A few comments and suggestions that may be of interest to industry…
The first few months of the calendar year proved to be extremely busy for the US program with our participation in the IBS show in Las Vegas which was immediately followed by the BIA Hawaii. While I admit there could be worse places to be in January than Vegas and Hawaii, having both events back to back provided a number of logistical and time challenges. The good news is that if you use these events as a barometer of market conditions in the US construction sector, then one could conclude that the market south of the border is finally getting better.
As discussed in the last edition of the Wood Connections, the IBS show has an impressive attendance, topping the 60,000 mark for the first time in five years. The same could be said for the Building Industry Hawaii (BIA Hawaii) trade event. While this regional event is small, interest and participation from the building community from across the Hawaiian Islands was strong. In fact, attendance at this years’ show was 20% higher than last year and up 45% over the past three years. Builders and other buyers who came by the booths were optimistic that market conditions were on the upswing and many were starting projects in the residential and light commercial construction sectors.
The Hawaiian market continues to be a prime location for BC grown softwood species including Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar (WRC), and Yellow Cedar. This was evidenced by a site visit to a new development on the Big Island of Hawaii. This project is a high-end residential development of 40 plus homes anchored by a private beach club and golf course. More impressive than the view was the use of WRC and Douglas Fir in the construction of the residences and commercial buildings. WRC is featured extensively in the project including WRC shingles in the roof, 12’’clear board and baton exterior siding, and VG WRC interior panelling; the project was a showcase for the species. The architect specified WRC in part due to the unique colour and weather resistance properties of the wood. Where structural timbers were needed, Douglas Fir was specified and is prominently featured in the golf club house and beach club buildings. See images below.
This project is expected to last for the next four to six years. There is an opportunity for BC Wood members to supply materials and finished products for this project. In fact, with improving market conditions being experienced across the US construction sector, there remains excellent potential for the BC Industry to develop and grow market share through participation in trade events such as IBS and BIA Hawaii.
For more information on these events or other opportunities in the US market, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
Last week, BC Wood Specialties Group hosted the 9th annual Global Buyers Mission in Whistler, BC. Among the 19 international delegations that attended were timber importers from India looking to replace current wood sources with Canadian wood products. After attending the successful Global Buyers Mission, the India delegation visited BC value-added wood manufacturers as part of their extended mission. One of the companies they visited was International Forest Products (Interfor) Acorn Division in Delta, BC. The Acorn mill is an export sawmill dedicated to manufacturing high value squares and timbers that are used in housing and industrial applications across global markets.
Dave Hayer, MLA Surrey-Tynehead, opened the event on Tuesday at Interfor by welcoming the India delegation to BC. He stated that one of the goals of BC’s Job Plan is opening up markets abroad for BC goods. “Helping companies like Interfor make connections with new companies overseas is one of BC Jobs Plan initiatives that we have been focused on.” Mike De Jong, Minister of Finance, took the podium on behalf of Premier Christy Clark and Minister Pat Bell to further explain the BC Job Plan strategy and outcome.
Following the opening speeches, the India delegation attended two seminars, went on a tour of the mill, and learned about grading standards at Interfor. The seminars, delivered by John Leahy from Canadian Mill Services, dealt with the phyto-sanitary rules for sending forest products from Canada to India and BC’s tree species and wood products. The mill tour lead the delegation through the mill, letting them observe how a log is remanufactured into a timber product. Lastly, the delegation was shown the different types of wood species Interfor remanufactures at their plant and how they are graded.read more
Westminster Industries Ltd. was founded in 1975 by Dave Wasmuth in New Westminster. It is now one of the most respected and oldest, originally owned lumber wholesalers in the Lower Mainland. They are currently located in White Rock and have a distribution yard in Delta.
Westminster Industries works with the majority of the major and medium sized mills in BC and Alberta, distributing Hemlock, Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, and SPF to both domestic and international markets including Asia, Middle East, Europe, and Australia. Providing service to purchasers over this broad range of clients is a knowledgeable staff and experienced traders, including two traders fully conversant in all Chinese dialects. Westminster Industries is seen as a valued supplier to its long and growing customer base. They also have strong ties to the community through their various donations and charitable work, with the most recent being donations for the new White Rock Bike Park.
