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.



16-31 May 2008

Top story

Malaysian timber producers brace for turbulent market prospects

Prices for Malaysian timber products were under pressure as crude oil prices continued to climb, with some expecting such price rises to set off another round of hikes in international freight charges. Local transportation and labor costs are also rising and are already impacting manufacturers. With falling orders from its most important market, the US, Malaysian furniture manufacturers are facing the prospect of a bleak period for the rest of the current year. Malaysian furniture manufacturers are also facing stiff competition from Vietnam.

Also in this issue

  • Prices stall in West Africa as Chinese demand cools
  • Ghana cuts taxes and raises subsidies to rein in surging prices
  • Vietnam poised to overtake Malaysia in furniture exports
  • Indonesia and Malaysia to sign MoU on haze mitigation
  • Timber trading continues in Myanmar amid cyclone recovery efforts
  • India hosts ITTO workshop to strengthen forest statistics
  • Brazilian government mulls interest rate cut for timber companies
  • Brazil's exports slide 4.5% in April
  • Parana targets alternative markets to offset US losses
  • CONAFOR expands budget for combating forest fires
  • Guyana expects recovery from slump in production
  • Southsea log prices keep Japanese buyers at bay
  • China's forest products industry RMB1.1 trillion in 2007
  • European housing market shows growing signs for concern
  • Hardwood market shows sluggishness in Europe
  • European joinery sector hints at more positive trends

Data snapshot

Figure 1: Japan Plywood Imports 2005-2008 (000 m³)


Japan Lumber Reports indicated that plywood imports in March 2008 rose 30% from February 2008 levels (Figure 1). However, when compared with the same month in 2007, March imports showed a 9.1% fall, since demand had been low during the first two months of the year. Nevertheless, imports in March helped relax the tight supply of plywood in the local market, which also resulted in a price reduction when compared to January and February 2008.

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