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International Log & Sawnwood Prices
01 – 15th Aug 2023

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  Slowdown in Asian and Middle East markets
Gabon is currently in the dry season with no rain expected until the end of August. This favourable weather supports efficient harvesting activities. Producers report, while the availability of mill workers is not an issue, there have been reports of a shortage of technicians.

Milling operations and the import of spare parts are running without disruptions and there are sufficient log stocks, mainly in Okoume, to meet current demand. Mid-August holidays coincided with independence celebrations along with presidential and community elections in Gabon.

Containers are readily available and stuffing operations are running smoothly but rail transport is slow because priority is given to manganese exports, however, this has not created delays at the ports.

The authorities in Gabon are strictly enforcing truck weight limits which have meant a change in trucking of the heavy species.

Producers in Gabon say order levels are about normal but the slowdown in Asian and Middle East markets is noticeable.

Mills depend on log stocks during rain season
Cameroon is currently in its rain season which has lead to the usual slow-down in harvesting operations. Trucking logs from the forest is disrupted by poor road conditions but these challenges are the same as in every rain season. During the dry season log stocks were built up so mill operations are continuing.

Port operations at Douala port are said to be running normally but there are reports of issues because of expansion work at the Kribi Deep Seaport.

Order books good for the next two months in Congo
Producers in Congo report order levels are stable given that it is a quiet holiday period in the main markets but, because of the holidays, enquiry levels have dropped. Order books are good for the next two months.

Congo is in a dry period at present which favours harvesting. However, heavy rains in the north have caused delays in production and have disrupted transportation especially on the laterite roads.

Transport by rail is generally good with logs are being transported to Pointe Noire first by river to Brazzaville and then by rail to Pointe Noire. Operations in Pointe Noire are said to be normal and shipments are getting away on time.

Export market snapshot
China's demand for light weight timbers and okoume is reported as subdued. However, demand for belli remains stable and Ovangkol is still in high demand.

Demand in the Philippines has softened with buyers focusing on high quality timbers from mills providing quality sawnwood.

Okoume purchases in the Middle East are showing signs of a slowdown but analysts say landed stocks are adequate for now.

Demand in Europe is said to be stable with an encouraging and consistent demand for moabi and douka for the door and furniture industries.

Passenger services remain suspended on Transgabonais railway
Passenger transport on the Transgabonais railway has still not resumed. Passenger transport on the only railway line in the country was suspended by the government in April, following an incident on the Transgabonais route. The passenger rail service halted after a landslide between the stations of Offoué and Booué on 24 December 2022, however, the transport of goods resumed in February this year.


Electronic VAT invoicing planned in Gabon
The Ministry of the Economy in Gabon wants a solution for controlling electronic invoicing for value added tax (VAT) recovery. A call for expressions of interest has announced with the aim of recruiting a firm to provide the service.



 Exports to ECOWAS countries fall
Ghana exported a total of 101,997cu.m of wood products
during the first four months of 2023 which generated total
receipts of Eur45,473 million.

For the same period in 2022 total wood products totalled
102,615cu.m with a revenue of Eur43,174 million. This
illustrates that wood products export volumes in 2023
dropped by around 1% but revenue increased by 5%
compared to figures for the same period in 2022.

Total air-dried sawnwood exports up to April 2023 were
55,049cu.m which represented close to 54% of the total
export volume for the period. This volume, when
compared to the same period in 2022, registered a 15%
increase. Products that recorded significant decrease in
volumes in the period January to April 2023 included kilndried
sawnwood, plywood (included overland exports),
veneers and billets.

During the period under consideration nine ECOWAS
countries imported a total of 11,519cu.m which was 34%
lower compared to the 17,509cu.m recorded for the same
period in 2022.

In spite of the weak export performance the overall
average unit price (AUP) of wood products up to April
2023 was Eur384/cu.m, higher than that in the same period
in 2022 (Eur227/cu.m).

Countries that contributed to the higher AUP in early 2023
over 2022 included Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger and
Senegal. Ghana is the headquarters of the Africa
Continental Free Trade Area which seeks to promote trade
among countries on the continent.

France was the major importer of Ghana’s air-dried boules
accounting for 54% or 245cu.m and 53% (Eur186,309) of
the total export in early 2023 with Germany, Greece and
Italy accounting for the balance.

