|A GUIDE TO EXPORTING
SOLID WOOD PRODUCTS
EXPORT MARKET INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE
Like any business venture, success in exporting wood products depends heavily on the ability of the exporting company to stay in touch with important changes in the target country. Current market information and a firm understanding of the business and social traditions in a country can allow a firm to respond quickly to changes in consumer demand and capitalize on emerging opportunities. Without such information, it is quite difficult to run a profitable export business. There are many sources for market information and assistance available to U.S. companies interested in exporting.
U.S. Department of Agriculture: Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS)
The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is responsible for developing, maintaining, and expanding export markets for U.S. agricultural commoditiesincluding solid wood products. FAS provides foreign market information, works to gain foreign market access for U.S. farm, food, and forest products, and cooperates with U.S. nonprofit trade associations to conduct market development activities in overseas markets. The FAS provides companies with a number of options for obtaining timely information on export markets.
FAS represents U.S. agriculture overseas through a network of agricultural counselors, attaches, and trade officers in 64 foreign posts covering 129 countries. The staff supervises market development activities, reports to FAS/Washington, and alerts the U.S. trading community to foreign market opportunities and competition.
Each U.S. agricultural counselor/attaché office is in frequent contact with foreign buyers and overseas representatives of U.S. firms and associations, and helps U.S. agricultural exporters, associations, and allied groups establish contacts with government officials and foreign traders. In addition, Agricultural Trade Offices (ATO's) have been opened in Sao Paulo, Dubai, Guangzhou (Canton), Hamburg, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Mexico City, Osaka, Riyadh, Moscow, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo. These trade offices serve as a one-stop service center for U.S. exporters, nonresident private trade groups, and others engaged in exporting and importing U.S. agricultural commodities. Please review the FAS Post and ATO home pages at: /fasposts.html. A directory of FAS Field Officers and overseas contacts can also be obtained through the FAS Homepage at: /scriptsw/fasfield/ovc_lout.asp.
Annual reports on wood products production, marketing, and trade issues for 33 selected foreign markets are available on an annual subscription basis. The markets are:
The annual reports are prepared by FAS agricultural counselors, attaches, and trade officers overseas. To get current prices or place a subscription order for the scheduled reports, voluntary reports, and report updates contact the Reports Officer/FAS, USDA, Room 6078-South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1000. Tel. (202) 720-0924; Fax. (202) 720-7729.
Electronic Access - The annual reports are available electronically via the Internet and Electronic Bulletin Board systems. In addition to the reports, there are more than 3000 articles covering a wide range of related topics available from the electronic sources. They are on the Internet at: /ffpd/attache_reports.htm. The reports are also available at http://www.stat-usda.gov , www.ftp.stat-usa.gov , and www.ebb.stat-usa.gov (telnet).
FAS' Forest and Fishery Products Division (FFPD) publishes four circulars a year that offer a comprehensive overview of the world supply and demand situation for wood products. The circulars, entitled Wood Products: International Trade and Foreign Markets, include extensive data tables of U.S. exports of logs, lumber, plywood, veneer and a variety of other solid wood products. Species data for some products are included. In addition, key trade developments and voluntary reports from FAS overseas posts are highlighted. Foreign wood products production, supply, and distribution data are also provided. For information on circular content, contact the FAS Forest and Fishery Products Division, Tel. (202) 720-0638, FAX 720-8461.
For subscription information and current prices, contact U.S. Department of Commerce, Technology Administration, National Technical Information Service, Order Department, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161, Tel. (703) 605-6000, Fax. (703) 605-6900; or through their web site: www.ntis.gov
You can read the forest products circulars on the FAS home page at /ffpd/forestcirculars.htm The reports remain "current" until the succeeding issue is available. Older issues are available in the archives section of the home page. We also make selected cover articles and graphics available from these publications, in a separate section of the site. Reports are also available from the Economic Bulletin Board at Stat-USA, on the same schedule. For more information, you may contact Stat-USA at (202) 482-1986 (Monday-Friday, 8:30-5:30 p.m. Washington, DC time).
