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 August 2009

Top story

Eucalypts and pine dominate plantations in Brazil

Forest plantations play a fundamental role in the socio-economic development of the country, contributing to the production of goods and services, adding value to forest products and generating jobs, foreign exchange, taxes, and income. Yet, it is estimated that forest plantations account for about only 1.5% of the existing forests in Brazil, although they play a major role in forest products markets accounting for an estimated 70% of the total industrial roundwood production. Total plantations in the country are estimated at 6,582,700 hectares in 2008, about 93% of which comprises eucalypt and pines, with the remaining 7% from other species (notably wattle, rubber tree, paricá, teak, Parana pine and poplar). The main planted species in Brazil are mainly investments for profit; afforestation and reforestation programmes of forest companies are geared to supply industrial roundwood for the well-established and diversified forest products industry of the country (e.g., pulp and paper, pine lumber/sawnwood, reconstituted wood panels, pig-iron and steel industry, and energy wood). Such plantations are oriented to supply the industrial roundwood needs in the country, for both the domestic and export markets. The high productivity of plantations, relatively low production costs, extensive land area and advanced technology in Brazil gives the country comparative and competitive advantages in establishing plantation forests, making it an important producer of fast-growing plantation forest products. While plantation sites set aside for pine and eucalypts range from those in degraded areas to those for agriculture purposes, the plantations are generally geared for production of industrial roundwood. It is worth mentioning that the growing importance of partnership forest plantation programmes between large corporations and small to medium-size landowners in the last few years.

Also in this issue

  • West and Central Africa show some progress on plantation investment

  • Plantations in Southeast Asia dominated by oil palm and rubber 

  • Plantation areas expand in India 

  • Status of China’s plantation forests  

  • Identifying plantation forests in Europe proves difficult


Data snapshot

The table below shows countries which export teak to India (from sources other than Myanmar) at current C&F prices for Indian ports. Since India has yet to reach its forest cover of 33% of land area, state governments do not cut trees in natural forests. India’s demand for teak is much more than what is available presently;  it permits imports of teak and other timber freely without any license or permit requirements.



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