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 dh@themataigroup.com

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BC Wood is organizing participation at 28th MBC Construction Expo at the SETEC convention centre in Seoul, Korea from January 27-30, 2012. This building and construction show will have over 350 exhibitors and an expected 150,000 attendees. These attendees will include builders, architects, home owners, distributors, and construction material importers. This trade event offers an excellent opportunity for BC Wood members to tap into the Korean market. Members that would benefit from this event include manufacturers and suppliers of remanufactured lumber products, prebuilt homes, kitchen cabinets, log home and timber frame homes, and engineered wood products.

With a deep rooted history and affinity for building with wood, South Korea remains an important export market for British Columbia’s value-added wood products. In 2010, South Korea represented British Columbia’s fifth largest offshore market with 278,000 m³ of wood product exports. South Korea has experienced strong economic growth and recovery, in light of the recent global downturns, with growing affluence and continuously improving living standards. Korea is far from the labour intensive economy it once was and is now a global leader in design and technological trends. Korean consumers are growing more sophisticated and are looking into higher quality imported products that are environmentally compliant.

For more information about the show, please contact David Pao at  dpao@bcwood.com

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For over 30 years the Japan Home & Building Show has been one of the most important events in marketing calendar of foreign companies selling into Japan. However, this year there were many challenges facing the event, some resulting from the 3/11 earthquake while others were self-inflicted.

Several years ago the show organizers decided to change the date of the 2011 show so as to time it with the planned UIA event at Tokyo Forum. I personally expressed my concerns over this numerous times as I have seen how such date changes have hurt other shows. Especially with the JHS’ long history, everyone expects it to take place in November. However, they believed that holding it in conjunction with the UIA event would inject new energy into the show.

These plans were greatly complicated by the March earthquake. By having bumped up the show, the organizers also bumped up the recruiting period of the show to late spring, which was still the dark period when no one knew what tomorrow would bring. As a result, purse strings were tightened and I am sure the JHS had trouble signing up exhibitors.

The earthquake and the nuclear disaster also worried the expected 10,000 overseas UIA attendees. In April there was even talk of cancelling the UIA event. However, they moved ahead with it as the situation in Fukushima gradually improved.

As we set-up for the show, I wondered and worried about how it would turn out. As feared, the attendance fell dramatically, from 87,000 to 43,000. Luckily though the quality of the visitors greatly increased as many more architects came to the show for the first time. This was undoubtedly due to the cross-marketing with the UIA event. We even received many overseas guests who came for the UIA event. Overall, even though the overall numbers were down, we felt just as busy as last year since the architects were spending more time with us asking questions about products.

The other thing that I had been wondering about was how much traffic we would receive related to reconstruction efforts in the Tohoku area. Over the three days we met with many builders, developers, and distributors from the earthquake/ tsunami affected areas and they seemed to be getting themselves prepared for the big reconstruction projects. I learned that developers from across the region and even other parts of Japan are buying up all the available elevated land near the coast for such projects. However, they are experiencing labour shortages and are thus looking at overseas suppliers that can help with packaged homes and other solutions.

Despite the drop in attendance I was very pleased with the results of the show. We were able to make a great number of new contacts including ones involved in the reconstruction efforts. This helps us prepare for the Nikkei Show next March where reconstruction projects will definitely be taking center stage.

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A few thoughts, observations, and ideas that may be of interest to industry.

With the end of summer quickly approaching, the BC Wood trade show season for the US market begins. October is an extremely busy, with 3 trade events taking place during the month. First up is the AIA Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii, followed by the AIA Mountain States in Keystone, Colorado, finally ending with the Sunbelt Builders Show in Austin, Texas. Outside of the 4 time zone changes, I should at the least pick up a decent amount of air miles.

I have discussed the various strengths and opportunities I see in each one of these markets in past issues of the Wood Connections newsletter, but suffice it to say, I think the potential for BC manufacturers to develop market share in these states is good. Our program is designed to use the trade event as a platform to connect with key buyers and decision makers in the region. We then follow-up the trade show with a mission component, including individual meetings directly with these buyers at their offices, or on site touring their construction projects.

