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 November 2009

Top story


Azobe over-production 

Reports are emerging that seem to indicate that the Cameroon production of azobe lumber is well above the current demand levels and because of this stocks are climbing.  

As previously reported, the relationship between lumber output and the current demand appears to be finely balanced and some West African producers believe that care is needed to avoid overproduction and price weaknesses in the more popular species. 

A salutary example is sapele lumber where prices are still weak after many months following a period of over production after many months even though the excess stocks have been sold long ago. . 

Also in this issue

  • Ghana forest plantation plan
  • Stimulus package delay
  • Mills at full capacity in India
  • Difficult times for the trade
  • Asian markets strongest
  • Active log purchases
  • China’s wood products trade
  • More competition for tropical plywood
  • US- chain of custody growing


Data snapshot

China’s log imports in the first half of 2009 
There have been significant changes in China’s log imports. While total imports may be increasing the source of logs is changing. Overall tropical log imports have been declining while imports from temperate countries are increasing. It will be seen that in the first half of 2009 imports from PNG and Malaysia, previously main log suppliers, were down around 50%. Similarly, imports of logs from Myanmar were down almost 40% in the same period.

Although Russia remains the number one supplier, New Zealand’s log exports to China in the first half of the year, at 18.88 mil cubic metres, represented a jump of over 150% compared to the same period a year earlier.

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