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 August 2010

Top story

Sarawak posts higher exports of logs and plywood in first half of 2010

In the first half of 2010, Sarawak exported 2.04 million cu.m of logs valued at RM974 million, according to the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation. In comparison, exports were 1.62 million cu.m in volume worth RM794 million during the same period in 2009. India remains Sarawak’s main buyer of logs with a market share of 53% of the total volume exported, followed by China. The Sarawak State Government allows 40% of harvested logs to be exported and the balance of 60% allocated for downstream processing within Sarawak.Sarawak’s exports of plywood were 1.46 million cu.m during the first half of 2010 compared to 1.18 million cu.m in the same period last year. Japan remains the major buyer of Sarawak plywood with imports worth RM939 million in the first half of 2010.

Also in this issue

  • Call for technology and market innovations in Central/West Africa
  • South Korea defers decision on anti-dumping duties on Malaysian plywood
  • Malaysia - New Zealand Free Trade Agreement
  • Indonesia attracts foreign funded REDD pilot projects
  • Downward trend in Myanmar teak shipments
  • Teak log import statistics from Kandla port India
  • Rio Grande do Sul passes law on legal wood
  • Sarawak’s efforts to meet JFA guidelines
  • China posts robust gains in export and imports of major wood products
  • UNECE region recorded largest ever fall in wood consumption
  • Study shows considerable progress in tackling illegal logging
  • Furniture orders, shipments and retail in the US

Data Snapshot

Real interest rates (%) in some Central West African countries and major timber processing countries


One of the key factors driving China’s economic growth has been the constant investments being made. The Chinese government investment strategy is focused on the latest technologies to tap new market opportunities. Low interest rates, sometimes even negative real interest rates, have stimulated investments and the adoption of new technologies.
As a result of lower interest rates, returns on investments in timber processing have been much higher in China compared to many ITTO member countries in Africa. In the global markets, this has improved the competitiveness of Chinese processed timber products against the products from Central/West Africa.
The recent structural changes in the Central/West Africa have been made to promote investments in production of sawnwood and other processed wood components. However, the previous initiatives need to be reviewed to ensure the competitiveness and long-term profitability of production. 

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