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 November 2011

Top story

Decline in furniture manufacturing bad news for tropical hardwoods

While timber remains a very fashionable material in France and Belgium there have been major structural changes in the furniture and joinery industries in these countries.

A Belgian importer suggested that because of this there is little likelihood of hardwood consumption in either market ever returning to the sort of volumes typical before the economic crises. 

This is partly due to a major decline in furniture manufacturing across the region. The trend in Belgium and France is towards purchases of only small volumes of very high quality hardwoods.


Also in this issue

  • Central and W. African producers assessing opportunities in non-EU markets
  • Indonesia expected to phase out raw rattan exports
  • Myanmar and Malaysia cooperate on timber production
  • Japan’s plywood imports slow bringing some stability to the market
  • EU importers need for rapid turnaround times must be addressed by tropical hardwood suppliers
  • Canadian housing market remains steady
  • Online building cost calculator for architects and engineers

Data snapshot


UK Consumer Confidence Index


Canadian housing market remains steady
The latest Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) figures show that single-family starts have declined while construction of apartment buildings and townhouses is still strong.  2011 housing starts are forecast to be 191,000, up from 189,930 in 2010.
Positive signals in the US housing market
Housing starts in September were 658,000 (seasonally adjusted annual rate), up by 15% from August and 10.2% above the September 2010 rate, according to the US Department of Commerce.
Sales of new single-family homes did well in September; sales increased by 5.7% from the previous month. First-time home buyers are driving the market according to the National Association of Home Builders but changes to federal homeownership support programmes could threaten this recovery.

Download report