News Focused on the Wood Market

Quality, not quantity, defines black palm

Monday, 17 January 2011 00:00

25_wood_markets_01Black palm is just one of hundreds of species of palms in the world and, although it is often referred to as a hardwood, technically it is not. Like bamboo, it is a grass. Black palm is also called black palm wood and grows primarily in South America and Southeast Asia. It is available in veneer form and solids in 4/4, 6/4 and 8/4 thicknesses. However, a typical black palm will only yield a small amount of wood. The tree's center is very soft and mushy, similar to a pumpkin.

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The bottom falls out on poplar sales

Monday, 17 January 2011 00:00

24_wood_marketsA year ago, when Woodshop News last wrote about the poplar market, retail and wholesale dealers were enthusiastic about the amount of poplar they were selling, its escalating prices and their higher profit margin. Now it's pretty much a dead wood and prices have dropped significantly, to the point where there is little money to be made on the few sales that are made. All in all, it is a pretty dismal picture.

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African blackwood is rare and a tough cut

Monday, 13 December 2010 00:00

When it comes to the combination of tonal qualities, appearance, density and expensive price, African blackwood is in a league of its own. The trees grow primarily in Mozambique and Tanzania and the main uses of the wood are for woodwind instruments, turnings and occasionally small pieces of furniture.

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Black walnut sales are hitting a groove

Sunday, 12 December 2010 00:00

25_wood_mktAs domestic wood markets begin to rebound, walnut has become the cream of the crop for many retail and wholesale dealers. The current trend to darker woods has made walnut a more popular choice for cabinetmakers and furniture makers than cherry or hard maple.

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Spanish cedar fills void left by mahogany

Monday, 15 November 2010 00:00

26_spanishcedar_01Bigleaf mahogany, once the most desired of all South American hardwoods, is well on its way to becoming a distant memory. In November 2003, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) imposed stricter regulations on mahogany trade by officially listing it on CITES Appendix II. Shipping of mahogany, in the form of logs, sawn wood, veneer sheets and plywood, must be accompanied by a CITES Appendix-II export permit. With shipments from Brazil indefinitely halted and a subsequent crackdown on mahogany logging in Peru, mahogany shipments from South America have virtually shut down.

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