, some Chinese producers began shipping plywood under four codes related to softwood-faced plywood. U.S. imports of Chinese hardwood-faced plywood dropped 20% last year while imports coded as softwood-faced plywood shot up 549%.

VT Industries Buys Eggers Industries

VT Industries has acquired Eggers Industries, a competing door and millwork manufacturer with two facilities in Wisconsin. VT Industries manufactures architectural wood doors, countertops, and vanity surfaces.

Fire At Columbia Likely Arson

Earlier this month, firefighters were called to the Columbia Forest Products plant in Kitchener, Ontario to extinguish multiple fires inside the building. A police investigation is underway.

Lumber Liquidators Settles Formaldehyde Claims

A federal district court approved Lumber Liquidators' $36 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit for formaldehyde emissions violations. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 760,000 customers who purchased Chinese-made laminate flooring from the company between 2009 and 2015. Lumber Liquidators, who initially disputed the findings of a 60 Minutes investigative report, was also fined $2.5 million by CARB in 2016.

Source: CBS News

The Lanternfly Invasion

The U.S. is not prepared for the spotted lanternfly, a deadly pest from Asia that is spreading rapidly and putting hardwoods at risk. In 2017, Pennsylvania's lanternfly population soared, stretching across 4.5 million acres. The result was a quarantine that required businesses and residents to check outdoor items for bugs before moving the items out of 13 affected counties.

Alarming Ash Borer Finding

Entomologists have now found the emerald ash borer in southern Maine, an "alarming new development." Ash trees infested with the borer may die in less than three years. The borer was found in northern Maine in the spring.

Christiansen Named USDA Forest Service Chief

Vicki Christiansen, a former Arizona state forester, wildland firefighter, and fire manager, has been named USDA Forest Service chief. She has served as acting interim chief since March.

Timber Theft A Growing Problem On Vancouver Island

Poachers are targeting big leaf maple, cedar, and Douglas fir on Vancouver Island. The penalties for damaging or destroying timber on crown land include fines of up to a million dollars and prison terms of up to three years.

State Foresters Support Emerging Wood Markets Policy

NASF has announced its support of emerging wood markets. "Privately owned forests - which make up more than 60 percent of the nation's forestland - provide essential economic, environmental, and social benefits to society as a whole," said Joe Fox, Arkansas State Forester and chair of the NASF Forest Resources Management Committee.

Navy Is The New Black In Kitchen, Bathroom Design
Benjamin Moore's 2019 Color Of The Year: Metropolitan
Five On-Trend Features Of Kitchen Islands
Millennials Prioritize Homeownership

In a recent survey, 72% of millennials listed homeownership as a top priority, second only to being able to retire. The group of 23 - 40 year-olds ranked homeownership higher than getting married (50%) and having children (44%). Millennials view owning a home as a milestone that defines success.

Inventories Of New Homes Inch Up As Growth Slows

Builders attribute the slower growth to higher interest rates, which have historically resulted in a temporary slowdown. Economic, job, and wage measures are driving optimism, as are the ever-growing waves of millennials forming families and baby boomers moving into their next stage of life.

Canadian Housing Starts Trend Down

The trend in housing starts reached a 19-month low in September after declines in four of the last five months in both single-family and multi-family. The trend in starts dropped to 207,768 units in September from 213,966 units in August.

Global Construction Set To Rise To $13 Trillion

Experts predict that global construction will grow to nearly $13 trillion by 2022, driven by growth in Asia Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East.

Hourly Construction Wages Reach New High

The average wage for U.S. construction workers now exceeds $30 an hour for the first time ever. Now, wages for construction workers are 10.7% higher than the average wage for workers in all other private nonfarm industries.

Technology Can Ease Labor Shortage

A recent survey showed that 80% of construction companies are struggling to fill hourly craft positions. New technology such as virtual construction, offsite prefabrication, drones, laser-guided equipment, and 3D printing is being used to offset labor shortages.

What The Construction Industry Can Expect Post-Hurricane Michael
Forestry 101: How Current Forest Practices Will Improve Our Future
Drone Bees: Robotic Bees Could Pollinate Plants In Insect Apocalypse

Latest eNews