A booming furniture market is expected to drive up demand for American hardwoods in India this year, according to the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry. With the total value of American hardwood lumber and veneer exports to India reaching USD 5.272 million in the first three quarters of last year, India is on track for a record year in 2019. Given the growing interest and demand for U.S. hardwoods, particularly red oak, AHEC has announced its participation at INDIAWOOD, which has established itself as the leading event for the furniture manufacturing and the woodworking industry in India.
Valued at more than USD 31.61 billion in 2018, the Indian furniture market is anticipated to reach USD 61.09 billion by the end of 2023, according to market reports. A closer look reveals that the residential sector accounted for USD 20.65 billion in 2018 with the remainder being attributed to the commercial sector. Significantly, wooden furniture is expected to continue its dominance in India with a projected annual growth of 11.32 percent for 2018 – 2023. Currently, the demand for furniture is mainly from the north and south of India but it is in the south where the majority of manufacturers and distribution networks exist. With this in mind, AHEC is returning to INDIAWOOD, taking place in Bengaluru from February 27 – March 2, targeting the major players up and down the ‘timber chain’ at the show.
According to Roderick Wiles, AHEC Regional Director, the major elements of AHEC’s campaign this year will involve key collaborations, installations, seminars, workshops and sustainable initiatives targeting established and emerging players in India. Through 2020, AHEC will also focus its strategy on education aimed at all elements of the ‘timber chain’, whether it is specifiers (architects and interior designers), end users (furniture and joinery manufacturers) or importers and distributors. Pointing to the sustained growth of U.S. hardwood exports to India over the past few years, Wiles believes that American hardwoods are now widely accepted and understood across India, but there is still a lot more to be done to help the market discover the untapped potential of U.S. hardwoods.
“In line with an overall industry goal to increase sales of U.S. hardwoods, AHEC is focused on developing existing markets and finding new markets and applications for American hardwoods. Our aim is to enable the American hardwood industry to be proactive rather than reactive by identifying markets and providing data to help develop these markets. Our participation at INDIAWOOD is the first in a series of events planned for 2020 which aim to help buyers and specifiers obtain a better understanding of the physical properties, grades and the potential for applications offered by the different species of American hardwoods. AHEC has already renewed its efforts in India and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future,” concluded Wiles.