Latest figures show growth in 2013 timber
The latest „Export of Wood Products Report‟ from the
Timber Industry Development Division of the Ghana
Forestry Commission reports earnings of approximately
euro 91.4 mil. from the export of 206,603 cu.m of wood
products in the first nine months of 2013.
This equates to an increase in the value of exports of
32.5% and a 14.9% growth in the volume of exports
compared to the same period in 2012.
The figures illustrate that the average FOB price in the
first three quarters of 2013 increased to euro 442 per cu.m
from Euros 383 per cu.m January to September 2012, a
15% plus improvement.
Sawnwood, boules, veneers and plywood were the main
products exported and altogether contributed
approximately euro 83.1 mil. or 91% of the total export
earnings. Export of poles (round wood and billets) earned
about euro 2.0 mil., slightly down on 2012 levels.
Exports of mouldings, flooring, dowels and profile boards
contributed around euro 6.3 mil. for a volume of 11,239
cu.m to in the period January to September 2013.
Europe was the major market for Ghana‟s wood product
exports, accounting for 48.5% of all exports in value
terms. Markets in Africa took 75,500 cu.m for a value of
euro 24.8 million in the first three months of 2013. The
overall share of markets in Africa grew by over 30% in the
first three quarters of 2013 compared to the same period in
The ECOWAS market (mainly Nigeria, Niger, Senegal,
Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin and Mali) accounted for the
bulk of Ghana‟s exports to African markets.
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Monsoon rains bring harvesting to a halt
Logging and milling operations in Malaysia have slowed
considerably due to bad weather and as the country
prepares for the upcoming Chinese New Year
celebrations. It is now the monsoon season in Malaysia
and more heavy rains are expected.
This year the rains have been exceptionally heavy in the
eastern states. In addition, parts of Sarawak have been
badly flooded. To make matters worse the north easterly
winds are unusually cold and strong this year.
Rainfall in Sarawak has exceeded the monthly
400 mm in Sibu and 300 mm in Miri. In the first three
weeks of this year Sibu recorded total rainfall of 567 mm
while in Miri some 490 mm was reported. In Bintulu some
roads have been closed due to flash floods.
Big three log producers cut production
Reports indicate that three major Sarawak timber
companies have reduced production because of dwindling
supplies of logs.
These companies have reduced log production by between
3 ¨C 16.5% on 2012 levels. The combined production of the
three companies has fallen by around 225,000 cu.m to 2.0
The listed company, Ta Ann, trimmed log production by
about 5% and produced only around 369,000 cu.m
between January and November last year compared to
387,800 cu.m in the same period in 2012.
Jaya Tiasa, reportedly the largest log producer in Sarawak,
produced 1.06 million cu.m of logs last year, down from
1.18 million cubic metres in 2012. Jaya Tiasa has logging
concessions covering an area of around 713,000 ha.
Subur Tiasa reported a 16.5% decline in log production to
around 503,800 cu.m for the whole of last year, down
from 603,680 cu.m in 2012. Jaya Tiasa and Subur Tiasa
belong to the Rimbunan Hijau group of companies.
Another listed company based in Sarawak, WTK, reported
a fall in log production of more than 3% last year to some
426,600 cu.m compared to the 441,400 cu.m harvested in
Annual log production in Sarawak has fallen below 10
million cubic metres for the last two years. The state
government allows up to 40% of total log production to be
exported the balance goes to local mills.
Thailand the top importer of Sabah sawnwood
The Sabah Department of Statistics has released
sawnwood export data for the period January to November
2013. A total of 223,041 cu.m was exported for a total
value of RM332, 584, 828 FOB (approximately US$ 98.7
The top importer of Sabah sawnwood in 2013 was
Thailand (52,526 cu.m; RM 68.2 million), followed by
China (34,352 cu.m, RM 52.1 million) and Taiwan P.o.C
(27,917 cu.m, RM 36.7 million). The fourth ranked
importer was Japan (19,775 cu.m, RM 38.8 million) and
the fifth was South Africa (18,634 cu.m, RM 29.9
Australian importers purchase Sabah sawnwood but tend
to favour exotic and higher grade sawn timbers, the price
of which in 2013 averaged RM3,067/cu.m for the 1,402
The statistics show that the average price for all sawnwood
exported from the state was RM 1,491/cu.m.
