Overview of oak markets and marketingThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
The height of oak popularity in the U.S. marketplace came in the early 1990s as the furniture and cabinet industries made use of large quantities of oak in their designs, especially red oak. This familiarity has led to a consumer awareness for oak that surpasses other commercial hardwood species. More recently, however, oak’s position in many U.S. fashion-based markets has waned (flooring being an exception), and oak log and lumber exports have surged. Exports of U.S. red oak lumber alone surpassed 520 million board feet in 2017, which was a record for any species exported from the United States. Over 70 percent of current U.S. red oak lumber exports go to China while export markets for white oak are more diverse. Industrial markets such as pallets and railway ties also have been critical for oak utilization, especially after the Great Recession and associated housing market decline.