Q & A: Trading with grading
American Hardwood Export Council
The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is the leading international trade association for the US hardwood industry, representing the committed exporters among US hardwood companies and all the major US hardwood production trade associations. AHEC concentrates it efforts on providing architects, specifiers, designers and end-users with technical information on the range of species, products and sources of supply. In an effort to facilitate trade and to boost exports of US hardwood lumber, veneer & flooring to markets in South Asia— particularly India—, the American Hardwood Export Council took the opportunity to use the recent Panelexpo show in New Delhi as a platform for holding a technical workshop on the NHLA rules for grading hardwood lumber and to promote its important publication; The Illustrated Guide to American Hardwood lumber Grades.
Exports of American hardwoods to India reached a value of $1,5 million last year, with around 38% of this total being accounted for by hardwood veneers ($584,000), 19% being accounted for by hardwood flooring ($288,000) and 17% being accounted for hardwood lumber ($254,000 or X118 cubic metres).
This important, and growing, trade in US hardwood lumber to India (and anywhere else in the world, for that matter) relies totally on the established grading rules for hardwood lumber. The National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) grading rules provide both the buyer and seller with a consistent language to use in specifying hardwood lumber transactions. Although the NHLA rules are targeted for the US marketplace, a reasonable knowledge is essential for buyers worldwide in order to attain their expected degree of quality and the grade of lumber purchased by a manufacturer will determine both the. cost and waste factor that is achieved. Here, Bob Sabistina, grading consultant to AI IEC and speaker at the Dubai grading workshop, deals with questions he has received during the past few months.
Question: We buy FAS red oak that is sold to us S1 20. Can you explain what these numbers mean?
Answer: Normally these numbers represent the percentage of PAS grade and Selects. or FAS1F grade in the shipment. In this ease, 80% of the lumber is FAS and 20% i s Selects or PASI.F.
Question: Quite often I am quoted prices based on grades that I cannot find in the NHLA Rule Book,. such as Prime a lid Comsel. Can you explain these?