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    Due to recent downturn in the economy and changes in traditional hardwood markets. U.S. hardwood manufacturers are facing significant difficulties. In particular, markets for low-grade lumber have been diminishing, while increased levels of the material are being produced at hardwood sawmills in the United States. A nationwide survey of hardwood lumber manufacturers was conducted to define the term "low-grade", idenify current markets for low-grade hardwood lumber, identify methods currently used and those being considered to develop markets for this material, and determine important factors in the decision to enter a new market for low-grade lumber. The study found that the definition of low-grade is not consistent among U.S. hardwood sawmills and most sawmills sell the majority of their low-grade lumber to a single market. In addition, market profitability and market stability are important factors in considering a new market for low-grade lumber. This information is important in benchmarking industry characteristics regarding low-grade lumber and understanding the issues and needs of hardwood manufacturers.

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    Cumbo, Dan; Smith, Robert; Araman, Philip A. 2003. Low-grade hardwood lumber production, markets, and issues. Forest Products Journal 53(9): 17-24

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