Over the same 11 months period, Sabah also exported
594,948 cu.m of plywood worth RM 949,263,659
(approximately US$ 281.7 million). The main importer
was Japan (115, 296 cu.m, 19.4% of total), followed by
Peninsular Malaysia (99,330 cu.m, 16.7%) and South
Korea (70,615 cu.m, 11.9%). Other markets included
Egypt (51,533 cu.m, 8.7%) and the USA (50,844 cu.m,
Other products exported include laminated board (47,656
cu.m, RM 77.28 million); mouldings (16,685 cu.m, RM
57.54 million) and veneer sheets (46,620 cu.m, RM 65.19
2013 export performance satisfactory despite global
Malaysia‟s wood product exports for the period January to
October 2013 were RM 16.1 billion (approximately US$
This is slightly down from the corresponding period last
year (RM 16.8 billion; US$ 4.98 billion). Despite the
slight decline analysts are satisfied with this performance
considering the economic climate in 2013.
In a previous issue we incorrectly reported that the Timber
Industry Forum (TIF) signed a MOU with the Forest Research
Institute of Malaysia (FRIM). There are six members of the TIF
and only four, in their own names, signed the MOU with FRIM.
The four TIF member that signed the MOU are; Malaysian Wood
Industries Association, Malaysian Panel-Product Manufacturers‟
Association, Malaysian Furniture Industries Council and
Association of Malaysian Bumiputra Timber and Furniture
International role for three new
The Ministry of Forestry has appointed three experts to
represent Indonesia in international negotiations. The first
is Tony Rachmat Soehartono who will represent Indonesia
during the Nagoya Protocol negotiations, the UN Forum
on Forests and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The second appointee is Haryadi Himawan who will
participate in UN and FAO efforts, particularly in the UN
Convention to Combat Desertification. The final appointee
is Trisnu Darisworo who will work with the Regional
Community Forestry Training Centre.
Exports by Surakarta manufacturers slumped in 2013
Exports from Surakarta during 2013 fell dramatically
compared to the performance in 2012 .
Data from the Department of Industry and Trade, office in
Surakarta shows the value of exports in 2012 totalled
US$40.3 million but, for 2013, the value of exports fell
The decline has been attributed mainly to a fall in exports
of wooden furniture. In 2012 the value of wooden
furniture exports was US$3 million, but in 2013 this fell to
just US$1.6 million.
Section Head of the Department of Industry and
Surakarta, Maharani Endang, said exports fell as global
demand was weak so there was little opportunity to
increase exports .
He further pointed out tha, before the SVLK was
introduced exporters could boost furniture sales to the EU
but now, because many enterprises are still struggling to
meet the SVLK requirements, exports could not be easily
The regional Vice Chairman of the Association of
Indonesian Furniture and Handicraft (Asmindo), Darma
Adi Santoso, pointed out that while exports of wooden
furniture had fallen there was an increase in the export of
rattan furniture .
New plywood factory for East Java
The Minister of Forestry, Zulkifli Hasan along with Hatta
Rajasa, recently visited Perhutani Plywood factory in
Kediri, East Java. The new plant is built on an area of 9
hectares and has a production capacity of 4,000 cubic
metres per month.
Some 90% of the wood raw materials are derived from
forests in Kediri and this ensures the mill will help
improve the local economy.
Floods, once again, bring Jakarta to a standstill
Flooding in Jakarta has affected around 150,000 people
and media reports say some 60,000 have had to evacuate.
With more rain forecast in early February flood waters are
expected to rise further.
According to government estimates the flooding in Jakarta
in 2013 caused damage valued at over US$500 million.
Teak and other hardwoods seized
The domestic newspaper, Daily Eleven, reported that
around 35,000 tons of illegally harvested timber, including
5,000 tons of teak was seized from April to December
2013 quoting statistics from the Ministry of Environmental
Conservation and Forestry.
The newspaper also reported that over 3,200 tons of
various species of mainly high value timber were seized in
Kachin and Northern Shan areas near the Myanmar-China
Foreign Investment in Myanmar
According to the Ministry of National Planning, foreign
investment in Myanmar from 1988 up to the end of
December 2013 amounted to US$34.2 billion and came
from some 25 countries.
China tops the list of investors at US$14,1 billion followed
by Hong Kong US$6.4 billion and South Korea US$3.0
billion. Oil and gas is the most popular sector with
investments amounting to US$13.6, billion; followed by
electricity generation at US$13.3 billion; mining with
IMF forecasts over 7 percent growth for Myanmar
Myanmar's economy is set to grow 7.5% this fiscal year
according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
However, the IMF warned that inflation is growing and
could rise to 5-6% by March 2014.
The main risks to the forecasts will be inadequate
macroeconomic management capacity but, on the other
hand, the decision of the government to float the exchange
rate, to establish central bank autonomy and to
significantly increase spending on health and education are
good signs says the IMF report.
