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 September 2009

Top story

New leadership announces changes to forest management policy

Newly elected officials of the Democratic Party of Japan recently assumed their duties in office and announced changes to Japan’s forest management policies. Although most of the policies regarding logging road maintenance systems, harvesting machinery, national forest management reform and promotion of biomass businesses largely remain the same, there have been some changes to the policy. According to the Japan Lumber Reports (JLR), these include: the creation of a new policy to pay directly for systems of forest management and environmental conservation; a more direct focus on private operators in forest management efforts; an increase in Japan’s reliance on domestic supply for the wood industry to 50% (instead of the current 24%); and the introduction of a traceability system to prevent illegally imported wood.

South Sea plywood mills reduce production

Due to recent low demand for South Sea logs in Japan, Japanese South Sea plywood mills have reduced production by 20-30%. However, JLR reports that logs may be in short supply in some areas as a result of the cuts. Price negotiations are becoming more active as the log inventories decline, an indication that the market is showing signs of improvement.

JLR also reports that imports of South Sea logs were down by 50% during the first half of the year, reaching a volume of 354,318 m³. The main reason for this decline was the depressed plywood market in Japan. Sarawak and PNG’s imports each fell over 58% during the first half of 2009  andSolomon Islands’ imports fell about 24% from the same period in 2008.



Also in this issue

  • West Africa trade not likely to pick up in third quarter 

  • Ghana’s TIDD contract volume jumps nearly 21%

  • Rubberwood gets a boost from latex demand in Malaysia

  • Indonesia works to approve S4S exports

  • India’s Special Economic Zones to increase wood exports

  • Brazil’s exports show no sign of improvement 

  • Biomovel seeks to improve Santa Catarina’s competitiveness 

  • Peru’s wood exports plummet 45%

  • National Forest Agency sees change of leadership

  • Chinese forest industry shows gains in first half of 2009

  • Furniture exports through Guangdong Province rise

  • Hardwood importers remain very cautious

  • New European Timber Trade Federation established 

  •  Decline in US furniture imports continues in 2009

  • New sustainability standard for commercial furniture


Data snapshot

In July 2009, Japan’s plywood imports fell 26.6% by volume from the same month in 2008 (Figure 1), reported JLR. Housing starts in July were 32% less than the same month of 2008 (Figure 2), the same as in June 2009, with wood-based units making up 57% of total units.

Figure 1. Japanese plywood imports, 2006-2009 (000 m³) 

Figure 2.  Japan Housing Starts 2006-2009 (000 units)



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