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International Log & Sawnwood Prices
01 – 15th Jun 2023


 Weakening demand having a downward pressure on prices
Recent observations by operators in the region signal a slowdown in demand in several markets. In Iraq, for example, the pace of new orders has fallen and in China demand is reported as slow. The weakening demand is beginning to have a downward pressure on prices for some species.

Reports suggest prices for Okoume have been showing signs of easing in the Middle East and Chinese markets. The Chinese market has not fully recovered since the Chinese New Year and it is anticipated to remain slow until the year's end.

European markets are reported as slow but stable as there are ample stocks in Portugal, France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands to see manufacturers through the summer months.

Belgium reportedly still boasts a healthy stock of padouk and doussie imported from Cameroon, Gabon and Congo in advance of the CITES deadline.

Conditions for harvesting a challenge
Reports indiate that, currently, Cameroon, the Central African Republic and northern Congo are experiencing the rain season whereas South Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea have entered a dry period expected to last until September under normal conditions.

This dry period provides an opportunity for road repairs, particularly in central Gabon where laterite roads present challenges. To address previous transportation delays investments are being made in railway repairs to ensure smoother operations and minimise disruptions.

CAR forestry officials examine certification in Gabon
Recently, the Minister of Forestry in the Central African Republic visited Gabon along with forestry officials to study Gabon's organisation of due diligence and certification processes in the forestry sector.

The focus of the study was on control of logging and transportation of timber from sawmills to the port. It is reported that seven timber companies, one of which is a Wagner Group company, requested assistance from Gabon's forestry department on certification and organisation of forest operations to support sustainable forest management.

Tackling youth unemployment
Gabon has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in sub-Saharan Africa (36%). To help address this the President has announced the creation of two funds intended to support income-generating activities for economically weak Gabonese.

The first fund of 7 billion FCFA is earmarked for entrepreneurs who wish to develop projects and they will benefit from microcredits at very preferential rates. The second fund is intended for an aid programme for income-generating activities individually, in a cooperative or in an association in areas such as trade, crafts, agriculture, fishing, livestock, services, small scale processing .


Through the eyes of industry
The latest GTI report lists the challenges identified by the private sector in the Republic of Congo and Gabon.



 Exports to ECOWAS dip
Ghana exported thirteen different wood products to
international markets during the first 2 months of 2023
valued at Eur19.92 million which was slightly higher
compared to the Eur19.26 million for the same period in

Table below shows the wood product export details with
their corresponding values for 2023 and 2022.

According to a TIDD report, total wood product exports
up to February were 45,312cu.m. This included shipments
to the Economic Community of West African States
(ECOWAS) that totalled 3,975cu.m valued at Eur1.45
million, a decline of almost 25% in volume and 29% in
value compared to the same period in 2022 (5,291cu.m
valued at Eur2.02 million).

The data showed that the overall average unit price (AUP)
recorded for the ECOWAS market for the first two months
of 2023 (Eur364/cu.m) was also lower than that in 2022
(Eur383/cu.m). Niger and Benin recorded Eur410/cu.m
and Eur401/cu.m in 2023.

Of total wood product exports, 62% went to Asia, 16% to
Europe, 12% to Africa, and the balance went to America
and the Middle East.

Of the total wood products exports to African markets the
ECOWAS sub-region market recorded the largest share at
Eur1.45 million (66%).

AGI calls on government to create conducive business
The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has expressed
serious concern over the government’s stance toward
ensuring that the business environment is conducive for
manufacturers. According to the AGI the businessoperating
environment in Ghana is very tough making
Ghana the only country in West Africa where industry
pays higher electricity tariffs than households.

The Ashanti Regional Chairman for the AGI, Kwasi
Nyamekye, lamented that the continuous tariff increases
and policies could lead to the closure of some businesses
and job losses. He cautioned that if government does not
recognise and act on the current challenges local industries
may find it difficult to compete favourably with their
African competitors in AfCTA.


Private sector credit growth slows
Data from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) reveals that the rate
of private sector credit growth has slowed. Private Sector
Credit (PSC) in nominal terms, reached GH¢64.9 billion at
the end of April this year, some 20% over the GH¢54.2
billion recorded at the same time in 2022. However, the
rate of growth in credit was lower than recorded during
same period of the previous year.

