On April 21, over 55 importers and pallet manufacturers in Mexico and U.S. lumber suppliers participated in an SEC webinar to learn more about pallet design software, the State of Idaho Mexico pallet market study, and the state of the U.S. softwood market in light of COVID-19. Building on the success of the February SEC softwood lumber grading and pallet design seminar in Guadalajara, the webinar helped SEC reach more importers and manufacturers. It also helped advance the relationship with Centro Abre, a pallet and packaging design institute at the University of Monterrey. SEC and the State of Idaho’s Mexico office have been exploring ways to collaborate with Centro Abre to educate importers and manufactures about the benefits of using U.S. softwood species in pallet manufacturing. The meeting was recorded and shared with SEC members.
On July 1, SEC’s U.S. and China offices hosted a virtual meeting for U.S. suppliers and Chinese importers. The meeting included presentations from speakers in China and the U.S. about the impact of COVID-19 on China’s lumber imports and manufacturing and the impact of tariffs and the tariff exclusion act on U.S. softwood lumber imports. SEC also provided an update on the U.S, softwood lumber market.
SEC is planning a webinar in August with importers in Pakistan, FAS-Islamabad, and two Pakistani lumber trade associations. A group of ten importers from Pakistan had planned to visit Maine, Wisconsin, and Georgia in June 2020. The webinar will help prepare the visiting group for a 2021 visit by providing information about U.S. grades, end uses, and U.S. suppliers. U.S. participants will also improve their understanding about the Pakistan market and develop business contacts and prepare for the March 2021 DubaiWood show, which attracts buyers from Pakistan.
To help maintain progress made during the November 2019 SEC Emerging Markets Program (EMP) research trip to Morocco, SEC is also organizing a webinar and match-making sessions in August for U.S. Douglas fir suppliers and importers in Morocco. SEC met several importers in Casablanca who were interested in meeting U.S. suppliers to discuss purchasing clear Douglas fir lumber. SEC had planned to hold an in-person lumber grading seminar and business to business meetings in October 2020. The virtual meeting is expected to help establish business connections now that can lead to in person meetings at DubaiWood in March 2021 and a lumber grading workshop in later in 2021.