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Livestock & Seafood Products

Southern Pine lumber exports continue to surge with help of FAS program funds




Export sales of Southern Pine lumber, produced throughout the southern United States, continue to surge and reached another record level of $326 million in 2018. Meanwhile, exports of preservatively-treated lumber, a key value-added item produced in the region, continued strong at over $162 million. Exports rose again this past year thanks to the Southern Forest Products Association’s (SFPA) international market development efforts, funded in part by FAS-administered programs. While increased tariffs imposed by China led to a dip in sales to that country, shipments are reaching record levels to emerging markets newly targeted by the association – notably Southeast Asia, South America, and Egypt – as well as traditional markets in the Caribbean. Increased demand for Southern Pine lumber is undeniably linked to the industry’s efforts to introduce this species to buyers worldwide, as corroborated by independent evaluation research. Research also shows how efforts to develop new emerging markets, thanks to Emerging Market Program funding, are leading to new sales to those markets. SFPA partners with the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (SLMA) to unite the common export objectives of Southern Pine lumber producers under the promotional banner of the Southern Pine Council (SPC). The associations leverage USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)-administered programs to promote Southern Pine lumber exports. These cost-share programs, including the Foreign Market Development (FMD), Market Access Program (MAP), and Emerging Markets Program (EMP) allow the industry to reach emerging markets that were untapped, until recently. Many SPC operations are family-owned small to medium enterprises.