The AgExport Connections Office
Through FAS services, agricultural exporters can keep abreast of foreign market development opportunities with marketing research reports, trade leads, product publicity, and listings of prospective foreign importers. FAS serves as the liaison between U.S. companies and foreign importers seeking U.S. wood and other agricultural products. FAS works to help U.S. producers introduce products in new markets and further expand established markets.
FAS' agricultural counselors, attaches, and trade officers transmit market information, trade, and economic statistics electronically to FAS offices in Washington, DC. U.S. companies can take advantage of the following export services:
1. Trade Leads, which are inquiries submitted by foreign buyers for specific products, are transmitted electronically to the AgExport Connections Office by FAS trade officers in 85 countries. Foreign buyers submitted more than 4,600 trade leads last year, which helped facilitate export sales of more than $500 million. Trade Leads may be accessed through the following means:
a) Internet- Trade Leads are available on a daily basis through the FAS Home Page. You can access new Trade Leads each day or search for previous Trade Leads by country, product, or date. In addition to Trade Leads, the Home Page contains information on a wide range of USDA/FAS programs and services, as well as trade statistics and foreign market reports. The Internet address is /agexport/tleadsinfo.html Trade Leads are also available on other private and public bulletin boards. Contact your state agriculture department, trade office or Chamber of Commerce to determine if this service is available locally.
b) Fax - Another way to receive trade leads is by fax. Just poll the AgExport fax system each week using your own fax machine. The information is free. You pay only for the cost of the call. The number to call to poll the machine with information on wood products is (202) 720-8980.
c) Newspapers, trade journals, newsletters - Trade Leads may also appear in newsletters or trade journals published by private firms or state and local government offices. Check with your state agriculture department, trade office or Chamber of Commerce for further information.
2. Foreign Buyer Lists are drawn from a database that includes more than 15,000 foreign buyers of food, farm and forest products in nearly 70 countries. The lists provide important details on each firm such as contact person, address, telephone, fax, and type of product(s) imported. Please note that you may order these lists by product (all buyers of a single product worldwide) or by country (buyers of all types of products in a single country). The current charge for each list is $15.
For further information on foreign buyers lists, please contact:
Ag Box 1052
Washington, DC 20250-1052
Tel: (202) 690-3416 (Foreign Buyer Lists)
3. The U.S. Supplier List database is one of the fastest and most efficient ways for a foreign buyer of U.S. food, farm, fish and forest products to contact you directly. This searchable database is designed to help small- to medium- sized U.S. exporters make contact with export agents, trading companies, importers and foreign buyers and create an opportunity to sell their products in overseas markets. We encourage you to sign up for this free service. Information and free online registration is available at /agexport/ussuppinfo.html.
4. Buyer Alert is a biweekly newsletter distributed by USDAs overseas offices that can introduce your forest products to foreign buyers around the world. Buyer Alert helps U.S. exports reach more than 15,000 importers in nearly 60 countries. Each announcement in the newsletter provides a product description, offer terms, and information about your company.
To receive a free copy of the AgExport Action Kit, which contains detailed information on the above services and other USDA programs, contact AgExport Connections, Ag Box 1052, AGX/FAS/USDA, Washington, D.C. 20250-1052. Tel. (202) 720-7103; Fax. (202) 690-4374.
Publications, reports, and other information provided by FAS can be reached at http://www.fas.usda.gov
Refer to Appendix III for examples of Trade Leads and Foreign Buyer Lists.
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)
The Shipper and Exporter Assistance Program area of USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides the following services:
For further information contact the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service at (202) 690-1304. Internet address: http://www.ams.usda.gov/
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) actively participates in international programs to protect against the spread of plant and animal pests and diseases. Many foreign countries require that shipments of unprocessed wood products be accompanied by phytosanitary (plant health) certificates. These certificates are issued by APHIS at the request of the shipper, certifying that the products conform to foreign quarantine import requirements.