It is last minute and the Hawaii event is all but sold out; however, there are still limited opportunities for members to participate in the Colorado and Austin events. If you are interested or want more information, please contact me ASAP. Also, if you are unable to participate directly, but would like to get leads and have your promotional materials delivered first hand to these buyers, send me an email to further discuss. There is a nominal charge, but it provides manufacturers with a way to test the waters in these markets with a minimal investment.

As always, if you have any further comments, questions, or need more information on the US market, please feel free to contact me at dfarley@bcwood.com

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US Market Update

On September 2nd, 2011, posted in: Industry News, Markets, Product Sectors, Trade Events, Trade Shows, USA by Comments Off

A few abbreviated comments, suggestions, and ideas that may be of interest to Industry…

I just returned from a short trip to the Austin and Dallas Fort worth region of the State of Texas and was pleasantly surprised with what I found. I recently read a report on the top housing markets in the US and in terms of new home construction, Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth were all in the top 10. In fact, the report suggested that on a per capita basis, Austin, Texas led the way in new housing construction this past year.

The report, it seems turned out to be fairly accurate, at least by what I could find out in talking to builders and distributors, and touring the residential construction projects taking place across the region. Austin has a number of medium and high-end residential subdivisions currently under construction and most builders that I spoke to were very busy. Homes in the sites that I visited were typically selling for $850,000 and up and many were sold before construction had actually begun. That is something that I have not seen since the heady days of 2005 -2006 housing bubble when the US had in the neighborhood of 2.3 million housing starts.

Anyways, I bring this up for two reasons, one is that the style and construction of the housing that I viewed lends itself well to the type of building products supplied by our members; think red cedar shake and shingle roofing ,wood trim, and facia and a significant use of architectural and decorative wood materials on the interior. Secondly, BC Wood will be participating in the Sunbelt Builders Show taking place this Oct 20 -22 in Austin– the center place of all this construction activity.

The city is economically driven by a young affluent workforce mainly employed in the high-tech sector. Dell computers and IBM both have significant presence in the Austin region and these two firms employ over 30,000 workers alone. Add to that, Austin is the state capital and is home to the University of Texas, and you have a vibrant, economically active region that for the most part has been relatively immune to the downturn faced by the rest of the country.

The opportunity to develop market share in Texas and in the Austin, Dallas corridor in particular seems good. The Sunbelt builders show will provide an excellent venue to meet key builders, architects, and distributors in this market. I have limited space, so if you think this may be a market for you or if you want more information, please feel free to contact me at dfarley@bcwood.com

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Interest for Canadian wood products from Chinese wood buyers is very strong judging by this year’s list of incoming delegates to the Global Buyers Mission in September. In an update from our in-market rep, Jeff Li, there are over 40 buyers signed up to participate at this year’s event in Whistler. These companies represent key players in the Chinese wood industry, as well as several new companies looking to learn more about Canadian companies. This year, the group will include key wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers, but will also include several Chinese builders, architects, and developers.

Also in September, BC Wood will participate for the first time in the 10th China International Exhibition on Housing Industry (CIEHI). This event will take place in Beijing from September 27-29, 2011 and will focus on real estate and property developers from around various regions in China. This event will be focused on new housing construction and green building technology (low carbon homes) in the Chinese market. The event is hosted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Rural Construction. Other organizers also include the China Real Estate Association, Beijing Construction Committee, and Beijing Housing Technology Development Co.

BC Wood, along with Canada Wood partners, COFI and CFPA, see a strong potential for Canadian wood products at this event and will coordinate participation. Companies interested in getting into the Chinese market that would find value in this event include manufacturers of:

Glulam and heavy timbers
Prebuilt homes
Outdoor wood products
Landscaping products
Exterior siding and panel products

For more information about the Chinese market and the CIEHI event, please contact David Pao at dpao@bcwood.com

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The Japan Home and Building Show is the most famous building products show amongst foreign exhibitors. Every year companies from Canada, the US, across Asia, and many parts of Europe come to this show to find new Japanese partners or build on their existing market presence. Even companies that do not participate directly time their business trips to Japan around the middle of November so that they can at least visit the show or take part in related receptions.

