Tecno Mueble 2023 Emphasizes Southern Pine for Pallets, Furniture
American Softwoods (AMSO) and U.S. industry representatives, including four Southern Forest Products Association members, traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico, from August 16-19 for Tecno Mueble 2023, conduct an educational seminar, inaugurate a building started at the Guadalajara Construction Workshop 2019, and attend the IMEXFOR meeting.
Tecno Mueble 2023 Experience
AMSO received a diploma for sponsoring and participating in Tecno Mueble for more than 25 years, where they and SFPA have exhibited among most of the largest importers in Mexico. While this year’s show, its 35th anniversary, was slightly smaller than previous editions, the AMSO booth, built with Southern Pine, structural panels, and engineered wood products to highlight the variety of wood materials available, was the same size as in 2022.
Booth attendees showed interest in Southern Pine, OSB, plywood, and overlaid panels such as HDO. In addition to general product inquiries, visitors included furniture manufacturers looking for U.S. softwood plywood and lumber as well as contacts for U.S. producers/exporters. There was also interest in using OSB with steel frames for pouring concrete.
While knowledge of U.S. OSB, plywood, and Southern Pine is increasing throughout Mexico, there is still room for improvement, including education surrounding lumber grades, HDO/MDO overlaid panels for concrete form, engineered wood products and the flexibility these products lend to building design and sustainability.
With two of the larger industries in Guadalajara being packaging and furniture manufacturing, many attendees asked about Southern Pine and OSB for crate/pallet manufacturing and furniture frames. The increase in interest in using wood for crating/packaging manufacturing benefits the U.S. industry because of its proximity to Mexico and the availability of lower grades for those uses.
2023 IMEXFOR Meeting
Before Tecno Mueble 2023 started, AMSO representatives attended the IMEXFOR meeting, where the agenda included the Manzanillo port delays and import issues, as well as data regarding imports of lumber and panels to Mexico.
The presentation stated the market share of U.S. plywood has increased 3% compared with August 2022, while U.S. OSB increased 50-60%. Import data for Southern Pine showed a loss in market share related to Chilean and Brazilian pine being imported to Mexico. It’s worth noting, though, that Mexico retained its status as the largest export market (by volume) of Southern Pine and treated lumber in August for the sixth month after taking over the Dominican Republic. Mexico is running 15% ahead of 2022 YTD as of August and has imported 75 Mbf in Southern Pine so far this year compared to the Dominican Republic’s 56.7 Mbf.
The meeting ended with information regarding the September 2024 IMEXFOR Convention in Mérida, Mexico.
Southern Pine, Softwoods Promotion in Guadalajara
AMSO and SFPA representatives used their time in Guadalajara to attend the inauguration of the Construction Workshop building from 2019 at the University of Guadalajara’s Wood, Pulp and Paper Department.
Jonn Slette, the ATO Mexico Director, gave welcoming remarks, while Antonio Silva, provost of the department, and Natalie Thelen, APA Latin America representative, spoke about the workshop and finished product.
The nearly 68 attendees included several workshop participants, university faculty and students, importers, distributors, and APA/SFPA member companies. After the remarks, the group toured the finished building and participated in a reception. Many in attendance couldn’t believe the entire structure was built with only wood products, which allowed AMSO and SFPA members to demonstrate wood’s versality and ability to meet building code strength requirements.
AMSO also led an educational seminar for 43 people. Tom Chung from Leers Weinzapfel Associates presented on CLT and sustainability, in addition to the advantages of living in an environment that uses wood as the primary building material.
There were many questions regarding manufacturing procedures and the preservatives used to treat engineered wood products so they can withstand a range of climates.
SFPA members: Don’t forget to check out the contacts secured during the show and their corresponding contact information on our members-only site!
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