For example, the European Union (EU) requires a phytosanitary certificate for U.S. shipments of oak veneer logs certifying that the logs have been fumigated with methyl bromide according to approved EU treatment schedules and procedures. A sample form is found at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/exports/form_577.htm
Inspections and certifications are handled by Federal officers and State government cooperators and are not normally valid if conducted more than 14 days prior to the export of the commodity. The exporter must make an application for an inspection and make the commodity available for physical inspection.
Certification is recognized by foreign plant protection services and by regional plant protection organizations.
Phytosanitary certificates are not issued to satisfy letters of credit or other commercial contract terms and are not certifications of grade or quality. Foreign country phytosanitary requirements and certifications may be obtained by contacting: USDA/APHIS at port of export, or for general information, contact APHIS, Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) at USDA/APHIS/PPQ, 4700 River Road, Suite 4C03, Riverdale, MD 20737, Tel. (301) 734-8537, Fax (301) 734-5786, or through their home page: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq
USDA's Forest Service (USDA/FS)
USDAs Forest Service conducts research and analysis of the U.S. timber supply, demand, and wood products trade. Forest Service experiment stations and the Forest Products Laboratory can provide useful information and research on exporting.
The Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) conducts wood utilization research and development to provide the science and technology needed to maintain and extend forest resources primarily within the United States, but also internationally. Research is conducted in the areas of wood science, solid wood processing and end-use performance, composites, pulping and papermaking, timber demand and assessment for wood-based materials, wood identification, fire and durability performance, and biotechnology related to wood processing and protection. FPL programs help promote sustainable forest management by maximizing the benefits derived from timber resources through increased efficiency of conversion and use, recycling, increasing durability in end use applications, and overcoming environmental impacts associated with the conversion, processing, use and reuse of wood and wood-based materials. Contact: USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, One Gifford Pinchot Drive, Madison, WI 53705-2398, Tel. (608) 231-9200, Fax. (608) 231-9592. Web site: http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us
The North Central Research Station conducts research on genetic and silvicultural systems for sustainable, intensive forestry through the development of plant materials and production strategies necessary to deploy intensively managed tree plantations for multiple uses. The North Central Research Station also conducts timber harvest modeling research that permits forest managers to simulate timber removals in a spatial context that allows evaluation of habitat and biodiversity effects of forest alternatives. Contact: Dr. Don E. Riemschneider, Project Leader, or Dr. Eric J. Gustafson, Project Leader, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, 5985 Highway K, Rhinelander, WI, 54501. Tel. (715) 362-1115; Fax. (715) 362-1166.
Additionally, the North Central Research Station conducts research and technology development to improve the genetic quality and regeneration success of hardwood species, including identification of the genetic structure of desirable traits in natural populations, advanced techniques for mass propagation of planting stock, and development and demonstration of improved planting techniques. Contact: Dr. Charles Michler, Director, Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center, 1159 Forestry Building, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1159, Tel. (765) 496-6016, Fax. (765)496-2422.
North Central Research Station also conducts research to determine the mechanisms of tree resistance to insects and the effects of various environmental stresses on tree-insect interactions. Life history information developed through this research has been used to modify U.S. and Canadian federal quarantines for insect pests. Contact: Dr. Robert A. Haak, Project Leader, 1407 Harrison Road, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48823, Tel. (517) 355-7740, Fax. (517) 355-5121.
