No recovery yet for tropical timber markets

14 April 2023

A furniture showroom in Gabon. Photo: ITTO

Yokohama, Japan, 14 April, 2023: Timber markets in Brazil, the Congo, Gabon, Indonesia, Malaysia and Mexico all continued to contract in March, according to the latest Global Timber Index GTI Report, which tracks the performance of the timber sector in seven pilot countries.

The GTI has been developed as part of collaborative work between ITTO, the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute and the Secretariat of the Global Green Supply Chains initiative, with about 160 enterprises and companies also participating. The aim is to facilitate business information and data exchange on the timber trade and promote collaboration among stakeholders in a stable, transparent and predictable business environment.

The report shows that the GTI fell in Brazil and Malaysia in March—by 4.1 percentage points in Brazil (to 42.2%) and 0.9 percentage points in Malaysia (to 22%). For both countries, March was the fifth consecutive month in which the GTI has been below the critical 50% value (a value below 50% indicates a contraction of the sector). The GTI rose in the Congo, Gabon, Indonesia and Mexico in March but remained below the 50% threshold and therefore the sectors were still shrinking.

In contrast, the timber manufacturing industry in China increased its orders and production for the second consecutive month in March, a positive signal of recovery in the timber market there. China’s timber sector registered a GTI of 53.9%, up by 1.5 percentage points over February.

Given the general lack of market momentum, pilot countries are endeavouring to optimize the performance of their timber industries. For example, the Congo is creating two special economic zones for the wood-processing industry after banning log exports. Indonesia is seeking more business opportunities in the UK and US markets. To promote market recovery, enterprises involved in the GTI in Mexico have proposed the development of online trading platforms, and GTI-Brazil enterprises are suggesting increasing sawmill productivity. 

The Global Timber Index GTI Report provides detailed analyses of the situation in each of the seven pilot countries.

The monthly GTI Report is available free online at

Download the latest GTI Report here.