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Emerging Markets for SYP in Central America

January 15, 2020
SFPA Deputy Director, Eric Gee, delivers an educational seminar as part of the Central American Emerging Markets project.

The final report of the Central American Emerging Markets Program (EMP) project is now available to SFPA members. This is just one of several EMP projects that the U.S. forest products industry is undertaking to reach potential new markets.

Phase 1 of the Emerging Markets Program in Central America has already been completed and included an assessment of the market and what technical or promotional assistance is needed to grow the market. Phase 2 was carried out over the course of 2019 with efforts taking place in Guatemala and Costa Rica. The purpose of this phase of the project was to provide wood importers and specifiers with customized training and technical assistance on U.S. wood products to increase awareness and demand.

Several factors point to Guatemala and Costa Rica being potentially strong markets for U.S. softwoods. Guatemala lacks sawmilling technology and is facing a 1.5 million housing unit shortage. Additionally, U.S. softwoods have several advantages over competing softwoods imported from Chile. Costa Rica also presents opportunities for U.S. softwoods given its long-term need to import softwood lumber and acceptance of U.S. lumber sizes and grades as well as wood-frame construction. Overall, the project was extremely successful and provided targeted training to over 40 leading lumber traders and specifiers.

SFPA Members can view the complete report within the Members Only section of SFPA.org

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