This year, however, many companies will be surprised to find out that the JH&BS will be held from September 28th through 30th and not in November. This is because the UIA is holding their “World Congress of Architecture” in Tokyo in and the JH&BS organizers agreed with the UIA organizers to tie the two events together. The UIA’s website explains their event in the following way:

“Described as the “Olympics of Architecture,” the UIA World Congress is a major international architectural event that attracts around 10,000 architects, engineers, researchers and students.Since the inaugural World Congress in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1948, it has taken place triennial in 23 different cities around the world.”

By adding these international guests to the JH&BS’ already large audience of Japanese industry professionals, the show organizers are expecting that exhibitors will be able to reach a much wider audience than in the past. This will be of particular interest to those who are looking to begin marketing to other parts of Asia as an event of this calibre in Tokyo will be sure to attract the top people in architecture from neighbouring Korea and China. Considering the bleak outlook that some people foresaw after the 3/11 earthquake, this added vibrancy to the JH&BS is a welcome development.

Another point in this year’s JH&BS’ favour is that some major wholesalers have decided to cancel their own private trade shows in the summer and fall. This means that the JH&BS will be the only venue for buyers, builders, and architects to see new products this fall. It is expected that the strong resulting interest amongst attendees will overcome any confusion resulting from the change in dates.

BC Wood now has its funding in place for the new fiscal year and as a result I am able to accept applications for show space. Please contact me for more information on this year’s event as well as on how to apply.

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US Market Update

On June 27th, 2011, posted in: BC Wood Members, Markets, Trade Events, Trade Shows, USA by Comments Off

A few comments, suggestions, and ideas that may be of interest to industry…

Last week, I attended the Pacific Coast Building Conference (PCBC 11) in San Francisco. While the event has seen a significant downturn in both exhibitors and attendance since the downturn in 2008, it is still considered the most important event for the residential and light commercial construction sector in the West Coast of the United States.

This year PCBC partnered with another San Francisco trade event, West Coast Green, to combine two trade events into one. The joining of two formally competing trade events is an example of the difficulties that both the residential construction sector and trade events in general are having in the United States.

My observations for PCBC 2011 are that it has turned into a regionally focused, Northern California, trade event. The change is significant when you consider that just a few years back, PCBC was the 2nd largest building products trade event in North America just behind International Builders Show (IBS). The regional focus simply means that the event no longer attracts architects, builders, and developers from across the Western United States — rather just from Northern California.

Two BC Wood members participated in this year’s event, Woodtone Building Products and Synergy Pacific. The general consensus was that the event was better than last year and that builders were more generally upbeat than in years past. “The buyers we saw were mainly from the Bay Region, but they were pretty engaged and interested in our products “commented Bob Sloper, Sales Manager at Synergy Pacific. In addition to the new partnership with West Coast Green, PCBC also offered a new event for exhibitors to participate in called the “Curator Led Tours” which Woodtone took advantage of. This event started by taking a group of buyers from a large residential or light commercial construction company who are guided by an industry expert on a tour of their favorite products on display at the show. Mike Pidlisecky, VP sales at Woodtone described it as ” speed dating ” for the building sector where you get a pre-organized 3 to 5 minute meeting with builders where you get to discuss the attributes and benefits of your product to a captive audience.

“The Curator Led Tours was a good addition to the event “commented Mike,” It introduced us to a number of good contacts in the market”. Of note, BC Wood will be doing a similar event at the Global Buyers Mission this year for the architects program led by Roy Manion.

There was an interesting article in last Thursday’s USA Today newspaper. The article focused on the hottest real estate markets in the US as measured by real estate prices and new home construction. It turns out that the Silicon Valley market of Palo Alto, Cupertino and San Jose are experiencing a big increase in the value of residential property values, driven primarily by the new found wealth of employees in the Dot Com Sector. Young buyers are driving up the price of residential property as they cash in on their stock options and invest into real estate. New home construction in the market is also up as this same group is buying property and building multi-million dollar homes throughout the region.

