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 January 2009

Top story

Gabon bans harvest of four major timber species

Very slow market conditions continue in West Africa. However, significantly, the government of Gabon indicated that from 1 January 2009, four major species of timber, afo, douka, moabi, and ozigo, are no longer permitted to be harvested. Producers will have three months in which to dispose of all stocks of these species. The impact of this measure on market prices and the volume of annual harvest in Gabon has yet to be assessed. Moabi is a major species for the market in France, although French importers are currently overstocked with moabi. Despite this, there may be a rush to secure the limited stocks that remain in the pipeline. Although individually the volumes of each of the four species are not that significant, the ban will mean a noticeable reduction in the harvest volumes per hectare. This is expected to impact the viability of some concession areas. At this stage, there is no information as to whether or not concession holders will be able to increase annual allowable concession areas or harvest volumes per hectare of other species to compensate for the lower output.

Also in this issue

  • Ghana’s third quarter export permits take slight fall
  • Malaysian timber prices suffer sharp declines
  • Indonesia prices decline despite slide of rupiah
  • Para’s forest sector continues to experience declines
  • Germany provides EUR20 million to preserve Peru’s forests
  • Dismal economic trends drive plywood market lower
  • Financial downturn brings losses for China’s forest products trade
  • Leizhou Peninsula suffers from substantial shutdowns
  • Short term EU market prospects very poor
  • Statistics show deep declines in EU imports of hardwood products
  • Putin signs resolution on Russian timber export duties

Data snapshot

EU-25 quarterly imports of hardwood products from developing countries 2007-2008


EU imports of hardwood logs from developing countries declined dramatically from the start of 2008 onwards, while imports of hardwood sawn lumber, veneer and plywood were also sliding downwards, although at a slower pace.

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