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 April 2008

Top story

Jump in prices as port strikes dissipate

Indonesian timber prices surged as strikes by port workers ended. Plywood manufacturers were the main beneficiary of the latest round of price increases. This has also filtered down to timber merchants trading plywood logs. Bad weather was also a major contributory factor in the price changes and the effects of La Niña were expected to persist for an additional three months.

Antara Online said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicated strong consumer prices would help stave off the effects of the global economic slowdown. However, local demand for timber products and other building materials, including cement, has been tempered by rising food prices. Indonesian officials have recently said the UN should adopt measures against rising prices for food commodities to prevent a full-scale crisis. Indonesia’s UN Ambassador, Marty Natalegawa, said there were no short or long-term plans to address world food prices.

GFC undertakes greater scrutiny of forest concessions

The Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) has increased its monitoring of forest concessions to ensure that concessionaires practice sustainable forestry in accordance with the rules set out by the Commission. Over 30 additional permanent field staff have been hired to facilitate these activities, and the GFC is in the process of enhancing the physical resources available to strategic field offices. The new measures follow findings in 2007 that show companies harvested logs outside of their approved blocks. One company in 2008 has repeatedly breached harvesting rules. The GFC has instituted the appropriate penalties against the company and will continue to examine the operations of other concessions in an effort to maintain the highest level of sustainable forest management practices and legality throughout the country.

Also in this issue

  • West African prices fall as European demand lags
  • Ghana’s non-traditional export earnings breach 1 billion mark
  • IBAMA uncovers more cases of illegal harvesting
  • IBAMA imposes fines of USD2.2 million in one month
  • Brazil’s exports slide 5% in March 2008
  • Bolivia hosts investment workshop on tropical forests
  • Mexico’s germplasm banks give hope to threatened species
  • China revises Catalogue of Prohibited Products
  • Fujian introduces international e-trading market
  • Sawn lumber demand slows in all leading EU markets
  • EU policy on illegal timber reaches critical point

Data snapshot

Ocean freight Sarawak-Tokyo 2004-2008


Ocean freight costs in Malaysia continued to climb due to limited availability of vessels and increasing fuel costs, resulting in higher costs to importers.

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