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 October 2008

Top story

China and India sustain West Africa trade

While China and India were buying at reasonable levels, log trade elsewhere was very slow and demand was low. Prices were reported as stable, although beyond the restricted number of species for China and India, there were too few buyers in the market on which to base normal market prices. Some business in non-premium species was being conducted with Vietnam. Prices for these species were likely to have been keenly negotiated and qualities would have been lower than usual.

The onset of many countries’ global economic problems has yet to fully impact all sectors of the log and lumber industries. However, lower growth forecasts for economies in developed countries is certain to slow manufacturing and sales of furniture, which will impact demand for tropical timber. There has already been a downturn in sales of board products in Europe, due to problems in the building industries and lower demand from furniture manufacturers and exporters.

As with logs, it is likely that sawn lumber prices appear stable only because of low trading volumes, rather than being led by demand in the market. Buying was very slow over the previous fortnight. Sapele prices were still variable and subject to offers. Buying for iroko lumber was weaker due to lower demand.

Also in this issue

  • Deputy Minister calls for original design manufacturing in Malaysia
  • Indonesia to lower growth export targets for 2009
  • Teak plantations are on the rise in Myanmar
  • Forest ‘condominiums’ offer new opportunities to timber investors
  • New research shows possibility of mahogany reforestation in Brazil
  • Commercial forest plantations draw further financial support in Mexico
  • Market trends in Guyana stable over past fortnight
  • Forestry Training Center Incorporated continues work on SFM
  • Sumitomo Forestry to increase sales of certified plywood imports
  • China’s wooden door manufacturing shows growth in recent years
  • China’s furniture imports skyrocket in value
  • Confidence in EU market low
  • EU illegal logging legislation continues to be delayed

Data snapshot

Table 1: Guyana’s domestic price summary for 2007 and 2008


Export market prices in Guyana have remained stable for most species of logs exported in the last fortnight of September 2008. While prices for greenheart logs remained stable, mora logs increased on average between 12% and 21% for various grades. Prices for purpleheart logs have similarly remained stable for the same period with marginal rises for some grade categories.

Domestic prices in Guyana were marginally lower for almost all products. Dressed sawnwood, more so than undressed sawnwood, showed a greater difference in the export versus domestic price. Domestic prices have traditionally been lower than export prices over the past five years. Domestic prices for most products have generally risen over the years with prices of other products remaining stable. Table 1 above shows a summary of domestic prices for 2007 and 2008.

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