The Market for Southern Pine Lumber in Chile
In late October, SFPA Deputy Director Eric Gee, and SPC International Program Consultant Jerry Hingle traveled to Santiago to introduce U.S. softwood lumber to key Chilean wood importers and distributors, and assess the market for Southern Pine lumber from the U.S.
A producer of significant volumes of softwood lumber itself, Chile has become a promising market for U.S. exporters. U.S. softwoods are increasingly being specified for construction use due to its unique advantages over local product, including higher strength, and a grading system that assures its structural performance. Concerning trade, there are no tariffs on U.S. lumber imports and Chile readily accepts U.S. sizes.
In conclusion, there are some unique opportunities for U.S. softwoods in Chile. However, the stronghold held by domestic producers and low prices in the market pose a challenge. Importers report a need for lengths not provided by domestic producers and there is marked interest in the supply consistency and higher strength values of U.S. material.
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