Ghana parliament passes Wildlife Resources
Management Bill

The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources for
Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio, on behalf of the
Sector Minister, Samuel A Jinapor, moved the motion for
the passing of the Wildlife Resources Management
(WRM) Bill 2022 after the third reading in Parliament.

The WRM Bill seeks to revise and consolidate all laws
relating to wildlife and protected areas and bring them in
line with existing policies and emerging trends in the
natural resources sector. The new legislation also aims to
ensure the effective implementation of the International
Conventions on Wildlife of which Ghana is a signatory.

The Bill gives legal backing to local communities in
wildlife management through the creation of Community
Resource Management Areas (CREMAs). It also
introduces higher penalties and sanctions for wildlife
offences, a harsh deterrent to protect wildlife resources.

In a statement published on the Ministry’s website the Government extended its appreciation and commendation to all its stakeholders and key actors for their inputs and support throughout the review process and final passage of the Bill into a new legislation.


Minister inaugurates 10-member COP 28 committee
The Minister for for Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR), Samuel A. Jinapor, has inaugurated a 10-member committee to plan and facilitate Ghana’s effective participation in the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference to be in Dubai 30 November to 12 December this year.

In his address the Minister said the government has assumed a leading role in discussions on climate change and there are expectations for the country to contribute immensely to the policy ideas and initiatives on the climate at COP28.

The Chairman of the committee, Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio, who is also the Deputy Minister for MLNR welcomed the challenge and assured that the committee will deliver professionally.

He also promised to provide the necessary leadership for Ghana to have a successful participation and to highlight the importance of COP28 for Ghana’s climate action plans. Ghana became the second African country after Mozambique to receive payments for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (carbon credits) from a World Bank trust fund.


World Bank ‘tree crop’ support
Ghana has secured a US$200 million loan facility from the World Bank to increase the production of tree crop commodities for export under a programme known as the ‘Tree Crop Diversification Project’.

The funding is expected to enable the Tree Crops Development Authority (TCDA) to undertake research and development of different varieties of tree crops including rubber.
The financial support would also go into strengthening institutional value chain governance, improving tree crop adaptation and climate change resilience and support post-harvest management and value addition. The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Bryan Acheampong, announced this in a speech read on his behalf during the launch of the 2023 International Coconut Festival.



 Aiming for top 30 in 10 years
The recently launched ‘Madani Economy Framework’ sets out six medium-term benchmarks that will lift the Malaysian economy to be among the world’s top 30 in less than 10 years from 37th in 2022.

This will be achieved by focusing on greater regionalisation and competitiveness, prioritising economic complexity and moving up the value chain.The main focus is on economic restructuring towards making Malaysia an economic leader in Asia.

This will involve Malaysia being in the top 12 in the Global Competitiveness Index, employees’ compensation to reach 4% cent of the gross domestic product, women’s participation in the workforce at 60%, top 25 in the United Nations Human Development Index, top 25 best score in the Corruption Perception Index and fiscal sustainability with the fiscal deficit being 3% or less.


Raw material and labour shortages in plywood sector
A Sabah based manufacturer Eksons Corp has exited its loss-making core plywood manufacturing operations. The plywood operations were stopped in January this year due to the constant challenge in the availability of logs and workers.

Prolonged log and foreign labour shortages have forced many timber companies in both Sarawak and Sabah to either shut down their plywood plants or scale down production.


Promoting added value bamboo industries
The Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) is committed to promoting high income timber and bamboo industries in Sarawak to produce high value-added products.

The Sarawak government is targeting around 10,000 hectares of commercial bamboo plantations and 1,640 hectares of community plantations, said Premier Abang Johari Tun Openg. So far, a total of 2,760 hectares of commercial bamboo plantations and 59 hectares of community plantations have been developed throughout Sarawak.

Amended Forestry Act to protect tigers
The forestry laws in Perak should be amended in accordance with the National Forestry Act to protect the Malayan tiger, says Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad. He said this at the World Tiger Day celebration at Belum Rainforest Resort adding that the Federal Government will continue to work with the Perak State government to amend its laws in accordance with the National Forestry Act.


New General Manager for STIDC
Zainal Abidin Abdullah, 54, has taken over as Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation General Manager. He is also the Malaysian Timber Council chairman. Zainal, who has over 30 years of experience in the forestry and timber sectors, brings extensive knowledge in strategic planning for the development of the sectors in consonance with national policies.