The central bank’s data further revealed that, in real terms,
the PSC has contracted by 15% compared to the 2.4%t
growth recorded during the same comparative periods in
2023 and 2022.


In related news the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the
AGI, Mr. Seth Twum Akwaboah, has called on
government to reduce duties paid on raw materials by
industries in the manufacturing sector.


World Bank support for Tree Crop Development
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Operations
at the Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA) has
revealed that the World Bank has granted a US$100
million facility to support work in the tree crop sectors.

Speaking at the maiden Ghana/Africa Sustainable Commodities Initiative National Platform meeting, Foster Boateng said the facility is a partnership with the Ghana government under a six-year funding initiative known as the Tree Crop Diversification Project.

The funds will be used for research, to tackle environmental issues and build and manage a digitisation platform that enables the Authority to register and track value chain actors to boost regulation and resource mobilisation. Rubberwood plantations are one out of the six tree sectors initiatives under the TCDA.




 MTIB celebrates 50th anniversary
Malaysia’s production and export of wood product have undergone a transformation during the 50 years since the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) was established. The number of wood products exported worldwide has grown to more than 20 last year compared with just four products, mainly logs, in 1973.

The MTIB was established in June 1973 through the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (Incorporation) Act, 1973 (Act 105). This followed the dissolution of MTIB’s predecessor, the Malaysian Timber Export Industry Board, which was formed in 1966.


Joint Malaysia and Indonesia trade mission to Belgium
Malaysia and Indonesia have urged the European Commission to recognise their work on the environment and deforestation with regard to palm oil production which, they say, is in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Malaysia and Indonesia mounted a joint trade mission to Belgium under the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries. This was in response to the implementation of the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR).

Malaysian Palm Oil Board chairman, Mohamad Helmy Othman Basha, is reported as saying “We have done a lot in the last 10 to 15 years in the area of environment and deforestation and we want the EU to recognise this fact. We have improved a lot but we have not seen them reciprocate” he said.


Plantation Open Day
A two-day Borneo Forestry Cooperative (BFC) Annual Forestry Symposium and Plantation Open Day were held in Kota Marudu, Sabah in mid-May themed “Growing a Productive Plantation Forestry Industry in Borneo”.

The Plantation Open Day provided an opportunity for participants to explore and witness first-hand the various aspects of plantation management from species selection to silviculture practices.

Participants also had the opportunity to engage in interactive discussions and network with industry experts.

A guest speaker at the symposium from South Africa, a specialist on species selection and plantation productivity spoke on his experience in plantation forestry and best practices for maximising productivity while ensuring sustainable management of resources.

The BFC was founded in 2009 to innovate and support the scaling up of Sabah’s industrial tree plantation industry.


Policy shift could encourage more investment
The export value of furniture and parts from Sarawak was RM57.4 million in 2022, a 23% increase in five years but this is still small when compared to the multi-billion ringgit national exports.

Malaysian Furniture Council president said more could be done to expand the sector in both Sabah and Sarawak. The recent Federal government announcement allowing Sabah and Sarawak to approve development projects worth up to RM50 million will make it easier for investors in the furniture industry.

The Sarawak Furniture Industry Association president said the Association would continue to work closely with all government agencies in identifying sustainable alternative raw material for furniture such as acacia, bamboo and paulownia.


Remote sensing
The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), through the Malaysian Space Agency (MYSA), signed a memorandum of understanding with the Sabah Forestry Department to collaborate on the use of remote sensing for the management of forest resources.

A representative of MOSTI said the scope of the collaboration involves monitoring and mapping forest areas throughout Sabah using space technology which is a new approach to the management of forest resources and digitisation of forestry information.

Through this collaboration several application system packages have also been developed specifically to assist the Sabah Forestry Department in the management of forest resources, namely the iForSABAH application for forest cover management and monitoring and the e-PESISIR system which focuses on monitoring the country’s coastal areas.


Malaysian Wood Expo coming 18–20 June
With a press release, the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) announced the return of its international wood and woodworking trade show, the Malaysian Wood Expo (MWE) 2023. Jointly organised by MTC and the Pablo Publishing and Exhibition Pte Ltd, MWE 2023 will be held from 18 – 20 June 2023 at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC).