We have some good contacts in the market and will be participating in a regional home and builders show in the region in the upcoming months. Stay tuned for more information in the next couple of weeks. If you have any questions or want any further information on the US market, please feel free to contact me at dfarley@bcwood.com or on my cell at 604-728-8786.

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Brian Hawrysh

“High quality, specialty lumber and building materials such as WRC decking, siding and roofing, Log/Timberframe and prefabricated house packages will be of interest to the Turkish lumber importers, architects and builders.”

Through the ups and downs of market conditions in Europe over the past few years, a number of East European markets have displayed relatively strong economic performance. The majority of these good performers have been in Eastern Europe. Eastern Europe, without a doubt, was also hit hard by the global economic crisis, however, it has recovered at a much faster pace than the West with growth project of 3.9% in 2010 and 3.8% in 2011.  For this reason BC Wood will, this year, focus some increased attention on opportunities for specialty lumber and building materials in Turkey, Russia and the Ukraine.

The first of these East European tradeshows is the Turkeybuild tradeshow in Anakara, September 25-29th. In 2011, Turkey is projected to post the highest growth rate of all East European countries in the coming year. Turkey has a long history and affinity of building with wood which gave way to a focus on concrete construction in the post WWII period. With a growing affluence, Turks are rediscovering their traditional preference of wood construction in higher-end residential and recreational home construction.

In Turkey, there is also an opportunity for BC manufacturers to supply earthquake resistant homes to both private and public clients. A proven feature of the pre-built packaged homes is their superior performance during a seismic event. Similar to the opportunities that developed in the aftermath of the Kobe earthquake, BC companies should be able to provide products and services to the Turkish marketplace that has new more stringent building standards for seismic performance of homes.

A second opportunity in Turkey exists for manufacturers of log and timber frame structures. The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism recently announced a large-scale investment plan to develop the resort area of the Turkish Black Sea coast.  The plan consists of constructing modern resorts and lodges around the Turkish Black Sea ports, such as Trabzon and Samsun.  This large project is expected to be completed by 2024.  A number of companies in BC’s log home and timber frame sector have been approached recently by individuals from the region surrounding the Black Sea, with plans for the construction of these resorts.

Not far from the Turkish Black Sea resorts, the on-going development of the region surrounding Sochi for the 2014 Olympics is yet another opportunity for BC manufacturers.  Using the Olympics as a catalyst for economic development, the Russian government plans to transform the Sochi region into an all season world class resort. In addition to the construction of Olympic venues and infrastructure improvements, over 43,000 additional lodgings and hotel rooms are needed for tourists.

The Turkeybuild show provides exhibitors with a good opportunity to meet with 30,000 of Turkey’s  top design and building professionals. The fair takes place in Ankara, Turkeys second largest city and will mark its’ 24th year. While the Turkeybuild show in Istanbul is slightly larger, Ankara’s importance as the capital city and its’ proximity to Turkey’s northern resort region along the Black Sea makes it’s a strategically better location for promoting BC’s wood construction expertise and specialty building products..

At Turkeybuild, exhibitors can showcase a full range of building materials and systems. High quality, specialty lumber and building materials such as WRC decking, siding and roofing and prefabricated house packages will be of interest to the Turkish lumber importers, architects and builders.

For the 2011 Turkeybuild, BC Wood will organize a display of member companies and other Canadian forest products associations. For more information regarding this event, BC Wood’s participation and costs please contact Brian Hawrysh at 604-882-7100 or by email at bhawrysh@bcwood.com.

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A few comments, suggestions and ideas…

I will be attending the Pacific Coast Building Conference (PCBC  11) next week in San Francisco. This event has seen a significant downturn in both exhibitors and attendance since the downturn in 2008 but is still considered the most important event for the residential and light commercial construction sector in the West Coast of the United States.

I will be meeting with a number of residential builders, architects and distributors while at PCBC and will report on the both the quality of the event and any leads generated from my meetings in the next Wood Connections newsletter. If any member is attending and wants to join me in these meetings or would like me to meet with their customers please contact me at dfarley@bcwood.com.