He started his career as a forest officer for the Sarawak Forest Department in 1992 and was seconded to Sarawak Forestry Corporation. He held several positions at SFC before becoming deputy general manager in June 2018.



 August export benchmark prices
August Export Benchmark Prices (HPE) as determined by Decree 1303 of 2023 from the Minister of Trade Number have been published.

The new HPE are for veneers packing boxes, wood in chips or particles and sawn timber with a cross-sectional area of 1,000 sq. mm to 4,000 sq. mm of merbau and teak.

The following is a list of Timber HPE for August 2023

Processed wood which is leveled on all four sides so that the surface becomes even and smooth from Merbau wood (Intsia sp) with a cross-sectional area of more than 4,000 to 10,000 (ex.4407.29.91 and ex.4407.29.92) US$1,500/cu.m.


Acacia dominated log production in 2022
Statistics Indonesia (BPS) has reported that in 2022 Indonesia produced 64.65 million cubic metres of logs and that acacia was the largest contributor to log production in 2022.

The total volume of acacia production was 49% of the total national log production or 31.54 million cubic metres. Second was mixed tropical hardwood at 26.10 million cubic metres (40% of total production). The others were meranti, ebony and other types of wood contributing less than 10% of national log production.

The BPS also stated that log production is distributed across all islands in Indonesia. The island of Sumatra recorded the largest log production at 43.5 million cubic metres, or 67% of total log production, followed by Kalimantan which contributed 17% of log production. Production in Java was just over 18 million cubic metres or around 15% of national production.


Indonesia, Malaysia, EU task force on deforestation regulation meets for first time
The first meeting of the Indonesia/Malaysia/EU Ad Hoc Joint Task Force (JTF) on the European Union Deforestation-Free Regulation (EUDR) was convened in early August and was co-chaired by Deputy Minister for Food and Agribusiness at the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs of Indonesia, Musdhalifah Machmud; Secretary General, Ministry of Plantation and Commodities of Malaysia, Dato’ Mad Zaidi bin Mohd Karli; and Director for Green Diplomacy and Multilateralism and for the European Commission, Astrid Schomaker.

The co-chairs underscored their aim is to seek common interests between producers and consumers of plantation. The Ad Hoc JTF will establish a dialogue and relevant work streams led by the respective governments to build mutual understanding on the implementation of the regulation.

The meeting also agreed to the terms of reference for the Ad Hoc JTF which includes work on issues such as inclusivity of smallholders in the supply chain, relevant national certification schemes (land legality and cut-off date for deforestation), traceability from producer to end-consumer, scientific data on deforestation and forest degradation and protection of data. The Ad Hoc JTF will conclude its work by the end of 2024, its term could be extended upon mutual agreement.



Minister - Concerns on EUDR country risk categorisation
Indonesia's Trade Minister, Zulkifli Hasan, has said the EUDR will hamper trade and has the potential to be discriminatory. Indonesia has always been the EU's source palm oil, wood, rubber and cattle. In 2022 Indonesia's export to the EU amounted to almost US$7,000,000 from around 8 million small farmers. Concerning the discrimination potential the minister said that the EUDR provides for countries to be categorised based on risks.

Indonesia has conducted efforts to oppose the EUDR mainly through multilateral forums in WTO Committees such as the Committee on Agriculture, Council for Trade in Goods, Committee on Market Access and Committee on Trade on Environment.


Small-holder union to help farmers comply with EU deforestation law
Indonesia’s smallholder union (SKPS) has established a foundation to help farmers comply with the EUDR. The aim is to support forest conservation and responsible deforestation-free practices that improve the welfare of smallholder farmers and rural communities.

Mansuetus Alsy Hanu, Secretary-General of SKPS said that the launch of the foundation was timely as oil palm smallholders need support to cultivate their crops while protecting forests. Smallholders have expressed concern that they will be unable to meet the requirements of the newly introduced EUDR which requires farmers to provide evidence that their crop was not grown on recentlt deforested land.

The foundation will provide both monetary and non-monetary support to farmers including how to follow deforestation-free and sustainable best practices. These include establishing traceability of products, recognition of customary forests and the processing and marketing of non-timber forest products.


