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.



16-30 June 2011

Top story

Indian industry switching to automation

In India today wood raw materials and labour are in short supply. Because of the previously available low cost labour in India the timber industry developed using labour intensive production processes.

Today however the situation is different, low cost labour is no longer readily available and many factories face labour shortages and because of this are running below capacity.

To overcome this problem the industry now prefers to have as much automation as possible and is retooling production plant accordingly.

Also in this issue

  • Strong demand for boules and ‘clean sawn’ logs from W. Africa

  • Competition eating into Indonesia’s market share

  • Brazil to transfer timber movement control technology to other countries

  • Seihoku plywood mills on east coast of Japan repaired

  • Tropical hardwood plywood prices in EU at record levels

  • EU residential building records sharp decline

  • Strong growth in US hardwood plywood imports from China

  • Brazil remains largest hardwood moulding supplier to USA

Data snapshot

BSI Freight Index


Compiled from Baltic Exchange data
Shipping freight indices can help in assessing economic trends, they also allow for an evaluation of the effect of freight on delivered wood costs. For example the Baltic Dry Index (BDI), reflects the cost of chartering vessels for transporting major raw materials. The index covers dry bulk and tanker, but not the shipping container market.

In the container shipping industry there is no unified index to use as thoroughly as the BDI. There are several indices reflecting container freight costs and these are usually provided by consulting groups or brokers.

Freight rate indices for container traffic include the China Containerized Freight Index, the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index and the Drewry Container Freight Rate Index.

The US Federal Maritime Commission is examining the issue of container freight indices in respect of service contracts and index based derivatives transactions. More information on this can be found at:

Download report