Annually the “Traders Market” event is held in conjunction with the North American Wholesale Lumberman’s Association Convention. This years show was held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago. This years keynote speaker was Merril Hodge former NFL star and inspirational speaker. There was a large educational component for the attendees this year with several break out sessions on topics such as the Softwood Lumber Agreement, Mass Timber Construction and Hiring Top Talent.
A hot topic of discussion surrounding this years event was NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and how the recent uncertainty of the agreement in combination with the forest fires in BC this past summer were effecting lumber prices and specifically on Western Red Cedar. Canadian manufacturer’s have increased raw material prices nearly 30% since the beginning of the year and they are expected to increase again before the end of the year. U.S. Wholesalers and Distributors have seen profitability and supply in this species reduced significantly and wondering what 2018 will hold.
Thermally modified wood was displayed at this year’s show and seemed to be drawing much attention from the the attendee’s. Thermal modification is gaining in popularity with the wholesale and distribution yards as prices and availability on other wood commodities such as Western Red Cedar are become increasingly difficult. North American Ash is a popular species to thermally modify due to the woods cell structure being more easily manipulated during the process of thermal modification while resulting in a beautiful color appearance after the process is completed.
Distribution yards find the wood appealing not only from a performance level but also it allows the yards to offer a natural wood product that can now compete directly with high end composite products in the decking and siding portion of their business. Customers are increasing aware of the down falls of making plastic products derived from petroleum based additives and now thermally modified wood products allow for a reliable and natural wood option that can last as long or longer then other commonly used exterior plastic or wood species such as SPF, WRC and tropical hardwood species such as Ipe.
CFPWoods, an exhibitor, at this years Traders Market is seeking North American Distributors for their thermally modified wood product lines. The company produces decking, siding and wood molder blank material in North American species such as Ash and Yellow Poplar. A variety of profiles are offered and all material is end matched to accommodate random lengths. The siding profiles are offered in both a traditional tongue and groove along with a hidden fastener profile to eliminate face mounting. The decking is side profiled to utilize a proprietary hidden fastener system for ease of installation.
The company currently has distribution networks established in Canada and the United States developed over the past several years but with continued demand climbing for their thermally modified wood additional distributors are welcomed.