SFPA Supports American Softwoods at 2022 Cairo Wood Show

Cairo Wood Show

In a continued effort to develop the Egyptian market for American softwoods, 10 representatives from the Southern Forest Products Association, the Softwood Export Council, and APA – The Engineered Wood Association, helped raise awareness and understanding of American softwood species, products, grades, and sizes at the Cairo Wood Show, held December 15-18, 2022.

This is the second time American Softwoods representatives have attended the show. Their efforts also include a market assessment visit in 2017 and two visits in 2018 and 2019 to deliver seminars in Cairo, Damietta, and Alexandria.

This trip focused on promoting American softwood products while acquiring knowledge about the Egyptian market for softwood lumber and other products and to establish relationships with leading Egyptian lumber importers.

Representatives included:

SFPA consultants and partners see Egypt as a potentially strong market for American softwoods, although the country is experiencing issues with businesses accessing foreign exchange. This currently renders business impossible, with Letters of Credit and cash against documents (CAD) payments being unobtainable.

Representatives who were at the show were told moves are afoot to resolve the situation, and the Egyptian government is negotiating a $9 billion loan from the IMF. It appears CAD payments will be possible sometime in the first half of 2023.

Egypt reported a 3.3% growth in 2021 GDP, followed by a 2.9% bump in the third quarter of 2022, compared with a contraction of -0.6% in the second quarter of 2022. Egypt has the largest population in the Middle East and North Africa, but its economy ranks just fifth after Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Israel, and Algeria. Excluding oil and gas, however, Egypt has the second-largest economy in the region after Israel. In terms of per capita GDP, Egypt ranks even lower, among the bottom five of the 18 countries, just ahead of Iraq, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen.

Sales of American-sawn softwoods to Egypt were $10.7 million in 2021 and, despite the problems with foreign exchange, sales held up in 2022 at $8.5 million through the end of September. One surprise in 2022 was a dramatic increase in sales of treated lumber, albeit from a low base, to $627,000 by the end of September 2022. Log sales are negligible at $129,000.

The show reported 9,658 visitors with 162 exhibitors from roughly 70 countries, which resulted in 33 written inquiries for American softwoods.

Have you seen the shows SFPA and it’s partners at American Softwoods will be attending in 2023? Click here to learn more!