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 April 2010

Top story

China’s trade surges

Housing demand in China remains strong and in the first two months of 2010 demand jumped around 40% compared to the same period in 2009. The continued strong growth in house building is at the core of domestic demand for wood products.
According to the latest data, housing completions totalled over 900 million square metres.
Strong domestic demand and the beginnings of a recovery in the main western economies drove up imports and exports of wood products in January and February this year.

Also in this issue

  • Ghana’s top ten sawnwood timbers
  • Steel price affects plywood demand
  • New Year holidays bring business to a halt
  • Brazilian timber price index
  • Tropical log demand up in Japan
  • Signs of recovery in EU imports
  • Furniture orders rise in the USA

Data snapshot

Shipping container oversupply


The BSI (Baltic Supramax Index),
published by the Baltic Exchange,
is the weighted average on
5 major time-charter routes

The global economic recession that began in late 2008 was sudden and unforeseen and led to a severe drop in business confidence and a complete collapse of container trade in 2009. From the last quarter of 2009 global trade levels have improved and this has led to an overall increase in freight charges (see above).
The Drewry website ( suggests modest recovery in the trade flows and hence, container traffic will continue into 2010 but that container overcapacity is a serious problem for the shipping industry.
As Drewry points out, “managing over-capacity and keeping costs contained needs some clear management focus, if container businesses are to survive the challenging market conditions that will prevail until at least 2014.”
Reports suggest that even though up to 10% of the global container fleet has been taken out of service, the supply/demand equation is still out of balance, even as trade flows improve.
Drewry is projecting that average all-in east-west rates will increase by 18% in 2010 but, against the 27% decline in 2009, this will not lift container rates even to 2006 levels.
Drewry publishes an Annual Market Review and Forecast, a tool for both global and individual trade lane supply, demand and pricing analysis.

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