January Open Tender prices
Teak log sales during the Open Tender held on 24 January
2014 totalled 3,258 hoppus tons.
Ex-site prices secured during the sale are shown below.
Non-teak hardwood log prices secured during the
tender sale on 24 January ender held on 24 January 2014
are shown below.
January teak log tender results
The following grades and volumes were sold by Myanma
Timber Enterprise (MTE) through competitive bidding on
24 and 27 January 2014.
Setting inflation targets key to stable
On the economic front the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
said inflation eased to a five month low in December
News is emerging of plans by the RBI to adopt inflation
targeting through a restructuring of the monetary policy
framework. The RBI governor has said he believes this is
the way to ensure better stability in the exchange rate
amongst other advantages.
An RBI committee is recommending the adoption of a
consumer price index growth target of 4% with a plus 2%
upper margin. The RBI hopes to bring inflation down to
8% over the next twelve months and eventually to 6% in
The recently released IMF „World Economic Outlook‟
projects Indian GDP to expand over 4% in fiscal 2013-14.
In a press release on the Outlook the IMF says "Growth in
India picked up after a favourable monsoon season and
higher export growth and is expected to firm further on
stronger structural policies supporting investment¡±.
Looking further ahead the IMF anticipates Indian GDP
growth could top 5.5% in fiscal 2014-15 but this is down
from its earlier forecast.
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Log stocks in forest depots grow as auctions delayed
Stocks of teak and other hardwood logs are reported as
satisfactory at Central and Western Indian forest depots.
In a move to improve efficiency at log auctions the
authorities are planning to introduce electronic bidding
and to computerise payments, dispatch and delivery orders
etc. Log auction have been temporarily suspended and will
resume after the new system has been installed and tested.
Analysts report that approximately 17-18,000 cubic metres
of logs have been accumulated at south Gujarat depots.
Central Indian depots are also expected to soon offer
around 30,000 cubic metres of logs.
2013 exports held up well
India‟s exports of wood products remained resilient in
fiscal 2012-13 despite the global recession. Figures from
Indian Customs show that wood product exports rose 26%
in terms of rupee and 11% in US dollar terms.
Exporters report that overseas demand remains steady and
this suggests the specific markets serviced by Indian
exporters have been less affected by the recent economic
ASEAN/India FTA means lower import duties
Under the terms of the ASEAN/India Free Trade
Agreement, with effect from 1 January 2014 India‟s
import duties on several wood products have been
Logs, sawnwood and plywood from ASEAN countries are
now zero rated for import duty but there remain counter
veiling duties as shown below.
Plantation teak importers benefit from delayed
domestic log auctions
The delayed log auctions at domestic forest depots has
helped stockists of imported teak secure better sales. Since
last month imports of plantation teak have increased and
importers in Kandla, Mumbai, Mangalore and Vizag
report increased. The trade is currently much more
optimistic about the future than a month ago.
In view of the impending ban on the export of logs from
Myanmar there has been a surge in shipments and dealers
are stocking up on Myanmar teak and Gurjan logs.
Analysts report a slowing in arrivals of Selangan
from Malaysia but an increase in arrivals of kapur and this
is put down to the competitive pricing of kapur.
Current C & F prices for imported plantation teak at
Indian ports are shown below.
Recently plantation teak was imported from Cameroon
prices in the range of US$350 to US$510 per cu.m
Prices for domestically sawn imported logs
Demand and supply of domestically milled imported logs
is balanced so landed costs and wholesale prices have not
Prices for air dry sawnwood per cubic Foot, ex-sawmill
are shown below.
Firm demand for Myanmar teak processed in India
Export demand for Myanmar teak milled and processed in
India continues to be good and domestic demand remains
Imported sawnwood prices unchanged
Ex-warehouse prices for imported kiln dry (12% mc.)
sawnwood per cu.ft are shown below.
Plywood market prices
Indian plywood manufacturers are keen to raise prices but
are stalled because of the competitive landed cost of
plywood from ASEAN suppliers. Prices remain
unchanged. Plywood prices on the domestic market
Inflation exceeds Central Bank
In response to the higher than targeted inflation the
Monetary Policy Committee (Copom) of the Central Bank
increased the basic interest rate from 10% to 10.5%, the
highest rate since January 2012 when it was also set at
Brazil‟s Consumer Price Index (IPCA) for December 2013
was 0.92% up on the November figure such that the
accumulated 2013 IPCA was 5.91%, higher than in 2012
and above the Central Bank‟s target of 4.5%.