The Expo will showcase raw materials and wood products such as wooden flooring, mouldings, doors, door frames and windows, panel products, wooden pallets as well as woodworking machinery such as cutting tools, combined machines, dust collection equipment, edge-banding materials and machines, handling equipment, abrasives, adhesives, coatings, timber-related equipment, and furniture production software, among others.

Through the eyes of industry
The latest GTI report lists the challenges identified by the private sector in Malaysia.



 Benchmark price information system
The Ministry of Environment and Forestry (Directorate of IPHH) is developing a Benchmark Price Information System (SIPATOK) for forest products to generate fair Non-Tax State Revenue (PNBP) for the State.

The SIPATOK is being tested in four provinces: Riau, as a representative for Sumatra, East Java (Java region), East Kalimantan (Kalimantan region) and South Sulawesi (East Indonesia region). One of the reasons for the development of SIPATOK is to optimise Non-Tax Revenue.

Based on data from the Directorate General of Sustainable Forest Management of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) over the last five years (2018-2022), Non-Tax Revenue from forest utilisation was IDR2.8 - 3.2 trillion per year. This is very small when compared to the potential considering that production forests in Indonesia cover an area of 68.83 million hectares.

A Ministerial Regulation regarding Benchmark Prices will serve as a guide in submitting data and information on forest product prices to ensure the fulfillment of fairness in setting prices reflecting the market prices for forest products.

SIPATOK will simplify the process of collecting data and information on prices of forest products and setting benchmark prices as well as providing access to business actors to directly convey the real selling prices of forest products based on sales documents/invoices and other sales documents.

Minister unwaveringly in rejection of trade discrimination
Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, recently met with President Joko Widodo to report the results of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) meeting. Airlangga highlighted several regulations in other countries that are deemed detrimental to Indonesia.

Airlangga reported on trade facilitation which is still under discussion at IPEF which has not been completed, the supply chain discussion was completed as was discussion on the green economy fair economy. Airlangga also informed the President on the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR). He said “within 18 months forest commodities must be verified through due diligence statements and tagging.

Airlangga argued that the EUDR regulation is detrimental to Indonesia because the implementation does not provide time to adjust saying, “if within 18 months Indonesia does not comply with the EUDR then a large part of trade relations with Europe will be disrupted”.

Minister Hartarto appears unwaveringly in his rejection of discrimination by trading partner countries through the EUDR and Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM).

CBAM is a policy tool introduced by the EU that requires EU iron and steel importers to be subject to additional obligations to pay carbon tax rates in accordance with the amount of iron and steel imported.

The Minister seems to consider the EUDR policy will hurt and harm several plantation and forestry commodities in Indonesia and Malaysia. In addition, the EUDR undermines Indonesia's commitments to solve problems related to climate change issues and to protect biodiversity.



Plans to have the forestry sector offset carbon emissions
The Environment and Forestry Ministry plans to have the forestry sector offset carbon emissions produced by the energy sector with the target of reaching a net reduction of 140 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030.

The ministry's Climate Change Control Director General, Laksmi Dhewanthi, stated that the energy sector's emissions are still projected to increase in order to meet the domestic energy demand. "Indonesia, in terms of energy consumption per capita, is still far below that of average middle-income countries," she noted in a statement on Tuesday.

If the energy sector still contributes to emissions in the future, then the forestry sector can already reduce emissions first to achieve a balance between various sectors in Indonesia, Dhewanthi noted.


Stimulating forestry sector green investment
Agus Justianto, Director General of Sustainable Forest Management, Ministry of Environment and Forestry said the Ministry (KLHK) supports growth in green investment in the forestry sector which promises profits for investors as well as positive impacts on environmental and social management. He said "green investment is not only oriented to get financial returns but also produces social and environmental impacts in a sustainable manner".

One of the efforts to stimulate growth of green investment in the forestry sector is optimising the economic value of carbon (Carbon Pricing). Carbon pricing arrangements in the work area of Forest Utilisation Permits (PBPH) are guided by Presidential Regulation Number 98 of 2021 and Minister of Environment and Forestry Regulation Number 21 of 2022.


Indonesia braces for forest fires amid El Nino
Indonesia is bracing for the possibility of widespread forest and land fires this year as scientists predict the return of the El Nino weather phenomenon in the second half of 2023.

Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman, Abdul Muhari, said cases of forest and land fires dropped significantly over the past three years because of the La Nina weather phenomenon which resulted in more rainfall.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said there are signs that the warm weather phenomenon El Nino will be back this year.


Social forestry permits benefit 1.2 million families
Since it was implemented in 2016 the area of Social Forestry Permits as of May 2023 reached 5.5 million hectares comprising over 8,000 units for approximately 1.2 millinon heads of families.

The Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, emphasised that the Social Forestry Programme is one of the national strategic programmes.

She added "By the end of 2025 we aim to have at least 70% of the target of 12.7 million hectares achieved. It is an ideal target that must be completed." Minister Siti said she would continue to innovate in strengthening the social forestry programme, especially on institutional/group aspects, including the application of a GIS shareholding concept which would reinforce the boundaries for each area.


Through the eyes of industry
The latest GTI report lists the challenges identified by the private sector in Indonesia.



  Timber exports closed 2022-23 at US$139 million
For the 2022-23 fiscal year ending on 31 March 2023 timber export earned US$139 million including US$4 million from the border trade according to data released by Ministry of Commerce. In fiscal 2021-22 timber exports were US$128 million.

After the military took power in 2021 logging was suspended but it is widely anticipated that harvesting will resume this year with a harvesting target lower than the annual allowable cut (AAC). Although there were no freshly harvested logs traded because of the logging suspension exports were maintained as manufacturers used logs stockpiled believing (wrongly) that products from old logs would be exempted from EU and US sanctions.

Thailand cut power supply to border town
According to the Thai Nation newspaper Thailand’s Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) cut the power supply to two small regions of southeastern Myanmar at the request of the military administration. The media claim the primary concern was activities in Shwe Kokko, a notorious gambling hub and centre for online scam operations.

The other region affected by the power cut was Lay Kay Kaw a town in Karen State around 30 minutes drive from the Myawaddy-Mae Sot border. Law Kay Kaw was developed with the support of Japan’s Nippon Foundation in 2015 to house refugees relocated from the series of camps dotted along the Thailand-Myanmar border.

Rupee will be applied for the trade with India
India has urged Myanmar's administration to speed up the process of trade settlements through mutual currencies, a mechanism that was earlier agreed. A delegation of Indian exporters met Myanmar's trade minister U.Aung Naign Oo, who is on a visit to India and raised the issue.

Myanmar, which is facing shortages of foreign exchange reserves, announced last year that it would soon start accepting Indian rupees, along with Thai baht and China's renminbi as official settlement currency to cut its dependence on the U.S. dollar.

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In related news the Myanmar administration has made it mandatory for exporters and importers to use the Chinese yuan in trade transactions with China. The order, issued on 1 June requires traders to open yuan accounts in local banks if they want permits for cross-border transactions.

Traders applying for import licenses must submit proof that they have Chinese currency in their bank accounts, which they can obtain either from export earnings or by purchase from a local bank. Previously, both US dollars and yuan were permitted for use in border trade with China.

See - )


 Indian plywood demand forecast
According to IMARC Group’s latest report, “India Plywood Market: Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast FY 2023 to FY 2028”, the India plywood market reached INR208.5 billion in FY 2022-23. IMARC expects the market to reach INR306.5 Billion by FY 2028-29.

The expanding construction industry, the emerging trend of urbanisation and consumer preference for plywood for structural purposes are driving the India plywood market.
In addition, the launch of several government policies including the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, DDA Housing Scheme, NTR Housing Scheme, for example, promote the expansion of housing projects and support demand for plywood.


National policy needed to drive green development
In a press release CREDAI offered suggestions for a national policy to help create green development in India.

CREDAI has put together a policy framework that could help drive both demand for and supply of green development projects in India.

Identifying successful state level policies that have enabled green development CREDAI recommends a standard national policy framework which would include:

 Increase in Floor Space Index (FSI) or Floor Area Ratio (FAR) in urban planning and architecture to measure land use intensity.

Different State policies have allowed for higher FSI/ FAR for developers in the case of Green certified projects. Allowing a higher FSI will incentivize developers which will also lead to higher value creation overall.

 Fast track/ Single Window Environmental Clearance

Facilitating a single window clearance will lead to lower costs and compliances and enhance the turnaround time for building green projects.

