ITTO has just released the results of a study on the effects of governmental procurement policies on tropical timber as part of its Technical Series. The results of the study indicate that changes in tropical timber trade due to procurement policies are largely swamped by wider economic changes and market shifts.
The study analyzed the economic impacts of governmental timber procurement policies on tropical timber markets, updated developments on legality requirements, and assessed market implications and opportunities for ITTO producer and consumer member countries. The main outputs of the study were:
- an analysis of the impacts of timber procurement policies on markets and trade, taking into consideration their relevant effects on demand, supply, costs and prices, as well as the financial implications for exporting countries;
- an examination of the challenges faced by ITTO producer and consumer countries in complying with and implementing timber procurement requirements; and
- recommendations for further action by ITTO to promote trade in tropical timber in the context of timber procurement policies.
The study noted that in many cases, tropical timber suppliers and consumers have demonstrated an ability to comply with public and private procurement policies. However, complying with the necessary procedures, including certification, typically requires sustained commitment on the part of suppliers as well as significant financial, organizational and social resources. Government timber procurement is a niche segment in any national market, and not all producers find it profitable to obtain the required certification. The analysis shows that tropical timber suppliers are competing successfully in many emerging markets. In addition, south–south trade and domestic markets in producer countries account for a rapidly increasing share of tropical timber consumption. These markets should be an increasing focus of ITTO’s efforts to develop and showcase producer-friendly policies that promote legal and sustainably produced timber.
The full publication is available at http://www.itto.int/technical_report/