However, Consumer prices, while increasing, were up less
than expected as of mid January and this is leading
analysts to believe the Central Bank will not raise interest
rates when it meets in February.
From the end of November 2013 up to the end of January
the Brazilian currency depreciated against the US dollar,
this has cheered exporters who suffered an overly strong
currency in 2013.
Flona Jacund¨¢ concession management plan
Madeflona Industrial Lumber, a company with operations
in the state of Rondônia has secured approval of its
management plan for harvesting in 87,700 hectares in the
National Forest of Jacund¨¢ in Rondônia. The company
expects to begin operations in the second half of 2014.
Flona Jacund¨¢ is the second national forest in Rondonia in
which a forest concession has been granted at the federal
level, the first was the Jamari National Forest. Madeflona
has already secured a concession in the Jamari National
In December 2013 the Brazilian Institute of Environment
and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) approved
two plans submitted by Madeflona, one for 55,000
hectares and the other for 32,700 hectares.
The approval of the management plan itself does not
authorise the start of logging as the company is required to
submit an Annual Operating Plan to the competent
This operating plan must include data on the
amongst other things. The plan submitted by Madeflona
identified, mapped and classified around 20,000 trees with
diameter greater than 40 cm in one area. The approved log
harvest amounts to approx. 25 cu.m per hectare (around
The activities of the company are creating jobs and by
May this year the company plans to hire an additional 40
workers. As operations expand more job opportunities will
Tax rate for the furniture sector worries retailers
The tax on industrial products (IPI) increased to 4% in
January and it is anticipated this will jump to 5% in the
second half of this year.
The Retail Trade Federation of Rio Grande do Sul state
has said this increase would hit sales and if the tax is
passed on to consumers this will add to inflation.
The Federation argues that the tax rate should be lowered
not raised and that this could be possible if there were
savings on public expenditure in the state.
The Bento Gonçalves furniture cluster creates jobs in the
state of Rio Grande do Sul and feels a zero IPI tax would
lead to more jobs being generated.
In March 2012, when the Federal Government set the IPI
tax at zero for the furniture sector, there was a significant
increase in retail sales in Rio Grande do Sul state. In
February 2013, when the benefit was withdrawn and the
IPI tax rate reintroduced, sales fell over 6%.
However, despite the recent increase in IPI tax, the custom
furniture manufacturing sector is optimistic on the sales
potential for 2014 as huge housing developments are
According to the Association of Managers of companies in
the real estate market in Rio de Janeiro, construction is
focused on family home and this will spur furniture
The majority of these new homes are small-sized
apartments of less than 80 square metres which has
resulted in higher demand for custom made furniture. The
manufacturers of custom furniture foresee healthy market
growth for 2014.
Export prospects improving
In November 2013, timber products exports (except pulp
and paper) increased to US$218.8 mil., up 7.5% compared
to November 2012. The gains recorded for November
exports extended into December.
November pine sawnwood exports increased 19.2% year
on year, from US$15.6 million to US$18.6 million. In
terms of volume, exports rose 11.8%, to 81,500 cu.m, over
the same period.
Tropical sawnwood exports continue to decline and
November exports were down l 7% to 31,300 cu.m
compared to levels in November 2012.
The value of pine plywood exports also fell in November
2013 and were down 6% (US$ 33.9 mil. or 93,300 cu.m)
compared to November 2012. Tropical plywood exports
decreased 45.5% in volume, from 6,600 cu.m in
November 2012 to 3,600 cu.m in November 2013. In
value, exports of tropical timber fell 42.1%, from US$ 3.8
million in November 2012 to US$ 2.2 million in
November 2013. The downward trend in year on year
exports continued into December.
The value of wooden furniture exports in November and
December were down 10.2% and 4.2% respectively.
December wooden furniture exports were just US$38.9
2013 export performance
Overall, for 2013 Brazilian plywood exports fell 14% in
value and 11% in volume compared to 2012.
In 2012, the main export markets for Brazilian
were Argentina, Venezuela, the United States, Puerto Rico
and Germany while in 2013 the main markets were the
United States, Argentina, France, Puerto Rico and
In 2012 Brazilian plywood exports totaled 58,198 cubic
metres while in 2013 they fell to 51,578 cubic metres.
Exporters in Paran¨¢ state accounted for almost 46% of all
plywood exports followed by Santa Catarina (32.2%), Par¨¢
(8.9%) and Rondônia (5.8%).
Brazilian sawnwood exports also declined in 2013 falling
by 4.7% in value and 10.9% in volume compared to the
In 2012, the main market destinations for Brazilian
sawnwood were the Netherlands, China, France, the
United States and Vietnam, representing 13.2%, 12.5%,
12.3%, 11.4% and 9.2% respectively.