I had a recent conversation with a BC prebuilt housing manufacturer, who has been active in selling homes in the US market for over three decades. He has a new competitor in the market and it’s not who you would expect.  Due to the continued credit crunch and volatility on housing prices across the United States, banks are unwilling to lend money to even well qualified clients looking to build a new home. This situation is worse, if the house is prebuilt, and is manufactured in Canada.

The volatility in residential housing in certain regions of the US has banks lending money based on the value of the property at the time of purchase and not on the current assessed value.  So if the client has property that was purchased years in the 1970s or 1980s when prices were low, their ability to secure a construction loan is severely curtailed.

The options are to self-finance the construction, or to turn to hard money lenders at a higher interest rate and build the house to lock-up, where the banks risk is diminished to a point they are willing to take over the mortgage.  It has even gone to the point, according to the manufacturer, where the bank will push the client to buy a (bank owned )  house in for-closure, rather than purchase a prebuilt home from Canada. So rather than simply being a lender, the bank has now become a competitor as it tries to unload the massive inventory of houses in for-closure throughout the US.

It will be interesting to follow this issue to see if it’s a blip in the market, or if US banks will continue to provide roadblocks to Canadian prebuilt housing manufacturers selling into the United States.

If you have any questions or want any further information on the US market  please feel free to contact me at dfarley@bcwood.com or on my cell at 604 728 8786 .

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Coming up this July is the 13th China International Building and Decoration Fair (CBD 2011) in Guanzhou. This is the largest trade event in Asia for the building decoration industry. The four day show takes place at the Pazhou Complex in Guangzhou and is expected to draw 120,000 domestic and international attendees. The show itself is segmented into several products areas. BC Wood is currently looking into exhibiting at this event to explore opportunities for Canadian companies interested in entering this rapidly growing market. Products of interest would be within the household decoration and building products areas including wood doors, windows, kitchen cabinets, and millwork.

For more information on this event, please contact David Pao at dpao@bcwood.com

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March 12th and 13th in Abbotsford was wet and rainy outdoors, but indoors, the sun was shining on 15 BC Wood members who chose to exhibit at the show this year. Everyone I talked to was extremely optimistic and very busy. Although, not hordes came through this year, it was a steady flow and the folks that did brave the weather were welcomed by enthusiastic and talented manufacturers of everything from beautiful log & timber-frame homes, to finished product such as doors, windows and flooring – and many of them were BC Wood members! I saw many walking around with plans, looking to talk to builders and manufacturers about their dream homes…and they came to the right place!

Attending this year was Shamawood, Tamlin Homes, Kettle River Timberworks, Mastercraft Window & Doors, Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring, Canada’s Log People, Trout Creek International, Pacific Log Homes, BC Timberframe Company, Western Forest Products, Daizen Joinery, Linwood Homes, Pacific Homes, Hamill Creek Timber Homes and Pioneer Log Homes. BC Wood shared a booth with the Log & Timber Building Industry Association (LTBI), manned by our friends Art Paul from Permanent Pole and industry expert, Brian Lloyd.

The LTBI will hold their AGM this year at the 108 Mile Resort, along with an industry forum including a presentation by CAWP on the very important topic of Job Costing and Cost/Benefit Analysis of CNC Technologies for Timber Framing. They expect a good turnout for this annual event and I’m sure they will share the results with any industry members that couldn’t make it.

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I’m excited to announce that we will be taking six BC Wood member companies to the ICFF in New York, May 14th to 17th.  We are particularly pleased that four of the companies are new to the event – Live Edge Design (John Lore), Collaboration (Marie Khouri and Dave Demers), Vin De Garde wine cellars (Billy Carpenter) and Flavour Furniture (Mario Sabljak).  They will join members Martha Sturdy and John Ross for this international event, held at the Jacob Javits Centre in Manhattan.

Marie Khouri will be showing her L5 Spine Bench – which is also part of her current showing at the prestigious Buschlen Mowatt Gallery in Vancouver right now. Her opening night event last Thursday was packed with art loving connoisseurs – we even spotted Brent Comber and Christian Woo in the crowd. She first launched the L5 at the IDSWest last fall and the media, along with wood folks like us, loved it.  Marie is a gifted sculptor who works in primarily clay, bronze & concrete, but has recently very successfully added wood to her portfolio of mediums. Much has been written about this well-traveled artist – you have but to ‘google’ Marie Khouri to get pages and pages of information and articles on her and her work.  We are very excited that she will be part of our NY group this year!

