Trade Servicing and Seminars in Mexico are a Success!
American Softwoods conducted a series of trade services and seminars in Mexico in early March to educate importers, distributors, and design professionals regarding Southern Yellow Pine lumber, structural panels, and engineered wood products. Three cities were visited over the course of the trip: Mexico City, Veracruz, and Monterrey.
Seminars were conducted in all three cities and feedback was extremely positive. Audiences were diverse, including everything from architects and engineers to lumber distributors and building materials specifiers. It was the first time attending an AMSO seminar for many attendees in Veracruz, who mentioned how useful their new-found knowledge would be for their business. Eager for southern pine after the seminars, multiple attendees expressed interest in a list of suppliers so they can contact producers directly at future seminars.
In addition to the educational seminars, trade servicing also took place in Veracruz and Monterrey. Trade servicing in Veracruz was focused on promoting the seminar and obtaining a better understanding of the local market. Representatives visited several lumber distributors who mentioned that their lack of awareness of SYP is mainly due to the high price tag when compared to regional pine alternatives. Local distributors also voiced concerns about a potential OSB product shortage coming into the port of Veracruz, as China is currently their main distributor.
Trade servicing in Moterrey consisted of a meeting with ITESM Architect Association and the US Embassy Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Monterrey, as well as a visit to La Reforma, a medium-sized family-owned business. ITESM and the ATO Monterrey both mentioned that they think having a seminar focused on design would be beneficial to help promote products in their market. A more design-focused seminar would target architects in the area who are particularly interested in renewable products and green construction.
Overall, it appears there is still a general lack of knowledge in all parts of the supply chain regarding lumber grading, preservative treatment, and uses of US structural lumber and engineered wood products in the housing construction market. Future seminars in the area will make an effort to get closer to the architects in Monterrey and expand AMSO’s regional reach by examining the possibility of conducting a seminar in Jalapa.
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