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.



16-30 June 2010

Top story

Continuing uncertainty clouds European market

Markets for tropical wood products in Europe remain subdued following uncertainty over the sustainability of EU economic recovery. The construction sector – particularly new residential activity –remains very weak across Europe.
In addition, the weakening of the Euro and rising freight costs are reinforcing the already strong tendency amongst EU importers to keep stocks low and place only small orders. The lack of availability and long lead times for tropical wood products are a significant hindrance in this market environment with the result that tropical wood risks losing market share.
In the sawnwood sector, some European manufacturers are replacing tropical wood with temperate species, while South East Asian plywood is facing stiff competition from Russian birch and Chinese plywood products.
However, hardwood demand is benefiting in some parts of Europe from housing renovation activity...
(see details on page 14)

Also in this issue

  • Log trade eases in West Africa 
  • Ghana’s strategies to assist timber industry
  • Malaysia targets RM53 billion exports by 2020 
  • US Export-Import Bank extends trade financing facilities to Indonesia
  • Impact of exchange rates on timber market
  • India to double forested land area in next 10 years
  • Pará remains Brazil’s major timber producer
  • US forest product imports from Bolivia pick up
  • Japan’s imports of verified legal and certified wood on the rise
  • New voluntary standard for imported veneer

Data snapshot

Euro area concentrates on exports while the rest of EU focuses on imports


In the first quarter 2010, external trade price indexes moved in opposite directions for the Euro area countries (EU16) and for the all EU countries (EU27). At the same time, external trade surplus has been increasing for the EU16 while the EU27 shows a deficit. These indications suggest that the Euro countries are exporters while non-Euro countries are importers for the EU market area. Among the importing non-Euro countries relevant for the tropical timber trade are the UK and Poland.
The same trend is likely to continue as import prices for the Euro area keep climbing due to the weakening Euro. In May 2010, the import price index in Germany, the biggest Euro area economy, grew by 8.5% compared to May last year. This was the strongest increase since November 2000 when import prices rose 10.6%.



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