The Northeastern Area, State and Private Forestry, provides technical support and financial assistance to improve management of non-federal land, including developing and expanding both domestic and international markets. Field office locations and web site addresses for the Northeastern Areas three field offices are:
Northeastern Research Station conducts research on hardwood supply and demand and solid wood fiber substitution trends in major industrial and consumer markets in the United States and overseas. Links to the forest resources are analyzed. In addition, research is ongoing at the Princeton Laboratory to improve manufacturing efficiency and market acceptance of lower-grades and less utilized species. Contact: Dr. Bruce G. Hansen, Project Leader, USDA Forest Service, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, 241 Mercer Springs Road, Princeton, WV, 24070, Tel. (304) 431-2700, Fax (304) 431-2772, e-mail: email@example.com
The Pacific Northwest Forest Experiment Station handles macroeconomic modeling of U.S. markets of wood products. Contact: Richard Haynes, USFS/PNWFRES, 1221 SW Yamhill, P.O. Box 3890, Portland, OR 97208, Tel.(503) 808-2002, Fax (503) 808-2033
The Rocky Mountain Research Station conducts natural resource research throughout the United States with emphasis on the Rocky Mountains, Great Basin and the Southwest. For general information Contact: Rocky Mountain Research Station Public Affairs, Natural Resources Research Center, 2150 Centre Ave., Building A, Fort Collins, CO 80526, Tel. (970) 295-5920, Fax (970) 295-5959
The Southern Research Station conducts forestry research that emphasizes measuring and monitoring forest resources; understanding ecosystem structure, function and processes; managing resources for sustained and enhanced productivity; and protecting environmental quality in southern forests. Contact: Station Director, USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, P.O. Box 2680 Asheville, NC 28801, Tel (828) 257-4300. http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us
U.S. Department of Commerce
The Department of Commerce offers the National Trade Data Bank (NTDB) for sale on CD-ROM. The NTDB, the U.S. Government's most comprehensive source of world trade data, is a trade library of more than 200,000 documents. Topics on the NTDB range from export opportunities by industry, country, and product to demographic, political, and socio-economic conditions in hundreds of countries. The NTDB can also be accessed through the Internet address at http://www.stat-usa.gov. For subscription information and current prices contact STAT-USA at (202) 482-1986.
The International Trade Administration (ITA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce provides a wide range of services and programs to assist U.S. firms in developing export markets. The best point of contact for U.S. firms is their local Department of Commerce district office, of which there are 84 across the United States (See Appendix VI). These offices are run by the division of ITA known as the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service. Assistance is also available overseas through137 commercial offices located in 72. They are located in embassies and consulates in countries comprising more than 95 percent of the world market for U.S. products.
For information about a specific country, contact the appropriate country desk officer at the ITA. A list of ITA desk offices and Foreign Commercial Service District Offices are listed at
The services provided by the International Trade Administration, ITA, are listed below:
Office of the United States Trade Representative
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is an agency of the Executive Office of the President. It is responsible for directing all formal U.S. trade negotiations and for formulating U.S. trade policy. It works closely with USDA and other agencies in this effort. It represents the United States in formal tariff and nontariff negotiations.
Individual exporters rarely have direct contact with this office unless they wish to file a complaint about unfairly subsidized overseas competition or other trade practices which may violate the World Trade Organization (WTO). USTR may be reached at 600 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20508, Tel. (202) 395-3230, http://www.ustr.gov/
State Departments of Agriculture and State Export Agencies
State departments of agriculture and related agencies cooperate with USDA in promoting and marketing U.S. foods and other agricultural products abroad. Many of these State departments of agriculture now have full-time international marketing specialists. Also, some state foresters have a trade specialist on their staff. The 2000 Roster of State Foresters is shown in Appendix IV.
The State departments of agriculture provide assistance to new-to-export and established exporting firms. In addition, they assist FAS in arranging itineraries and appointments for foreign buyers, agriculturists, and government officials.
