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 December 2010

Top story

EU tropical hardwood log imports fall to lowest level ever

The latest EU trade data indicates that imports of tropical hardwood logs into the region have continued to fall during the course of 2010. Overall imports during the first nine months of 2010 amounted to only 253,300 cu.m, 22% down compared to the same period in the previous year. The big decline in imports from Gabon following the country’s log export ban imposed from May 2010 has been only partially offset by increasing imports from other countries in the Congo basin.

The quarterly data indicates that the ceasation of Gabon as a supplier of tropical hardwood logs to the international market in the first half of 2010 did not lead to any significant increase in European imports of this commodity from other countries during the third quarter of the year. EU-25 imports of tropical hardwood logs during July to September 2010 amounted to 65,000 cu.m, almost certainly the lowest quarterly volume ever recorded and only a quarter of the level recorded 2 years before.

(see details on page 13)

Also in this issue

  • Better markets for some West/Central African processed products
  • Second meeting of Joint Monitoring and Review Mechanism convened in Ghana
  • Improved demand for Indonesian furniture in Europe and US
  • Myanmar urged to reduce log production and export more value-added products
  • Heavy fines on illegal logging in Peru 
  • Demand from Asia drives Guyana timber prices up
  • Sharp fall of plywood imports in Japan from Malaysia
  • US hardwood sales continue to grow in Chinese market
  • New forest certification benchmark fails in vote by US Green Building Council members

Data Snapshot

Daily exchanges rates of the main currencies against the Malaysian Ringgit (Index 4th Jan 2010=100)



The fluctuating exchange rates of the main currencies against the Malaysian Ringgit have had a significant impact on timber exports from Malaysia this year. The first half of the year saw the Ringgit appreciating against the main currencies and having the effect of making Malaysian exports more expensive. In the second half, the Japanese Yen strengthened against the Ringgit, improving the competitiveness of Malaysia timber products in the Japanese market. Towards the end of the year, the exchange rate fluctuation has eased, but the currencies of Japan, China and India remain strong against the currencies in the West. 

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