 Fee Waivers and Subsidies for MSME Developers

In certain states, there is also a provision to provide subsidies/reimbursements on amount paid to the plant or on fixed capital investment. This should be replicated across the country as it will provide substantial financial benefits which will also have a positive impact on project costs and housing prices.

 Concessional Interest Rates from Financial Institutions

Green building projects should be eligible for financial assistance in the form of concessional rates from all financial institutions, including Banks to provide a more conducive financial system that can enable and incentivise developers.

On the occasion of World Environment Day, CREDAI announced that its developer members had undertaken more than 55 green projects totalling 32 million square feet with the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) under CREDAI’s ‘Green Crusaders’ Programme. These projects are part of CREDAI’s commitment towards developing 4,000 green projects by 2030.


Monsoon tree planting
The Uttar Pradesh Forest Department will produce 480 million saplings to achieve the target of planting 350 million trees this year in the monsoon season as a part of the state government’s annual plantation drive. Over 400 million saplings have been raised already and the rest will be ready before June. The nurseries are managed by government departments and include a few private nurseries.



 Wood and wood products (W&WP) trade highlights
According to the General Department of Customs May 2023 W&WP exports were worth an estimated at US$1.2 billion, up 10% compared to April 2023 but down 14% compared to May 2022.

WP exports were US$801 million, up 3% compared to April 2023 but down 16% compared to May 2022. Over the first 5 months of 2023 W&WP exports totalled at US$5.1 billion, down 27% over the same period in 2022. In particular exports wood products at an estimated at US$3.4 billion were down 34% over the same period in 2022.

 Vietnam's imports of logs and sawnwood in May 2023 amounted to 500,900 cu.m, equivalent to US$180.3 million, up 51% in volume and 50% in value compared to April 2023 but compared to May 2022, down 13% in volume and 22% in value.

Over the first 5 months of 2023 imports of wood raw material were recorded at 1.6 million cu.m, worth US$579.2 million, down 31% in volume and 35% in value over the same period in 2022.

 Vietnam's exports of NTFPs have been increasing for the first four months in 2023 reaching US$70.0 million in May 2023, up 12% compared to April 2023 but down 0.3% compared to May 2022.

 W&WP exports to the EU in May 2023 stood at US$33.6 million, down 39% compared to May 2022. In the first 5 months of 2023 W&WP exports to the EU were estimated at US$206.6 million, down 34% year-on-year.

 W&WP exports to Australia in May 2023 were estimated at US$10.3 million, down 37% compared to May 2022. In the first 5 months of 2023 exports of wood and wood products to Australia were estimated at US$46 million, down 43% year-on-year.

Exporters of wood products face many difficulties
Vietnam’s W&WP trade is not expected to increase unless the global economy regains growth momentum and consumer demand in key markets recovers. In spite of the cloudy situation, Vietnamese wood processors and traders forecast better trends in late 2023 - early 2024 when inflation prevailing in many economies will be controlled and the Russia-Ukraine conflict may end.

Topping export turnover in the first 4 months of 2023 were wooden-frame seats with an export value of US$831.5 million, down 32% over the same period in 2022, followed by wood chips US$691.7 million, up 2%; living and dining room furniture US$644.4 million, down 43%; wood-based and panels and floorings, US$501.6 million, down 28%; bedroom furniture, US$478.8 million, down 33%.

W&WP exports in April and the first 4 months of 2023
Except for Japan W&WP exports to key markets experience a sharp turndown in the first four months of 2023. The US market, as the leading market, consumed over US$2.0 billion, down 40% year-on-year; Japan is the second market with US$556 million, up 1.8%; China, US$481.2 million, down 11%; Korea, US$273.5 million, down 23%; EU, US$151.6 million, down 42%.

Vietnamese wood exports declined in first five months
The export of wood and wooden products continued a downward in early 2023 with export values hitting US$5.1 billion to mark a year-on-year fall of 27%.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, May alone witnessed the nation’s export value of wood and wooden products stand at an estimated US$1.2 billion, up by 10% against April but down by 14% against May 2022.

Most notably, May saw exports of wooden products reach US$801 million, up 3% on-month but down by 16% on-year. Wooden furniture represented the key export item accounting for 60% of total exports of wood and wood products.

