from the UK
BoE leaves rates unchanged
The Bank of England left interest rates unchanged, at 5.5%, during its 5-6 June meeting. Following earlier calls
from the Monetary Policy Committee, analysts expect a further rate hike to 5.75% by the end of 2007. On 6 June,
the FTSE 100 index rose to an eight-year high, but has since fallen in line with other international markets, due to
changes taking place in the Chinese market.
Consumer confidence reaches highest level in May
As reported by Nationwide, consumer confidence was at its highest level in May. The Consumer Confidence Index
rose to 99, from 90 in April, which is its highest in eighteen months. The report also noted that the public
were upbeat about the economy and confident it would improve.
Hefty increase in imports of Chinese plywood
The TTJ said that UK imports of Chinese hardwood plywood account for 45% of the market. This rise
represents a three fold increase in figures for the first three months of the year. The survey also showed that
Malaysian imports were up by more than 70% in the same quarter, compared to 2006, and Brazil and Indonesia¡¯s
market share dipped, 16% and 45% respectively.
Russia exported less hardwood to Europe in 2006
As reported by EUWID, Russian exports of hardwood logs to Europe declined during the fourth quarter of 2006.
Overall, there was a 6% drop of Russian exports during the fourth quarter, compared with the previous year. The
decline in Europe was primarily due to lower log harvesting in north-western Russia, which was affected by
adverse weather conditions. While shipments to the larger European buying countries had gone down, exports to
China, the CIS and Turkey had risen.
Greenpeace wins appeal against Dutch timber tester
During a recent ruling against a Dutch timber tester Keurhout, the Board of Keurhout instructed the institution
to withdraw its legal certificate for MTCC timber. Greenpeace initiated the appeal in 2005, after arguing that
MTCC certification did not guarantee legality of the timber. Greenpeace is advising the Ministry of Housing,
Social Planning and the Environment to apply conclusions of this ruling to other cases that suggest MTCC
certification is sufficient proof of legality for timber products.
B&Q mulls strategies for India and South Korea
The British group Kingfisher is exploring whether to expand its B&Q brand into India, EUWID reported, at an
estimated investment of US$250million. In contrast, Kingfisher are reviewing whether to close its B&Q Home
branches in South Korea, largely due to their difficulties in finding further property to
establish a nationwide presence in South Korea. Kingfisher¡¯s first quarter profits
improved, with retail profits up 29.5% to GBP88.6 million.
DLH Group yields positive results in first quarter
Danish timber merchant Dalhoff Larsen and Hornemann A/S (DLH) continued positive results in its first quarter
sales, operations and earnings, reported EUWID. Net profit was about 58% higher than the same period of last
year, and improvements in sales and results were present in all three divisions of the company. Although DLH faced
difficulty in securing raw materials from the Republic of Congo, its sales in its Hardwood division were up 5.7% to
DKK1.03billion. Sales in its building materials division
also were up 16% to DKK432million. The companyestimates that it can generate sales revenues of DKK7.5
billion in 2007, and achieve an operating result of DKK330million.
EU softwood plywood quota expires
The EUWID reported that the duty free quota of imports of softwood plywood into the EU expired on 18 May
2007. The European Commission allocated the last volumes of the quota on 24 May, out of a total of 650,000
m3. Once the quota has been exhausted, incoming softwood plywood deliveries will be subject to a 7% levy.