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.



1-15 April 2009

Top story

Volume of wood flooring sales declines for first time

Impacted by the global financial crisis, China’s export of wooden flooring suffered a severe setback in the fourth quarter of 2008. Due to lack of activity in the real estate sector, domestic timber markets were also slack. The total sales volume of wooden flooring in the country dropped for the first time in 2008 after successive growth over a twelve year period. According to data from the Flooring Specialty Committee of China’s National Forest Products Industry Association, the gross sales volume of wooden flooring in the country was about 344 million m² in 2008, down 4.8% from last year. Of the total, laminated flooring fell 10% to 198 million m²; solid wood flooring dropped 4.5% to 42 million m²; wooden composite flooring was down 4% to 78 million m²; bamboo flooring fell 20% to 24 million m²; and other types of flooring were down 10% to 1.8 million m².

Leadership transition in Brazilian Forest Service

Antonio Carlos Hummel has been appointed the new Director General of the Brazilian Forest Service (BFS), replacing Tasso Azevado. Azevedo will now act in the capacity of special advisor to the Minister on forest and climate change issues and on matters relating to the Amazon Fund, an organization implementing forestry projects in that region. The new Director General of the BFS has been a career employee of IBAMA and in the last six years was responsible for overseeing the Department of Biodiversity and Forests. He has extensive experience on forestry issues, especially in the institutional development of the sector. As director of the BFS, he will be responsible for implementing and expanding the Brazilian forest concessions and for sustained production, and will oversee BFS’s role as focal point of the ITTO for Brazil.

Also in this issue

  • Prices for West African logs show slight strength
  • Ghana’s plywood contracts show gains in fourth quarter 2008
  • Sarawak state government reduces timber royalty
  • Sarawak state government reduces timber royalty
  • Low trade expected in Myanmar due to holiday period
  • AIMEX anticipates future problems in Pará’s forest sector
  • Leadership transition in Brazilian Forest Service
  • Peru’s early 2009 exports drop 50%
  • Guyana’s prices show relative stability
  • Market prices expected to bottom out after Golden Week in Japan
  • Log imports through China’s Erlianhot Port rise in February 2009
  • EU import statistics show declines in tropical hardwoods in 2008

Data snapshot


Newly released Eurostat data provides official confirmation of anecdotal reports of a dramatic EU-wide fall in imports of tropical hardwood products during 2008. The downturn was felt in all corners of the EU and affected just about the entire range of wood products imported from tropical countries. In 2008, the volume of EU-25 imports of hardwood logs, sawn, veneer, and plywood from countries in the tropical forest zone was down 27%, 23%, 11% and 14%, respectively.

Closer analysis of quarterly data indicates that the timing of the downward trend varied by product group (Chart 1). 



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