Derome in US timber export move

13 April 2020

Swedish sawmiller Derome is shipping its first delivery of timber to the US market.

The company, which describes itself as Sweden’s biggest family-owned timber company, said exporting to new markets is a natural next step in its business development plans.

The first consignment is made up of timber from the Derome sawmill in Kinnared, which is one of five sawmills owned by the company. The consignment from Varberg to Lake Charles, Louisiana is destined for housebuilders in Texas, Louisiana and other states.

“The warehouse at the port in Lake Charles gives us a cost-effective storage solution near to our customers in an area with a strong financial position that is seeing good growth,” Derome said.

Derome said its offering was positive when compared with the competition from Canadian sawmills.

The number of new builds in the US has doubled since the housing crash of 2009 and 2010, and homebuilding is expected to continue at a high level going forward, Derome added.

At the same time, production of sawn timber in Canada – the biggest US supplier of structural timber – has declined due to a shortage of timber on account of fires, insects and other issues.

“We are increasing production of sawmills the whole time, and as there is plenty of demand it seems natural to focus on the US as a new market for us. We must not place all our eggs in one basket, and we have to grab opportunities when conditions change,” said Gunnar Jakobsson, CEO of Derome Timber.

Exporting to the US places new demands on the production process – due to the fact that the Americans use different lengths and dimensions to those used in Sweden.

“We have been working hard to prepare over the last few months,” added Mr Jakobsson.

“Exporting to the US makes new demands of the entire production chain, and our staff have done a fantastic job.”

"Driving force is one of Derome’s core values, and this is clearly apparent when the company chooses to establish itself on new markets. Having the desire and the courage to try new things is creating both development opportunities and security for its staff.”

Veddige-based Derome’s annual group sawmill production capacity stands at 600,000m3.