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.



16-28 February 2013

Top story

European manufacturers dominate domestic joinery market

Europe’s joinery sector is dominated by domestic manufacturers. Most doors, windows, kitchen units and stair parts installed throughout the EU, are also manufactured in the EU.
Most of the wood products and components supplied to the sector are also produced in the EU.
External suppliers have struggled to penetrate the European joinery sector. Success requires detailed knowledge of changing consumer tastes and regular contact with a large and generally fragmented network of building contractors.

Suppliers of joinery products also need adhere to an increasingly complex range of standards at the European and member state level.

Also in this issue

  • Takoradi Port development to benefit exporters
  • Teak dealers scramble to stock up on teak logs
  • Change in Forest Act brings huge benefits to Indian forest communities
  • Quality inspection and appraisal for China’s wood products           
  • Glulam increasingly important in the EU joinery sector
  • ETTF launches trade monitoring project
  • US Existing home sales and building permits on the rise
  • US hardwood and pre-assembled wood flooring imports higher

Data snapshot


Planted forest area brazil eucalyptus pine SFM


The Japanese yen has weakened against the US dollar by about 15% in three months. While this has improved the competitiveness of exporters, the weaker yen is driving up the cost of imports.
Japan’s exports rose 6% in January from a year earlier, the first year-on-year increase in eight months, at the same time imports grew 7%. The high import bill, stemming mainly from the rising costs of energy imports, created substantial trade deficit.
Devaluation of the yen has pushed up the cost wood product imports.  Imported plywood prices are moving up because of the weakening yen and also because some big suppliers in Malaysia have been raising prices.
Trading firms in Japan say that the current plywood wholesale prices in the local market are not high enough to cover anticipated prices for imports expected in March suggesting plywood prices are set to rise further.
From the graphs above it will be seen that imported plywood wholesale prices in Japan have been mirroring exchange rate changes however, domestic prices for imported Meranti logs have not increased over the past three months. Log importers in Japan will eventually have to demand higher prices for end-users to off-set exchange rate losses.



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