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.



15-31 January 2017

Top story

US furniture imports at highest level since beginning of US recession but plywood imports continue down

Wooden furniture imports increased 8% in November 2016, the highest level since the recession. Imports of all types of furniture increased with the strongest monthly growth in being in wooden bedroom furniture.
Hardwood plywood imports declined for the fifth consecutive month in November. Most countries shipped less plywood to the US with the exception of Canada and Russia.

Also in this issue

  • Western markets are quiet but Asian demand for African woods is lively
  • Ghana’s private sector welcomes creation of Business Ministry
  • Foreign labour issue near resolution in Malaysia            
  • More interest in sawnwood than logs in India
  • Bank of Japan concerned on housing oversupply              
  • Japan’s Forestry Agency’s demand projections
  • Timber companies in China targeted in crack-down on VOCs
  • German trade shows highlight intensity of competition                

Data snapshot

Why so little – Comparison of EU and US Tropical Sawnwood Imports


Per capita consumption of tropical sawnwood in the US is a fraction of that in EU

The US has never been a big market for tropical sawnwood but with a population of 320 million to Europe’s 508 million and per capita incomes 50% higher than in the EU, the value imports of tropical sawnwood are miniscule.  US imports of tropical sawnwood are mainly from Ecuador (balsa) and Brazil (ipe) with some redwoods sourced in West Africa. EU imports, on the other hand, are almost exclusively from shippers in West Africa and SE Asia.

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