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 July 2010

Top story

South Korea set antidumping duties on Malaysian plywood

South Korea has imposed preliminary antidumping duties on Malaysian plywood imports. The South Korean Trade Commission (KTC) opened a dumping investigation after receiving a petition from the Korean Wood Panel Association that some plywood manufacturers in Malaysia are selling their products below the production cost and so hurting local South Korean plywood manufacturers.The plywood market in South Korea valued at US$584 million in 2009.
Imposed duties range from 5.11% to 33.81% on plywood imports from Malaysia. These preliminary antidumping duties are in effectuntil a formal ruling is made within the next 5 months.
Some Malaysian plywood manufacturers expressed the fear that the Japanese government may follow the South Korean example and impose antidumping duties on Malaysian plywood.

Also in this issue

  • Timber trade firming in Central/ West Africa 
  • Call for review of utility tariff in Ghana
  • Shortage of labour clouds Malaysian furniture sector
  • Indonesian government’s proposal to extend moratorium on conversion of peatlands
  • Indian exports of plywood and panels
  • Tropical timber exports from Brazil remain dull
  • Peru export quota for mahogany
  • Guyana’s response to US Lacey Act
  • New housing certification scheme in Japan
  • China forest industry statistics 2009
  • No pick up in EU tropical hardwood imports
  • US tropical timber imports

Data Snapshot

Monthly Brent crude oil price (FOB) and ocean freight costs (Jan 2008=100)


The price of oil hit US$80 per barrel on 2 August, the highest level in nearly three months.

Optimism in equity markets over the strength of the global economic recovery and the recent deprecation of the US dollar against other major currencies are the main factors raising the oil price. However, the level is still far from almost US$ 150 per barrel recorded just before the economic collapse in 2008. This was also when the freight costs peaked to about three times the current level. After a slight downturn, freight costs are now expected to rise between 10% - 20% to catch up with oil prices.

In addition to an increase in freight costs, rising fuel prices are expected to force logging operators to raise harvesting charges as the work is highly dependent on heavy fuel consuming machinery. Manufacturers in the timber sector are becoming concerned about how to adjust sales prices to reflect the increasing costs without undermining their marketing.

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