Throughout the January to May period the export value of wooden furniture fell sharply by 38% against the same period from last year due to slowing global demand. High inflation across the world has forced consumers to tighten their spending as they seek to decrease demand for non-essential goods such as wood products.

Those factors have led to Vietnamese export value of wood and wooden products plunging during the reviewed period.


Imports falling
In the first 5 months of 2023, the imports of logs and sawnwood amounted to 1.6 million cu.m, worth US$579.2 million, down 31% in volume and 36% in value over the same period in 2022.

In the first 4 months of 2023 imports of raw wood from major markets, such as the EU, Cambodia, China, the US, Thailand, Laos, Chile, New Zealand and Brazil dropped down against the same period in 2022. At the same time, the imports from some other markets, such as Malaysia, Angola, Indonesia, Canada and Namibia increased.

The raw wood imports from the EU markets amounted to 15% of total imported volume, contributing 190,600 cu.m, worth US$58.2 million, down 18% in volume and 21% in value over the same period in 2022.

From Cameroon imports decreased year-on-year by 4% in volume and 2% in value and were 169,300 cu.m, worth US$73.2 million, accounting for 13% of the total imports.

Imports from the China fell by 33% in volume and 40% in value against the same period in 2022, amounted to 157,600 cu.m, worth US$76 million, a 13% share of total imports.

In addition, the import volume of raw wood from some other markets decreased against the same period in 2022. In particula imports from the US dropped by 5%, Thailand by 25%, Laos by 17%, Chile by 29%, New Zealand by 25%, Brazil by 59% and Congo by 17%.

In contrast, imports of raw wood from Malaysia increased by 68% in volume and 24% in value over the same period in 2022, reaching 27,400 cu.m, worth US$7.2 million, accounting for 2% of total imports.

In addition, imports of raw wood into Vietnam from some other markets in the first 4 months of 2023 showed an increase compared to the same period in 2022: from Angola increased by 10%; Indonesia by 75%; Canada by 3%, Namibia by 36%, Equatorial Guinea by 45% and Mozambique by 19%.

Vietnam’s log and sawnwood imports by source and species
In the first 4 months of 2023 imports of major species such as pine, tali, poplar, oak, doussi/pachi, padouk and eucalyptus declined year-on-year. Conversely, import volumes of some other species increased, namely ash, rubberwood, mukulungu, walnut, lagerstromia, menghundor and douglas fir.

Pine, as the top species imported, accounted for 11% of total imported raw wood in the first 4 months of 2023, reaching 142,500 cu.m, worth US$31.7 million, down 51% in volume and 61% in value over the same period in 2022.

Tali/okan imports decreased by 18% in volume and 173% in value over the same period in 2022, reaching 141,900 cu.m, valued at US$58.6 million and contributing 11% of total imports.

Poplar imports dropped by 16% in volume and 27% in value year-on-year, accounting for 80,500 cu.m, valued at US$33.4 million.

In addition, imports volume of some other species decreased compared with the same period in 2022, such as doussie by 40%, padouk by10%, eucalyptus by 72%, teak by 26% and sapele by 17%.

Conversely, imports of ash in the first 4 months of 2023 surged by 5% in volume and 18% in value over the same period in 2022, reaching 127,200 cu.m, worth US$32.8 million, accounting for 10% of total imported raw wood.

Forecast W&WP trade
In the first 5 months of 2023, Vietnam's W&WP exports plummeted by 27% over the same period in 2022 with an export value of US$5.1 billion. The reason behind the serious downturn in W&WP exports is recession of the global economy leading to the weakened market demand.

There are signs of recovery but the W&WP markets will barely recover. Moreover, increasing concerns on the EUDR will trigger new technical and environmental barriers to the W&WP trade. In addition, China's reopening has also doubled the competition in Vietnam's W&WP export markets. Apparently, in both the short term and long term, these factors will continue impacting the Vietnamese wood industry sector.

Besides the decline of export orders the serious drop of export prices also exposes another factor worsening the export turnover of W&WP made in Vietnam. On the other hand, Vietnam, as a big importer, can hardly maintain the normal level of wood imports with the weakened W&WP demands for both domestic use and export.


 Law on carbon credit trading in public forests
The law No. 14.590/23, published in the official gazette, changes the rules of public forest management through concessions. The law allows the trade in carbon credits and the exploitation of biodiversity in the granted concession area which until now was prohibited.

