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.



15 December 2008

Top story

Storm affects Santa Catarina furniture industry

The furniture companies of São Bento do Sul and Rio Negrinho municipalities, Brazil's main exporters, are already facing difficulties meeting international delivery deadlines after the recent flooding in Santa Catarina state. Itajaí Port, where 4% of Brazilian exports are shipped, was closed as a result of the storm. Portal Moveleiro reported that the storm, which hit the state at the end of November, has caused economic problems along the entire supply chain of timber and furniture. Santa Catarina is the leading Brazilian exporter of furniture, with exports worth USD378 million in 2007, or 32.8% of total Brazilian furniture exports, according to the Federation of Industries of Santa Catarina State (FIESC). Entrepreneurs are now subjected to higher costs, complex logistics, renegotiation of delivery dates with international customers, and risk losing customers for breach of contract.

UK plywood market faces uncertainty

European CIF prices for hardwood plywood are down across the board against a background of weak consumption and uncertainty over prospects for 2009. Prices are highly volatile. Generally falling CIF prices into the EU are also partly indicative of falling freight rates from most regions in response to declining fuel costs and the reduction in the overall level of global trade.

For Brazilian suppliers to the EU, although there has been some pick up in inquiries amongst importers seeking to benefit from the duty free quota, most importers are still holding back on large orders. Widespread speculation that prices might drop further in the New Year is only adding to importers reluctance to place orders now. EU buying of plywood from Brazil is now concentrated on only a few large shippers. Many smaller Brazilian shippers formerly engaged in the trade are no longer active as they lack access to sufficient capital to finance raw material and other costs.

Also in this issue

  • West African business inactive as Europe breaks for holidays
  • Ghana’s timber exports rise by volume and value
  • Malaysian furniture makers take interest in Saudi Arabian markets
  • Indonesia responds to US Lacey Act
  • HSBC scales back forestry lending in Indonesia and Malaysia
  • São Paulo promotes wood from legal sources
  • Peru’s wood exports grow 9.6% in first three quarters of 2008
  • Guyana’s value added products continue record growth
  • Guyana’s value added products continue record growth
  • Guyana and USAID host forum on US Lacey Act
  • Southsea logs and lumber imports slump in Japan
  • China releases 2009 timber production plan
  • EC and Vietnam establish FLEGT Technical Working Group
  • European hardwood manufacturers move away from tropical wood

Data snapshot

Tropical Sawnwood FOB Price Trends


Although log and plywood prices were falling at year end into the UK, sawnwood prices held on to price rises from November. Nevertheless, prices for the end of year period were highly volatile, as it was mostly a buyer's market for most timber species in the UK.

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