Since their start in 1975, Westminster Industries has been following the trends and adapting to the market. This, coupled with their experienced staff, has been the key to their growth and success. They recently updated their website to reflect current conditions and company adaptions. The website is now easier to function and educates the customer on what Westminster’s products and services are. To view their new website, go to www.westmin.ca
By Daryl Holmes
BC Wood recently led a group of members on a market development mission to Turkey which included participation at TurkeyBuild in the capital city of Ankara. Product sectors represented included Log Home and Timber frame, Prebuilt Housing, and Remanufactured Lumber Products.
In the Turkish construction materials sector, wood products have approximately 20% market share with consumption mainly in private up-scale villas and some high end commercial resort style development. The consumption of wood in major residential housing projects and light commercial projects is low when compared to concrete and steel (for structure) or PVC (for windows/doors), however, as with most markets in the Eastern European area, the demand for wood is on the rise. Both private and public sectors in Turkey are engaged in a shift (albeit a slow shift) towards a growth in the use of wood products. Industry professionals and consumers alike have a keen interest in wood as a construction material, as was evident during the show in Ankara. The earthquake in 1999 has drawn attention to the importance of timber in construction, however; with the economic impact of the global meltdown, progress has been slow in the area of conveying the attributes of wood and educating key decision makers as to the benefits of using wood in construction. There is without a doubt, an increase in construction taking place right now in Turkey as residents look to build homes on the outskirts of some of the major cities. Accordingly, a select group of builders, developers, and importers are currently involved in projects outside of the main city centres which are being built with wood. During our stay in Turkey, we were able to make contact with many of these industry professionals and discuss opportunities for BC products.
The show itself was very busy, which in the current global market place was encouraging for the members. Although the Ankara show is a more of a regional show (with the main construction show being held in Istanbul in May), it drew attendees from all over Turkey and some surrounding countries. Numerous Architects, Engineers, Builders and Designers engaged in discussions with the BC exhibitors. The outcome of those interactions predominantly showcased the demand and desire for wood, while also highlighting the lack of distribution of products within the Turkish marketplace. In a jointly hosted event with the Turkish Timber Association, members were also able to showcase their products to key importers and building materials distributors located in and around the construction hub of Istanbul. Response from these professionals was again encouraging, as products including Western Red Cedar, Prebuilt Housing, and Log Homes proved to be of high interest for regions all across Turkey, including the coastal regions of the Black Sea.
Where do the sales prospects lie?
A clear demand for wood products exists within the Turkish marketplace. Much of the wood imported into Turkey is from surrounding markets of Russia, Ukraine, and Scandinavia. The key to accessing this demand for BC companies is securing partnership with local wood importers and distributors of other building materials. This process will take some time and investment by BC Wood members and this show in Ankara was a positive step in the right direction. Turkish building professionals are starved of opportunity to partner with Canadian companies and they are motivated to establish relationships with producers of high quality wood products. As with all new and emerging markets, finding the right partner is crucial in gaining market penetration. Turkey’s current growth is expected to continue well into the next ten years and those members who continue to put time and effort into the Turkey market will be rewarded with sales and long term partnerships.
What is the market looking for?
WRC Lumber, WRC Shake and Shingles, Hand Crafted Log Homes, MDF, Plywood, Yellow Cedar, Hemlock, Douglas Fir, and Prebuilt Homes.
How do I access these opportunities?
BC Wood will distribute the show leads via the online Wood Supply Network. For more detailed market information contact firstname.lastname@example.org more
By Dave McRae and Don Friesen
As a lumber drying specialist and lumber remanufacturer, we are constantly asked for the best method to set pitch in Douglas-fir and Pine. While we always give the same answer (because it works), we would like to explore a few of the questions and scenarios we run into.
Door and window manufacturers seem to lead the charge for seeking ways to deal with the annoying and costly problem of pitch running in their product. For example, one door manufacturer had many call backs from his customers in California because of pitch bleeding through his product, while another had pitch running on his office door when he was visited at his manufacturing plant. He told us he also had call backs throughout Canada and the United States.
Millwork producers are not the only ones concerned about this problem. Companies that dry lumber and supply their product to remanufacturers are also looking for advice on the best way to set the pitch.
Topics covered in this report:
*What is the right temperature?
*What does drying research tell us?
*How to ensure that pitch setting happens