Minister of Trade meets the EU-ABC delegation
The Minister of Trade, Zulkifli Hasan, received a visit from a Delegation of the European Union-Asean Business Council (EU-ABC). At the meeting the Minister encouraged collaboration between governments and business players from Indonesia and the European Union to enhance trade and investment relations, as well as optimise bilateral economic potential.

The Minister also held discussions with the delegation regarding trade policies such as exports and imports, electronic commerce (e-commerce) and international trade.

In addition, the development of the ongoing Indonesia-EU CEPA (European Union Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) negotiations was also discussed.



Indonesia and UK strengthen collaboration
The Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto recently met with British Minister for Energy and Net Zero Security, Graham Stuart, to bolster collaboration between producer countries and consumers of plantation commodities through the Forest Agriculture, Commodities and Trade (FACT) Dialogue.

The meeting addressed issues related to trade in agricultural commodities between Indonesia and the UK, small farmers and certification, trade commitments in the agricultural sector and climate change issues.

Hartarto said it is important for the UK to understand and fully acknowledge national sustainability standards to create conditions for improved market access for sustainably produced products in the UK. He also emphasised Indonesia's various commitments in trading agricultural commodities and addressing climate change, including the country's efforts towards sustainable plantation.

The cooperation between the two countries in legally and sustainably managing timber and wood products is demonstrated by the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade - Voluntary Partnership Agreement (FLEGT - VPA) which has been in effect since December 2018.


Agreement on carbon trading
The Financial Services Authority (OJK) and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) agreed to expand cooperation regarding carbon trading as mandated by the Financial Sector Development and Strengthening Law (P2SK Law). This increase in cooperation was marked by the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) by the Chairman of the OJK Board of Commissioners, Mahendra Siregar and KLHK Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar.

"This provides the legal basis for the exchange and use of carbon trading data through the National Registry System for Climate Change”. Siregar noted this is an important step and will lead to other collaborations in the field of human resources (HR), information exchange, promotion, outreach and roadshows throughout the country and overseas to inform the public and the market of the existence of Indonesia’s carbon stock exchange.

See :

Indonesia's environmental management applauded
Indonesia has received appreciation from a number of countries regarding environmental and forestry management. This appreciation came on the sidelines of the G-20 Meeting in Chennai, India. The first appreciation came from Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault.

In a written statement the Canadian Minister congratulated Indonesia for starting to implement Carbon Economic Values. Furthermore, Guilbeault offered cooperation in the exchange of information and knowledge in the application of carbon emission trading and carbon economic values.

Indonesia also received appreciation from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This appreciation was provided at a bilateral meeting between Minister Siti and the UNEP Executive Director, Inger Andersen. Andersen said UNEP especially appreciates Indonesia's leadership in dealing with environmental issues related to deforestation, lake management, reducing mercury through the Minamata Convention and handling plastic waste.


Sanctions on exporters violating foreign exchange regulations
The government will impose sanctions on exporters who fail to comply with the regulations concerning foreign exchange from export earning from natural resources. Provisions on the imposition and revocation of administrative sanctions for violating the regulation concerning natural resources have been outlined in the Finance Ministry's Regulation No.73 of 2023.

If Bank Indonesia finds exporters are violating the export earnings regulation then it will send notices to the Directorate General of Customs which will impose administrative sanctions on the exporters. The sanctions will take the form of export services suspension.


Importance of down-streaming in boosting the economy
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has reiterated that down-streaming efforts in various sectors constitute crucial measures to boost the economy, both at the national and regional level.

He added that Indonesia would be able to become a developed country by fulfilling two conditions: optimising its demographic bonus to develop human resource quality and implementing the downstream policy in various industries. The government has been down-streaming nickel which has resulted in an increase in the employment rate in Southeast Sulawesi and North Maluku.



  New Myanmar currency note
After the issuing of a new 20,000 Kyat currency note in the last week of July the exchange rate jumped from 3,000 to 3,250 to the US dollar during the first week of August. Before the new note was issued Myanmar had currency notes in 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000 Kyat. About 18 months ago the government decided not to go ahead with the 20,000 Kyat note but changed direction on this.