According to the law, the public notice of the concession for the utilisation of forests may include the right to commercialise carbon credits and other similar instruments for the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.

Non-timber forest products and services may also be the object of forest concession management. The new law also allows the concessionaire of public forests to unify forest management activities in contiguous areas of lands in protected areas.

The new law also provides for:

 The Brazilian Forestry Service (SFB) preparation of the Multi-Year Plan for Forest Granting (PPAOF) with a duration of four years containing the set of public forests to be granted in the period in which it is in force;
 The absolute reserve area (area within the concession that cannot be exploited) may be located around the conservation unit ( buffer zone ). In this way, the entire concession area is free for the concessionaire's use in accordance with the contract;
 The granting authority may call the remaining bidders for the public forest concession in order of classification when the concession contract is terminated. The new concessionaire must accept the terms of the previous contract;
 The bidding notice for the public forest must provide for civil liability insurance against any damage caused to the environment or to third parties, in addition to a guarantee to cover the default of contractual obligations.

Source: Agência Câmara de Notícias

Leaves from Amazon tree could replace mercury in gold recovery
Research conducted by the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) has shown that bio-extraction obtained through use of the leaves of pau-de-balsa (Ochroma pyramidale), a tree native to the Amazon, may be a viable and sustainable alternative to replace mercury in gold recovery.

A new research stage will study which formulations of bio-extractors can be competitive with mercury. The study will be coordinated by Embrapa Forests, in Paraná State in partnership with other research institutions.

The first phase of the research, carried out in 2020, focused on the chemical characterisation of the pau-de-balsa leaves. In 2023 a new stage of the study will begin which will be conducted in partnership with a mine in the Peixoto de Azevedo Region, in Mato Grosso State.

Various bio-extraction formulations will be evaluated for their efficiency in recovering gold from alluvial ore. The bio-extractor that performs best will be adjusted to further improve extraction. The extraction efficiency will be compared to the traditional process through amalgamation with mercury. In addition, toxicity and cytotoxicity analyses will be carried out.

The pau-de-balsa tree is fast growing and contributes to improve the development of secondary forests and can be used in forest restorations. In the case of the adoption of the pau-de-balsa leaves for gold recovery the idea is that it will be associated with the use of the species for the recovery of land affected by mining.


Timber export control for Brazilian wood
According to a Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) Timber Management Analytical Report the most exported species for use in the design and architectural sectors are: ipê (Handroanthus), cumaru (Dipteryx odorata), garapa (Apuleia leiocarpa) and jatobá (Hymenaea courbaril).

According to IBAMA's 2022 report the European Union is the largest buyer of Brazilian wood products taking around 143,000 cu.m worth about R$1 billion followed by the United States with a purchase of almost 83,000cu.m also worth about R$1 billion.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) regulates the process of exporting and importing fauna and flora. According to IBAMA some of the most exported plant species in Brazil are already listed in CITES Appendix II. These are Dipteryx odorata and Handroanthus serratifolius (yellow ipê). Others are in the MMA Ordinance No. 443/2014 (List of Brazilian flora species threatened with extinction), such as Araucaria augustifolia, Apuleia leiocarpa and Mezilaurus itauba.

To ensure legality the first step is to know the origin of the wood. Although it is difficult to know the true origin of the material, the Brazilian Association of Interior Designers (ABD) advises checking the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label, in addition to the Forest Origin Document (DOF) of IBAMA.

According to IBAMA there are a series of norms that regulate the procedures for authorising the export of wood products and by-products from native timber species.

Among these are the Normative Instruction IBAMA No. 8/2022 and Normative Instruction No. 17/2021 which aim to control the export of wood from natural forests.

Normative Instruction No. 21/2014, established the National System for the Control of the Origin of Forest Products (SINAFLOR) to control the origin of wood, charcoal and other forest products and by-products. There is also Decree No. 3.607/2000 which deals with the implementation of CITES. There is also Ordinance No. 8/2022, which established the Brazil Single Consent Platform (PAU Brazil) under IBAMA.

Finally, SECEX Ordinance No. 19/2019, which conrols export licenses, permits and certificates (LPCO) through the Foreign Trade Single Portal of the Integrated Foreign Trade System (Siscomex).