In 2013 the main export destinations were unchanged from
2012 however, China became the main destination
accounting for 15.2%, followed by the United States,
France, Netherlands and Vietnam.
Most export sawnwood came from millers in Par¨¢,
(35.3%) followed by Mato Grosso (25.8%), Rondônia
(14.5%) and Paran¨¢ (10.1%).
Allocating production forest concessions
According to the Association of Exporters (ADEX), the
planned relaunch of the forest concession allocation
process will contribute to the fight against illegal mining
in forest areas. Companies allocated concessions will have
management responsibility as well as legal rights over a
concession area and can use this to stop illegal operations
in the forest concessions.
The chairman of wood and wood Industry division of
ADEX, Erik Fischer, said it is important to restart the
granting of forest concessions in areas that are at risk of
deforestation from illegal activities.
Fischer said in the past the concession demarcation
process was good but it failed because of the inappropriate
allocation of concessions to inexperienced and unskilled
Fischer added that as part of the new process of revival it
is necessary to learn from the mistakes that were made in
past concession allocations and to incorporate into the
system in Peru „industry best practices‟ from other
countries to ensure success.
ADEX has reported that the value of wood product exports
between January and November 2013 was US$145.7
million representing a slight drop on the level during the
same period in 2012.
Booming non-traditional exports to Chile
The Lima Chamber of Commerce reports that Peru‟s
exports of non-traditional products to Chile is expanding
fast. Between January and September 2013 non-traditional
product exports to Chile grew almost 5% year on year
supported by a 30% plus jump in farming sector exports
and a huge jump in the export of handicrafts.
In the first nine months of 2013 peru‟s exports to Chile
were worth US$1.3 billion of which some US$540 million
was of non-traditional products.
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Private sector credit expands
The Central Reserve Bank (CRB) has reported that new
sol credit to the private sector in 2013 was 225 higher than
While credit in dollars was down in December but
of 2013 there was a 2% overall increase. The CRB also
reports that credit to individuals and mortgage loans are
For more see:
Wamara logs in demand
January started very quietly and in the period reviewed
there were no exports of the three main commercial logs;
greenheart, purpleheart and mora.
However, wamara (Swartzia leiocalycina) logs made
headway on the export market securing favourable prices
ranging from US$125 to US$140 per cubic metre FOB.
The main market for Guyana‟s wamara logs was Asia.
Slow start to sawnwood exports in January
Sawnwood export sales also got off to slow start.
Undressed greenheart (Select) FOB prices slipped from
the top end price of US$954 down to US$933 per cubic
metre, while Undressed greenheart (Sound) FOB prices
remained unchanged from the last reporting period. North
America and the Caribbean were the prime markets for
Undressed greenheart (Sound).
There were no exports of Undressed purpleheart
sawnwood and it was only for Undressed Mora
(Merchantable) for which there was a change in average
price to US$595 per cubic metre FOB, securing a spot in
the important Caribbean market.
There was no export of Dressed greenheart during the
period reviewed. However, as was the case in the previous
report, Dressed purpleheart sawnwood retained a firm
footing in the market where FOB prices were US$1,102
per cubic metre. The Caribbean was the leading market for
this highly sought after timber species from Guyana.
Top prices paid for high quality timbers
Guyana‟s sawn washiba (Ipe) attracted a price of US$
2,500 per cubic metre FOB in the international market.
Similarly Guyana‟s lesser used species, darina
(Hymenolobium spp) made a fair contribution to overall
earnings attracting a price of US$750 per cubic metre
FOBin the North American market.
Export plywood top end prices remained unchanged at
US$584 per cubic metre FOB in South and Central
American markets. Splitwood (wallaba shingles) secured
FOB prices around US$1,023 per cubic metre in North
Greenheart piles were traded at a top end price of US$ 350
per cubic metre FOB in the North American market.
Housing development lifts domestic timber use
The government‟s effort to help Guyanese own their own
homes has begun to bear fruit as there has been
tremendous growth in the housing sector in recent years.
As a result of fiscal incentives from the government,
commercial banks are better positioned to offer lower
interest rates on mortgages. In addition, because of efforts
by the Ministry of Housing‟s Central Housing and
Planning Authority (CHPA), it is now simpler to acquire a
house lot and build a house.
In recent years there has been a boom in housing
construction and thousands house plots have been made
available to Guyanese. Because of this there has been a
significant increase in consumption of domestic
For the year 2013, overall timber production increased,
export levels remained largely the same as in previous
years so the growth in output was driven by demand in the