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 January 2010

Top story

Certification in the US hardwood industry


Interest in forest management and chain-of-custody certification remains high in the US market. The US Green Building Council’s LEED system has undoubtedly contributed to the increase in the number of companies and the range of wood products certified.

At the end of last year the Hardwood Review Weekly conducted a large-scale survey of the hardwood industry regarding chain-of-custody certification. The results indicate that the number of certified hardwood companies increased in 2009 despite the difficult business conditions.

However, three quarters of the respondents thought that certification costs still exceed benefits. This mirrors the results of the hardwood industry survey that indicated that logs do not receive price premiums while kiln-dried and further processed items may.



Also in this issue

  • SNBG told - halt log exports 
  • Design and branding challenge 
  • Timber shortage in Mato Grosso 
  • Only processed Mahogany exports 
  • Japan’s demand projections 
  • Guangdong furniture exports to ASEAN 
  • EU plywood market still dull 
  • Encouraging signs at Cologne furniture fair 
  • Certification in the US hardwood industry  


Data snapshot



The shipping container industry had a tough time in 2009 due to the collapse in global container traffic but some slight improvement is expected in 2010. Drewry, the shipping analysts have just released their “Container Market Annual Review and Forecast 2009/10”.

This suggests that the industry is adjusting to lower business levels and that as much as 8-10% of the current global shipping fleet may be laid-up.

Drewry is expecting a minor recovery in trade flows for 2010 and that average all-in east-west rates will rise by 18% next year. However any increase in rates must be viewed against the roughly 25% drop seen in 2009 and that the projected rise in rates would not even bring levels back to those of 2006.



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