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 July 2010

Top story

EU legislation on illegally harvested timber 

During June, representatives of the European Commission, Council and Parliament reached agreement on the text of legislation designed to remove illegal wood from European trade. On July 7, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of the agreed text, thereby removing the last major hurdle to passage of the legislation.
The legislation now includes a clause making European wood traders liable for prosecution if found in possession of illegally harvested wood.It also provides a strong incentive to European traders to implement a “due diligence” system designed to minimise the risk of their trading in illegal wood.
Under the agreed text, the requirement for a “due diligence” system extends to those European operators that “first place” timber and timber products on to the EU market.  “First placers” are taken to include both timber and timber product importers and domestic log suppliers within the EU.
After the final approval by the Council in September, the rules are expected to take effect in late 2012.
(see details on page 13)

Also in this issue

  • Strong order books for sawnwood in West Africa 
  • Exports to ECOWAS countries maintained
  • Malaysian exporters hit by volatile freight costs 
  • Concerns over impact of moratorium on raw material supply
  • Timber production in the Brazilian Amazon falling
  • New Peru forest law to be passed in August
  • Declining industrial wood consumption in Japan
  • China removes tariffs on wood products from LDCs
  • US housing market softens after tax credit programme expires

Hoppus log measurement

Myanmar natural forest teak logs


In Myanmar and India the Hoppus system is used to define log volumes and this is one of many log volume measurement systems in use around the world. The English surveyor Edward Hoppus introduced this unit in his 1736 ‘Manual of Practical Calculations’.
The Hoppus system of log volume measurement was devised as a means to provide an estimate of the volume of a round log which would be usable timber after processing, in effect attempting to ‘square’ the log and allows for waste. Today milling technologies have changed and the Hoppus system is no longer widely used to estimate yields.
That this system of defining log volumes has survived for so long and is still used in the international trade in hardwoods from Myanmar and in the domestic log trade in hardwoods in India is testimony to the conservativeness of the tropical hardwood trade.


The Hoppus foot formula uses the mid-quarter-girth (M.Q.G.) in inches, squared, then multiplied by the length in feet and then divided by 144 to give H.ft. The girth is measured in inches at the mid-point between the butt and the tip and then divided by 4 to get the M.Q.G.
The following calculation can be used to estimate the usable timber in round logs
Hoppus Volume (hft) = (Mid Quarter Girth in ins.)^2 X Length (ft) / 144
Quarter Girth tapes are available, with 66' tapes for the length, and ready-reckoner tables.
One hoppus foot = 1.273 true cu.ft; 27.736 h ft = 1 cu.m; and 1 h ft = 0.036054 cu.m. A hoppus foot is approximately 21% bigger than a true cubic foot.
In Myanmar  1 Hoppus ton = 50 Hoppus cubic feet = 1.8027 cu.m.


For more on Hoppus and its use in the Teak trade see:
See the following for a comprehensive description of timber measurement systems


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