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 October 2014

Top story

Insurance a grey area when it comes to Ebola 

There is a debate at present on whether traders or shipping companies could claim force majeure if they cannot meet contractual agreements for reasons related to Ebola.
Companies shipping wood products internationally have insurance cover to protect themselves from the risk of natural disasters, political unrest etc. but it is not clear if delays and disruptions as a result of the spread of Ebola would be covered by existing insurance policies. 

Also in this issue

  • Indonesian ministries of Forestry and Environment merged
  • Red Sanders auction now a court matter in India
  • Brazilian furniture exports to US up 50%
  • Year on year housing starts down sharply in Japan
  • Calls for a ‘green’ wood industry supply-chain in China
  • EU wooden furniture imports recover some ground in 2014
  • Demand in US to be highest for wood/plastic composite and plastic decking

Data snapshot

Falling freight rates foretell weakening global trade


Falling rates a challenge to Shipping companies 

Container freight rates between Asia and Europe have fallen by around 10% in a few weeks. In fact container freight rates for the year to September have increased in 11 weeks but fallen in 26.

A representative of A.P. Moller-Maersk has warned that the industry will have to be prepared for a period of falling rates. However, several large shipping companies have been trying to raise rates but with little success.
Analysts say that, at current rates, it will be difficult for shipping companies to break-even, so there will be a concerted effort from all companies to lift rates.

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