ConstruExpo 2023 Allows for Southern Pine Education in Dominican Republic

ConstruEXPO 2023

Two American Softwoods representatives and one member of the Southern Forest Products Association traveled to the Dominican Republic to exhibit at the ConstruExpo 2023 trade show from May 17-22, 2023, the first since 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the fact the show takes place in a small venue, it is the biggest construction trade show in the Dominican Republic and is the main platform to exhibit construction materials in the country. ConstruEXPO 2023’s host said during the opening that the Dominican Republic’s construction sector is going through some of its best times, which is encouraging for U.S. exports. Side note: Exports of Southern Pine and pressure-treated lumber to the Dominican Republic were up 59% from 23.6 Mbf to 37.7 Mbf in May 2023 compared to 2022.

A variety of visitors from different countries and nearby islands included architects, interior designers, developers, construction material distributors, and furniture manufacturers looking for Southern Pine, OSB, and marine-grade plywood. While fewer visitors inquired about HDO/MDO panels, glulam beams, and I-joists, there was some knowledge about those products.

Some attendees mentioned they had never seen some of the products, while others didn’t know they could be used structurally. Many voiced their concern with using wood or wood products in the Dominican Republic because of the high humidity, high winds, and aggressive termites. AMSO representatives explained there actually are benefits to using wood products in high-wind areas and that wood is successfully used in high-humidity areas in the U.S., such as Louisiana and Florida.

As for importing U.S. wood products, some attendees were interested in purchasing directly from U.S. producers (which isn’t always possible, as many export via wholesalers), while others were looking to buy smaller quantities locally for projects such as pergolas, decks, and cabins.

The AMSO booth representatives observed that although many visitors were familiar with U.S. products, their knowledge did not go beyond basic, including limited education on Southern Pine grading, overlaid plywood panels for concrete forming, and understanding OSB applications.

Fifty-seven companies from various countries exhibited at ConstruEXPO 2023, including the U.S., Mexico, China, Colombia, Panama, and Dubai.

SFPA members: Don’t forget to check out the contacts secured during the show and their corresponding contact information on our members-only site!