I look forward to introducing all of our ICFF participants in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned…

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BC Wood and our partners at Canada Wood just wrapped up another year at the Woodmac/Woodbuild/Furnitek show in Shanghai. We had great support from members with the largest group yet for BC Wood’s China program. A total of 8 member companies from British Columbia and 2 companies from Ontario and Quebec attended the show to promote wood products from Canada. For several companies, it was the first time to attend a show in China and experience this growing market. The four day show took place at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre attracting 360 exhibiting companies and 16,730 industry attendees.

Despite the slow economic recovery and challenging times ahead, Canadian companies had a strong, unified presence at this event. Other countries that normally attend this show did not have major exhibits which raised many questions about the conditions of other competing wood suppliers. One thing that was for certain was the overall success that Canadian companies are having in China. Whether it was dimension lumber or Western Red Cedar, the ongoing talk at the show was the number of containers that are entering China. The demand in China is definitely there, but that raised concerns among both buyers and exhibitors about the availability and stability of long term supply.

With China’s growing economy recently surpassing that of Japan, it was no surprise how much attention and enthusiasm is on this market. According to a recent article in The Economist, China will surpass the United States as the biggest export market for wood by as early as 2013. The downturn in the US housing market greatly impacted our export sales closing mills and costing jobs. Today however, the demand from China has reopened mills and created new jobs for the industry.

For more information on BC Wood’s activities in China, please contact David Pao at dpao@bcwood.com or 604-882-7100.

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BC Wood recently completed its annual tradeshow in the South Korean market exhibiting at the 14th Seoul International Housing Material and Decoration Fair. The show was well attended this year with 178 exhibitors and over 70,000 visitors. 34 of these exhibitors were from overseas including 6 booths representing Canadian manufacturers of wood products. This is an industry only event and focuses on building and construction professionals in the Korean market. In addition to Canada, other countries that had a significant presence at the show included Germany, Japan, New Zealand, China, Denmark, and the United States.

BC Wood and the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) worked together to promote Canadian wood products at the show and through a series of seminars and presentations. Specific products that were effectively showcased in the Canada Wood booth to the Korean market included Western Red Cedar, specialty lumber, and building products. At the show, BC Wood staff and members gathered leads, made new contacts, and recruited potential Korean wood buyers for the upcoming Global Buyers Mission in Whistler.

Also at the show, CMHC coordinated and delivered several technical seminars and presentations focused on integrated building design and community planning. BC Wood and CMHC presented to various associations, architects, and organizations that are key influencers in the Korean building and construction industry including KRIEA, KWCA, KWBDA, and representatives from Gimpo City.

In addition to promoting products at the show, BC Wood and CMHC actively promoted products and services in three major industry newspapers prior to the show, including several ads featuring Canadian companies. After the show, BC Wood organized several business networking meetings for members with key players in the Korean wood industry including importers, distributors, and builders.

For more information on this market, you can email me at dpao@bcwood.com or call 604-882-7100.

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For a number of years, BC Wood has been taking our members to the ICFF in New York in May.

During the Fair’s four days, 145,000 net square feet of the Javits Center will bustle with more than 23,000 interior designers, architects, retailers, designers, manufacturers, representatives, distributors, and developers. Members of the general public are welcome on Tuesday, May 17 when the ICFF is open to all comers.

More than 550 exhibitors will display contemporary furniture, seating, carpet and flooring, lighting, outdoor furniture, materials, wall coverings, accessories, textiles, and kitchen and bath for residential and commercial interiors. This assemblage of national and international exhibitors affords the chance to experience the most selective scope of the globe’s finest, most creative, individual, and original avant-garde home and contract products – handily and temptingly showcased in one venue.

The ICFF welcomes buyers and decision makers from Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Senegal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, and U.S.

