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USA      International

Philippines a growing market for U.S. softwood lumber exports

February 08, 2023
Philippines a growing market
The environmental benefits of choosing wood is central to SFPA’s messaging

In the Philippines, several end-uses present opportunities for U.S. softwoods:

  • Furniture producers report deep dissatisfaction with rising prices of the domestic wood supply, making U.S. softwoods more competitively priced.
  • Residential housing construction has grown significantly since 2008 and is expected to continue to rise in line with overall economic growth.
  • Building material demand is expected to rise as the country’s “Builder Better More” initiative spurs large investments in infrastructure development. Importers hold the “potential is tremendous” for U.S. softwoods to displace Malaysian hardwoods for construction as well as interior flooring and joinery.

Meanwhile, the Southern Forest Products Association continued to nurture this market by offering technical training throughout 2022. One seminar alone showed dozens of lumber buyers and construction professionals the environmental advantages of building with wood, proper wood construction practices, choosing U.S. products, and the sustainability of U.S. resources.

Exports to the Philippines reached record levels in 2021 and again in 2022: Shipments eclipsed $35 million in 2022 – a 380% increase from just a few years ago.

Participant surveys showed significant interest in U.S. softwood lumber and underscored the need to educate lumber buyers on this relatively new wood product in the market.

The U.S. industry’s efforts are paying off: Exports to the Philippines reached record levels in 2021 and again in 2022: Shipments eclipsed $35 million in 2022 – a 380% increase from just a few years ago.

The softwood industry is grateful for the Agriculture Trade Program and Market Access Program funds, as well as the support and assistance of USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) officers and staff in the region. Without their support, these events would not have been achievable or successful.

SFPA FAS-administered programs to promote Southern Pine lumber exports. These cost-share programs, including the Foreign Market Development (FMD), Market Access Program (MAP), Emerging Markets Program (EMP), and Agriculture Trade Promotion allow the industry to reach emerging markets that were previously untapped. Many operations are family-owned small to medium enterprises. 

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