China remains the jewel in the crown of the US hardwood export trade, according to the latest edition of Hardwood Review Export.

Shipments to China were up 31.5% in the first two months of 2002 compared with the same period last year.

White oak exports to the large European markets of Spain, Portugal and Italy were up substantially for the first two months. Total export volumes for all species were slightly ahead of last year but because of lower prices being paid the total value was actually down.

Spain, France, Portugal and Denmark remained fairly good European markets and the UK was described as ‘fair’.

The conflict in the Middle East has been cited as a cause of concern which is affecting the European lumber trade.