Contingents who make the annual quest to this celebrated design hub include: Austrian Trade Commission, BC Wood Specialties Group (Canada), British European Design Group (BEDG), Ceramic Tiles of Italy, Cosmit (Italy), Furniture New York, The Furniture Society (U.S.), German Design Council, IDSA New York (Industrial Designers Society of America), Inside Norway, Interiors from Spain, and JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization).

Space is extremely limited, so if you have an interest in attending this show as a BC Wood member, please contact me as soon as possible, at rwalker@bcwood.com or call our office at 604-882-7100 (or toll free at 1-877-4BC WOOD). Participation is based on receiving our funder’s approval, which should be confirmed by March 31st.

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Upcoming Tradeshows in Asia

On December 6th, 2010, posted in: BC Wood Activities, Japan, Markets, Trade Events, Trade Shows by Comments Off

Nikkei Architecture and Construction Materials
March 8-11, 2011

The Nikkei Architecture and Construction Materials Show targets the architectural housing and building materials market. Over 400 companies are expected to exhibit, targeting architects and specifiers of products for commercial, housing and office buildings.

The Architecture and Construction Materials show has been held every year since 1995 and is part of a series of concurrent exhibitions, which collectively attract over 200,000 visitors. It has now grown into a comprehensive exhibition of materials and other related products indispensable for building various architectural structures in the city. The comprehensive range of exhibits includes all construction materials for housing, stores, commercial and business buildings as well as related systems and equipment.  http://www.shopbiz.jp/en/ac/

Space is limited at this event so contact Jim Ivanoff at Ivanoff@canadawood.jp as soon as possible if interested in participating.

For more information or to register, click here.

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Anyone involved in the Japanese market knows about the significance of the Japan Home Show. It may no longer be the biggest building products show in Japan (that honour goes to the Nikkei Show in March), but with its long history it is the most well-known amongst importers. For this reason, BC Wood once again organized and managed a large pavilion of 24 booths on behalf of Canadian industry.

As always, we had a strong contingent of BC Wood members representing a wide spectrum of our product sectors. This included engineered wood (OSB) from Ainsworth, lumber products from Welco, kitchens from Merit and Pacific Rim, house packages from Standard Building Supplies, as well as millwork from Sauder Moulding and Millwork represented by a dealer we previously introduced to them. By collaborating with the WRCEA, we also had a special WRC display presented by Interfor and WFP in conjunction with their Japanese dealers. This WRC display was a great kick-off for our renewed efforts to promote cedar products in this market.

We were also fortunate in being able to borrow furniture pieces for our pavilion that were brought over for Tokyo Designers Week by Judson BeaumontBrent ComberJohn Ross, and Mario Sabljak. These pieces made the common space of the pavilion feel like a gallery. Brent Comber’s WRC sphere was also a great compliment to our WRC display and really showed how beautiful this species is.

In addition to our members, the Canada Wood pavilion included several other industry associations: Canada Tsuga, the APA, FPAC, and QWEB. By coordinating with QWEB we were also able to have some non-wood manufacturers from Quebec beside our pavilion. This helped create a large Canadian section at the show.

However, we were not the biggest at the show. The Obama administration’s policy of pushing exports was very evident in the American pavilion. It was by far the biggest and most impressive presence they have had at the show that I can remember. This kind of aggressive push combined with a weak US dollar means we can expect greater competition in Japan from our American friends. Other countries such as China, Germany, Italy, Korea, etc. also had sizable pavilions at the show.

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Upcoming Tradeshows in Asia

On November 15th, 2010, posted in: BC Wood Activities, China, Korea, Markets, Trade Events, Trade Shows by Comments Off

BC Wood Asia Market Programs 2011

Mark your calendars for 2011 for BC Wood’s Asia market programs! We are currently organizing trade events in Japan, Korea, and China for member companies looking to expand their businesses in these markets. BC Wood will have cost-shared booth space available to members at these events; but space is limited and is filling up quickly. For more information, contact me at dpao@bcwood.com

Upcoming Asia Tradeshows:

