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 June 2011

Top story

Damaged Japanese plywood mills to restart soon

The Japan Federation of Plywood Manufacturers has reported that six plywood mills which sustained considerable damage as a result of the recent earthquake and tsunami will restart partial production, probably in July.

In Ishinomaki the power supply was restored in late May but in other areas, such as Miyako and Ofunato, it will be some time before power is available once more and this will delay the resumption of production of mills in these areas.


Also in this issue

  • Strengthening Ringgit to hit furniture exports
  • ASEAN cooperation on rattan production to increase exports
  • Myanmar trade anticipates emphasis will shift to conservation
  • Few Brazilian industries utilising plantation teak for wood products
  • Japanese grown cedar logs for off-shore plywood production
  • China’s 2010 wooden door exports beat record
  • Removal of economic stimulus - little impact on French construction
  • US consumer confidence falls

Data Snapshot

Plywood prices in Japan


Many domestic plywood mills in the coastal areas of north-eastern Japan suffered extensive damage from the earthquake and tsunami. Unaffected mills have been suffering rolling power cuts introduced to conserve electricity because nuclear power plants were either damaged or shut down for safety checks. It is estimated that an annual plywood production capacity of around 800 000 cu.m was lost immediately after the disaster.
The availability of plywood became a major problem in Japan. House builders in unaffected areas scrambled to secure supplies to meet contractual commitments and there was an immediate need for plywood in the disaster struck areas.
The combined effect of reduced domestic production and a rise in demand for plywood in Japan and the shortage of tropical logs for export and for plywood manufacturing, particularly in Sarawak, resulted in a steep increase in plywood prices.
Weather conditions are now better in Sarawak and companies have been able to resume logging. Also, plywood mills in Japan, which were running well below capacity prior to the disaster due to poor domestic demand, are now operating at full capacity and are committed to trying to hold prices at current levels.

Download report