Pará state teak exported to India
India is the main importer of teak roundwood (Tectona grandis) produced from reforested areas. These forests help to recover degraded land, create employment, generate foreign exchange and generate income for municipalities and for the State of Pará.

The State of Pará is the main exporter of wood products from native timber species and exports of wood products from reforestated areas have been growing.

According to the Association of Timber Exporting Industries of the state of Pará (AIMEX), in the first four months of the year timber exports from reforestation represented the third most valuable product with more than 28,000 tonnes exported worth US$4.9 million with India as the main destination.

Teak was introduced to Brazil in the 1960s and the first plantations began in the Pará State in the 1990s.

Currently, Brazil has the largest planted area in Latin America with more than 90,000 hectares of teak plantations spread over the States of Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia, Acre, Goiás, Minas Gerais, among others. Mato Grosso and Pará States account for more than 90% of the planted teak area in the country.


Through the eyes of industry
The latest GTI report lists the challenges identified by the private sector in Brazil.



 ADEX requests change to forestry legislation
According to the president of the Timber and Timber Industry Committee of the Association of Exporters (ADEX), Erik Fischer Llanos, while there is a regulatory framework that aims for best forest practices the legislation, in effect, limits the competitiveness of the sector.

Fischer suggested it necessary to open a debate with the Legislative Branch to modify the appropriate laws in support the forestry sector which generated 27,337 jobs during 2022, being the third largest activity that generated the most employment for every million dollars in exports.

One of the modifications would be Article 46 of the Forestry Law which establishes the verification of 100% of the species included in CITES the deadlines for which result in a considerable administrative and financial burden.

Fischer considered necessary the promulgation of laws with a technical basis, taking account of reality and taking into account social needs so as to promote productivity in the sector.

In addition, Fischer indicated the Association was in favor of the Bill whose purpose is to modify the Law for the Promotion of Investment in the Amazon with the aim of specifying that the commercialisation of carbon credits (bonds) generated in Emission Reduction projects derived from the Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), ecosystem services, must be included in the scope of Law No. 27037.


Indigenous people to manage their own forest resources
In the fight against illegal logging, deforestation and timber trafficking in the Peruvian Amazon several indigenous communities in the Ucayali region strengthened their technical capacity to improve sustainable management of their forest resources.

Through the Intercultural Training Programme for Trainers in Community Forest Management (PIFFMFC) leaders and members of the native communities benefitted from training that will allow them to manage their own forest resources.

This initiative was promoted by the National Forest and Wildlife Service (SERFOR) and was supported by WWF Peru, the Ucayali Wildlife Forest Management (GERFFS-U), the Aidesep Ucayali Regional Organisation (ORAU) and the Union Region of the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon (URPIA). The results of this training will be assessed with the expectation that the leaders will implement what they have learned and put the necessary systems into practice.

OSINFOR promotes good practices to improve forest management
Timber concessionaires and holders of forest permits on private land in the Loreto Region strengthened their capacity to carry out sustainable management in their forest areas during a workshop held in Iquitos, Loreto.

A group of OSINFOR trainers explained to 29 attendees including holders of qualifying titles, regents and representatives of timber concessions and forestry permits what are the commitments they accept when the State grants them qualifying titles and obligations they must comply with to avoid falling into forest violations.

During the workshop the relevance of meeting the necessary commitments to obtain a certificate of compliance was discussed. The imposition of penalties for forestry and wildlife violations was also explained.

Model to combat corruption in the forestry sector
On May 25, 2023the National Forestry and Wildlife Service (SERFOR), Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation (MIDAGRI), signed an Act of Commitment for the Implementation of an Integrity Model through a General Management Resolution which approved the SERFOR 2023 Integrity Programme.

This action is part of SERFOR's commitment to promote the integrity of its officials and fight corruption. Advances have been made in the Integrity Model by approving the pertinent instruments to generate greater confidence. Through this it has been possible to address the negative perceptions detailed in the 2022 Integrity Report prepared by the Secretary of Public Integrity of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.

SERFOR committed to the fight against corruption by creating the Functional Integrity Unit (UFI) that reports to the General Management and is in charge of providing guidance and technical assistance to all the management units.





Source:ITTO'  Tropical Timber Market Report