Seoul Housing and Deco Fair (HOMDEX) (Korea)
February 9-13, 2011
The 14th annual Seoul Housing and Deco Fair (Seoul International Housing Material and Decoration Expo) is the best international Building Expo in KOREA. It brings together the most comprehensive array of products, equipment, and services in Korea and international professionals (developers, constructors, builders, distributors, contractors and specifiers).  For more information, visit http://homdex.net/en/main_e.asp


WoodBuild China 2011 (China)
March 1-4, 2011
The 9th International Exhibition of Timber and Wood Products for Furniture and Building Industries is China’s premier event for the woodworking industry with over 400 exhibitors and trade visitors from over 15 countries. WoodBuild China specifically focuses on supplying wood products for the furniture and building industries. This event also hosts Furnitek, which is targeted towards the hardware & furniture manufacturing accessories sector, and WoodMac for the forestry/woodworking machinery & supplies. WoodBuild China is an industry-only trade event that attracts distributers, wholesalers, building and landscape developers, and wood product manufacturers. For more information, visit http://www.woodmacchina.net/en/index.asp

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BC Wood’s “Living with Wood” initiative in Japan was once again put into the spotlight during Tokyo Designers Week. This year we had five of BC’s leading furniture designers to wow the masses at the show as well as the many events we planned around it. This fine group was made up by Judson Beaumont,Brent ComberJohn RossMario Sabljak, and Martha Sturdy.

This year represented change for this program in many ways. The biggest change of course was in the name. Until last year the show was called 100% Design Tokyo, but the contract between the Design Association and Reed International came to an end in 2009 and the D.A. decided to go it alone for 2010. Overall the venue and setting didn’t change much, but the D.A.’s emphasis on encouraging a stronger business presence at the show was evident with a larger presence of major Japanese building products related firms.

The format of the BC Wood pavilion remained the same, but the addition of new blood to our group of exhibitors helped generate additional interest. Mario Sabljak’s collection of bold, modern pieces alongside a beautiful WRC outdoor chair was very well received by Japanese designers. John Ross’ stunning red and yellow cedar pieces immediately grabbed the attention of the wood loving Japanese. I heard several comment that while many Japanese artists also use natural wood in similar ways, John’s work showed a much higher level of sophistication.

As in past years, we also held several talks and events during the show. However, in keeping with the theme of change, we agreed with our partners at the Canadian Embassy to hold an onsite event rather than an Embassy reception as in the past. The fact that the D.A. added a 250 seat event dome to the show helped us come up with a totally different format. Instead of a typical seminar, we held a “talk-show wine party” that saw Martha Sturdy interviewed onstage by “I’m Home” editor Elisa Sumita as well as a three way discussion on using wood in modern design with Brent Comber, “Shoten Kenchiku” editor Makota Oikawa, and one of Japan’s most famous designers Ryu Kosaka. This was a star-studded event that truly bridged the Japanese and Canadian design communities.

Judson Beaumont, who is the biggest superstar to his adoring Japanese female fans, was invited by one of Japan’s largest design firms to do a talk at an event they organized along with the Design Nippon Association. The chairman of this association was so impressed last year with Jud’s pine beetle work that he wanted Jud to share his message with his network on using unappreciated materials in beautiful designs. Jud’s concepts were a perfect match for the current trend in using environmentally friendly wood materials in commercial designs.

Our five designers also had the privilege of working with Hiroko Machida on a panel discussion at Tokyo Designers Week about the reason for using wood as a material. This is a topic that is close to Machida-sensei’s heart as she was the one to first popularize North American housing concepts in Japan and also had just come back from a trip to BC and England to study how to use more wood in public health facilities. The fact that she is fluent in English made the talk easygoing and fun for the audience.

All of these events and the long days at the show (6 days, 11 hours a day!) meant it was a long trip for our fabulous five. However, the great response we got in the form of concrete discussions on new projects and business relationships means that there should be significant dividends for our participating members. In the bigger picture though, I don’t think Canada has ever been so well represented on the main stage of Japan’s design community. Thanks to the fine work of our members, Canada’s image has been greatly elevated in Japan and this halo will cover many other of our fine wood products as well.

In follow-up blogs I will go over some of the exciting business developments that arose from this program.

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