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.



16-31 May 2009

Top story

Bolivia reorganizes forestry agency

Under the new Bolivian Constitution, the Superintendencia Forestal (SF), which was responsible for the regulation and supervision of forestry matters in Bolivia, will become subordinate to the Ministry of Rural Development and Land. The new entity, ‘the Authority for Social Control of Forests and Land (ABT)’, will regulate activities associated with forests and agriculture and ensure natural resources are used in a sustainable way. As such, the functions of the ABT do not change much from the old functions of the SF. It is not yet known whether the headquarters for this new entity will be in Santa Cruz or in the capital of La Paz. The rationale for the change, according to some officials, is to generate additional government savings and reduce bureaucracy.

Exporters show slight optimism about current quarter 

There were a few minor price changes through the end of May. Log business with Asian countries had held very firm through the month with possibly more activity than producers and exporters had expected and some reports of difficulty in filling buyers’ orders for volume of species such as padouk and belli. As a consequence, prices have moved higher. Okoume also was in good demand. Although some exporters had expected a weaker price trend, demand was good enough to see a very slight price gain for okoume logs at the month’s end.

Overall, the West African market appeared to be balanced and stable. Exporters were if anything slightly more optimistic for continued stability through the current quarter.

Also in this issue

  • ITTO and RRI hold conference on forest tenure
  • Ghana’s first quarter trade slows to major markets
  • Sarawak scales back timber quota rate
  • APHI warns too many levies hurt Indonesian competitiveness
  • Mato Grosso timber exports plummet by volume
  • Guyana’s prices demonstrate stability over the fortnight 
  • Japan’s lumber imports fall sharply in 2008
  • China to raise standards on wooden furniture
  • China forum promotes tri-layer solid composite flooring
  • UK report indicates 25% of European timber imports certified
  • Slight rise in UK plywood restocking


Data snapshot

Table 1: Major markets for Ghana’s wood products, January to March 2008/09 


Ghana’s first quarter wood products exports for 2009 were worth about EUR30 million from a cumulative volume of 93,424 m³. By comparison, figures from the same period in 2008 showed a contraction of 34.7% and 31.4% by volume and value, respectively, due to low demand for these products by the major markets of Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US.

Download report