Market Information Service

Towards greater transparency in the tropical timber markets

The ITTO Tropical Timber Market (TTM) Report, an output of the ITTO Market Information Service (MIS), is published in English every two weeks with the aim of improving transparency in the international tropical timber market. The TTM provides market trends and trade news from around the world, as well as indicative prices for over 400 tropical timber and added-value products.



16-28 February 2009

Top story

Ghanaian exports to the US slump

Though the US continued its dominance as the most lucrative destination for Ghana’s kiln-dried lumber and rotary veneer, the recent economic crisis has slumped demand for Ghana’s timber products, particularly mahogany and odum. This has forced some of Ghana’s lumber and veneer prices down. Market analysts were hopeful, however, the economic downturn would be short-lived and avoid negative impact on business and industrial employment.

Prices for Malaysian timber products remain depressed

Prices of Malaysian timber products remained low even as timber traders resisted further price reductions. Although timber traders continued to have idle inventories, many were holding out for the US economic stimulus plan and mortgage bailout plan to take effect and move the industry forward. However, some timber traders believed it would take at least six months or more to see any real business activities returning to the industry.

Economic downturn leads to closure of 7000 furniture enterprises in China

From January to October 2008, about 7,000 furniture enterprises were closed, reported China Wood International. Nevertheless, some enterprises made plans to expand, with IKEA planning to open 10 new stores in 2010 and Markorhome increasing its stores from 29 to 40 before 2010. The China Association of Building and Decoration Industry also reported the decorative market was worth RMB680 billion in 2008, and the distribution value of China’s furniture industry fell nearly 30% in 2008 from 2007 levels.

Also in this issue

  • Demand and prices for West African logs remain unchanged
  • Congo to export timber to Namibia
  • Malaysia’s commodity export earnings top USD112 billion
  • Prices of Indonesian timber products remain in the doldrums
  • Mato Grosso uses satellites to fine violators
  • Brazil’s January 2009 exports slide by more than 50%
  • Peru’s wood exports grow 3%
  • Guyana’s export prices jump
  • Japan’s housing and plywood markets dip at end 2008
  • Guangdong furniture exports jump 27% in 2008
  • EU forward buying languishes amid continuing uncertainty

Data snapshot

Peru’s wood products exports, 2000-2008 (Source: ADEX)


New data from the Export Association of Peru (ADEX) shows wood exports from January through December 2008 grew 3% by value, with exports rising to USD221.9 million, up from USD215.4 million in 2007. Exports in the month of December 2008 were USD6.24 million less than exports in the same month of 2007. The volume exported to Mexico, China and the US diminished in December 2008. Peru’s exports of wood products have been decreasing from October 2008 as a result of the economic slowdown.

Guyana’s average forest product prices, 2008 and 2009 (Source: Guyana Forest Commission)


A year-to-date comparison in average prices for the main forest products exported over the corresponding period in 2008 revealed prices were significantly above those reported in 2007. The highest increases in average prices were recorded for roundwood, with a jump of 66% in price during the corresponding period of 2008. This was followed by a rise of 56% in average prices for logs, 41% for splitwood, 19% for sawnwood and 16% for plywood.

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