Forty-nine states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are members of four regional groups that work exclusively on coordinating and expanding activities for exports of food and agricultural products. The organizations and member states are:
Eastern U.S. Agricultural and Food Export Council, Inc. (EUSAFEC)
Members: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. They can be found on the web at http://www.foodexportusa.org
Headquarters: Food Export USA-Northeast
150 S. Independence Mall West
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Tel. (215) 829-9111
Fax (215) 829-9777
Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA)
Members: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
World Trade Center
#2 Canal Street, Suite 2515
New Orleans, LA 70130
Tel: (504) 568-5986
Fax: (504) 568-6010
You can also find SUSTA on the web at: http://www.susta.org
Mid-America International Agri-Trade Council (MIATCO)
Members are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. See them on the web at http://www.miatco.org
400 West Erie Street, Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60610
Tel: (312) 944-3030
Fax: (312) 944-1144
Western U.S. Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA)
Members are Alaska, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, and American Samoa. See them on the web at http://www.wusata.org
Headquarters: 2500 Main Street,
Vancouver, WA 98660-2697
Tel: (360) 693-3373
Fax: (360) 693-3464
Private Market Information Sources
A variety of private credit-reporting, financial, and market-servicing firms target their services to the U.S. exporter. Generally, these companies provide weekly or monthly reports by world areas with special reports targeted to specific countries. Market research and studies outlining short-term trends in international markets and financing also are available. The companies listed below provide many of these services and represent a small sample of firms providing this information. The following information was provided by the companies and citation in this publication does not represent an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or any other U.S. Government agency. Additionally, no guarantees of commercial performance or reliability are intended nor intent of discrimination implied.
Dun & Bradstreet -- Offers a number of publications about international marketing, exporting, and foreign corporations and companies. Dun & Bradstreet International's "Exporters' Encyclopedia" includes information on export shipping documentation, export market profiles, financing, laws and regulations, communications, and transportation for over 200 countries in a database that is updated daily. Duns International Risk and Payment Review presents the D&B Country Risk Indicator to show the relative strengths of 120 countries. World Base, an on-line database, provides access to over 57 million companies, their officers, and subsidiaries/affiliates worldwide. Other publications and CD-ROMs available from Dun & Bradstreet include: "Principal International Businesses," "Who Owns Whom" (identifies parent companies, their subsidiaries, and associates), Mexicos Leading Companies, Japans Leading Companies, Latin Americas Top 25,000 Companies, Asia Pacifics Top 25,000 Companies, Western Europe Top 25,000 Companies, Regional Export Guides (with information on Latin America, Asia/Pacific, and Europe), and Country Profiles (available for all countries not covered by the Regional Export Guides). Dun & Bradstreet also offers the Export Market Locator, an electronic database that produces user-commodity or service. Contact: Jason Probst at Dun & Bradstreet Information Services, 5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 2501, Falls Church, VA 22041, Tel. (703) 845-2737, or (800) 234-3867, http://www.dnb.com
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) -- Monitors and analyzes international investment and trade and offers a series of regular reports covering business conditions, trends, and prospects worldwide. ElU's "Country Reports" (published quarterly) provide the latest facts and forecasts together with in depth analysis for over 165 countries. In addition, EIU's publications include "Financing Foreign Operations" (offers detailed country information), "Investing, Licensing, and Trading Conditions Abroad," and weekly "Business" newsletters covering international management/trade, international business updates, and trade outlooks for Europe, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and China. For information contact: The Economist Intelligence Unit, 111 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019. Tel. (212) 554-0600; (800) 938-4685, Fax: (212) 586-1181. You may also visit their website at http://www.eiu.com
Information Access Company (IAC)Compiles, organizes, and publishes information on industries, products, markets, technologies, and economics. IAC offers indexing services, statistical services, and abstracting services. In addition, IAC produces a series of industry-specific publications to keep patrons up to date with specialized ongoing information requirements on the latest international events. Additional reference tools, including a company thesaurus and a directory of source publications, exist to enhance the use of IAC's publications. The "F&S Index International" includes information on business developments in Latin America, the Middle East, Japan, Asia, Canada, Africa, and Oceania. The "F&S Index Europe" provides literature summaries for the European Union, Scandinavia, other countries of Western Europe, Russia, and other countries of Eastern Europe. For further information: Information Access Company, 362 Lakeside Dr., Foster City, CA 94404, Tel. (800) 321-6388, http://www.iacnet.com