From June 30 to July 7, 2013 Dr. Henry Quesada, assistant professor at the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials at Virginia Tech, traveled to China to attend the 2013 International Furniture Fair in Chengdu. The trip is part of the research project “Analysis of Factors Impacting the International Value Chain of Hardwood Products: A Comparison between Asia and Western Europe” funded by the U.S Department of Agriculture. The goal of the project is to examine value chains in mature markets for American hardwoods. In many of these markets there is a high demand for low-valued added products such as hardwood logs and only a small portion of higher value-added products such as kiln-dried lumber, dimension lumber, veneer, and furniture is imported fro the U.S. The research specifically is looking into cultural, technical, logistics, and economic aspects that drive importers to prefer low value-added rather than high-valued added products.
Chengdu is located about 1,100 miles west of Shanghai and it is considered the most important city in Western China with a total population of 14 million people (fourth largest city in China). The city has developed into a friendly and welcoming investing destination for international companies. Already an important furniture cluster, local producers are focusing more on the production of solid wooden furniture for the local market given the increasing economic power of the middle class in China. The biggest problem for local furniture producers continues to be the lack of local supply of high quality hardwoods, hence; producers have turned their eyes to American hardwoods as a reliable source of raw materials.
During his trip to Chengdu, China, Dr. Quesada had the opportunity to interview local furniture manufacturers and lumber brokers and ask fundamental questions related to the importation of American hardwoods and other species from other countries. Current importers of American hardwood products indicated that the most important factor when selecting a new supplier from the U.S. is consistent quality and second factor is the price. Other important aspects that Chinese importers consider when buying from American hardwoods suppliers are packaging, availability of species, and customer support. Most importers also indicated that more information about American hardwoods is needed, as local furniture producers know little about American species properties, dimensions, and grading systems.
If you would like to learn more about international marketing opportunities for Appalachian hardwood producers, please contact Dr. Henry Quesada at email@example.com
Blacksburg, VA. May 31, 2013. Dr Henry Quesada from the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials at Virginia Tech and Dr. Eva Haviarova from the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University jointly organized a workshop in International Marketing for Forest Products Industry. The workshop was delivered in May 28, 2013 at the Vincennes University campus in Jasper, IN with a total attendance of 18 participants from the furniture industry and state and government agencies.
Jasper is located in southern Indiana, a place where manufacturing is the key economic development driver for the region. There are many furniture industries that have manufacturing operations in Jasper, most of them kitchen cabinet and office furniture. Although this particular industry places most its production in the local market, there is a growing interest in exploring possibilities in international markets.
As a way to educate and provide leads on international opportunities, this workshop brought together an outstanding pool of experts from industry, goverment, and the academic sectors. Mr. Mike Cooper, from the US Commercial Service, provided participants with directions on how to conduct a succesfull international marketing plan. Mr. Mike Seidl, from the IDNR, gave insights and leads on main international markets for kitchen cabinets and office furniture, and Mr. Steve Klinger, from Cargo services, provided critical information on logistics issues. Dr. Henry Quesada also presented and focused on main principles governing international marketing. The workshop was introduced by Dr. Eva Haviarova who reviewed the connection between the housing market and the furniture industry.
Thirty four percent of the participants evaluated the workshop as excellent and 66% as good. If you wish to have more information on current research on international marketing for forest products industry, please contact Dr. Henry Quesada at firstname.lastname@example.org
by Urs Buehlmann and Al Schuler Still lots of headwinds to deal with: Economy is getting better, albeit very slowly Government debt issues – all levels of government – exacerbates the job probm Much of Europe in recession – major banking problems – Cyprus is latest – China is slowing too … Continue reading “April 2013 Housing Report”
by Urs Buehlmann and Al Schuler
Still lots of headwinds to deal with:
Economy is getting better, albeit very slowly
Government debt issues – all levels of government – exacerbates the job probm
Much of Europe in recession – major banking problems – Cyprus is latest – China is slowing too
Housing’s main problems – Weak domestic economy made worse by slowing world economy; weak job market; poor income growth; high debt levels; and tight credit environment
Demand ( not enough), debt and uncertainty are some of serious problems that are impacting the economy.
Job creation is key to better demand!!! – this requires better vision from “Washington”
By Urs Buehlmann and Al Schuler The housing report is a free service of Virginia Tech and is intended to help you gauge future business activity. Al Schuler gave us permission to include his monthly housing report in this mailing as well. All past housing reports are archived at:http://woodproducts.sbio.vt.edu/housing-report/. We would like to thank all who responded … Continue reading “Housing report- February 2013”
By Urs Buehlmann and Al Schuler
The housing report is a free service of Virginia Tech and is intended to help you gauge future business activity. Al Schuler gave us permission to include his monthly housing report in this mailing as well. All past housing reports are archived at:http://woodproducts.sbio.vt.edu/housing-report/.
We would like to thank all who responded to our survey. We are currently analyzing the data and we will keep you informed about the findings. Your support is greatly appreciated!
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Brooks Forest Products Center
Mail Code 0503
1650 Ramble Road
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Blacksburg, VA. February 2, 2013. Dr. Robert Smith, Associate Dean of Engagement at the College of Natural Resources and Environment (CNRE) and acting Department Head of the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials (SBIO) at Virginia Tech, traveled along with Dr. Henry Quesada-Pineda, Assistant Professor at the SBIO Department to participate in the kick-off meeting of the project US-India Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center (JCERDC) for Development of Sustainable Advanced Lignocellulosic Biofuel Systems.
The project is part of the $125 million US-India consortia to develop joint research in solar energy, building efficiency, and lignocellulosic biofuel systems. SBIO researches Smith and Quesada are part of the lignocellulosic biofuel systems project’s team that has as a goal to develop sustainable advanced second-generation biofuels.
The biofuels U.S. project team is led by the University of Florida and it includes the University of Missouri, Montclair State University, Texas A&M University, and Virginia Tech. Private partners Show Me Energy and Green Technologies are also part of the team. On the Indian side, the project includes several governmental and private partners.
The lignocellolosic biofuel systems project has several tasks including feedstock selection and development, biofuel production, supply chain management, marketing and social, economics, and environmental impacts. Drs. Smith and Quesada-Pineda will lead the supply chain management and marketing aspects of the project. Also, Dr. Janaki Alavalapati, Department Head of the Forestry Resources and Environmental Conservation (FREC) Department at Virginia Tech, participates in the project as leader of the Virginia Tech team.
If you wish to know more about the project please contact Dr. Henry Quesada-Pineda at email@example.com