Weakening Kyat a challenge in loan repayment
During the second week of August the Kyat weakened to Kyat3400-3500/ US$ and the media suggested this decline is related to the repayment of loan of US$400 Million the Export Import Bank of China and also to the decision of UOB bank of Singapore’s suspension of acting with Myanmar bank counterparts, according to Mizzima News.

The ruling State Administration Council and the cooperative societies are reportedly having difficulty in repaying this dollar denominated loan as the dollar exchange rate jumped to 3,400 Kyats against the dollar. The US dollar exchange rate was around 1,000 Kyat when the Cooperative Ministry borrowed this US$400 million.


UOB cuts ties with counterpart banks in Myanmar
It has been reported that UOB bank of Singapore will end its correspondent bank relationships with banks in Myanmar, a move that could significantly limit Myanmar’s access to the global financial system.

It is reported that UOB indicated to the banks in Myanmar that it would restrict all incoming and outgoing payments to and from Myanmar accounts allowing funds to be moved only between accounts held with the bank.

UOB also announced tough new curbs on Visa card and Mastercard transactions for Myanmar individuals and banks which would restrict their dealings only to accounts within UOB.

The new UOB framework will reportedly begin 1 September this year. Financial sector commentators are bracing for similar action by two of Singapore's other big banks , OCBC and DBS.


Extension of State Emergency
The state television has reported a 31 July meeting of Myanmar’s National Defence and Security Council (NDSC) where a decision was taken to extend the state of emergency and the term of the administration for another six months.

The military administration has already extended the state of emergency three times, each for six months, with the latest extension marking the fourth. The military drafted constitution allows only two six-month extensions and it requires the authorities to hold elections within six months of a state of emergency being lifted.



It is with deep sadness we announce the passing, at the age of 92, of Ramkrishna Tulsidas Somaiya the ITTO correspondent for India for many years. Our deepest condolences are extended to the Somaiya family.

Ramkrisna was once Chairman of the Plywood and Allied Products Panel of Chemicals and Allied Products Export Promotion Council and Vice-Chairman of Capexil for the Western Region.

He was also President of All India Timber Importers Association, Committee Member of the Timber Development Association of India, the All India Wood Products Exporters Association, Member of the Indian Society of Foresters, Indian Academy of Wood Science and the Bombay Timber Merchants Association. He was an active member of the Teaknet steering committee and of the ITTO Trade Advisory Group.

The Teaknet website has an extended obituary at:


  Wood and wood product (W&WP) trade highlights
In July 2023 Vietnam’s W&WP exports are estimated at US$1.1 billion, up 0.9% compared to June 2023 and down 16% compared to July 2022. In particular, WP exports accounted for US$760 million, up 1.3% compared to June 2023, but 10% compared to July 2022. Over the first 7 months of 2023 W&WP exports were recorded at US7.2 billion, down 27% over the same period in 2022.

The WP exports contributed US$4.9 billion, down 30% year-on-year.

Pine imports in June 2023 reached 69,000 cu.m, worth US$15.4 million, up 1.5% in volume and 11% in value compared to May 2023. Compared to June 2022 pine imports decreased by 35% in volume and 49% in value. In the first 6 months of 2023, pine imports amounted to 279,400 cu.m, worth US$61.1 million, down 44% in volume and 57% in value over the same period in 2022.

Vietnam's exports of rattan, bamboo and other non-wood forest products (NTFPs) in June 2023 recorded the highest level over the past 1 year, reaching US$68,135 million, up 10% compared to May 2023 and up 9.5% compared to June 2022. After 9 consecutive months of decline this is the first month that the NTFP exports increased year-on-year. Over the first 6 months of 2023 Vietnam's NTFP exports totalled US358 million, down 25% over the same period in 2022.

Export orders tilt higher as buying for year end begins
The volatility and unpredictability in global markets challenged for many industries including woodworking but offered opportunities to diversify according to experts.

The Department of Forestry reported that forestry product exports amounted to an estimated US$6.42 billion in the first six months of the year, a 29% year-on-year decrease with wood and wood product exports dropping by 29% to US$5.96 billion.

A preliminary survey by the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City (HAWA) found that export orders fell by around 30% at the start of the year but began to recover in July ahead of the global market year-end furniture shopping season.

Speaking at the Vietnam Wood and Furniture Industry Forum held by HAWA in HCM City, Phạm Phú Ngọc Trai, chairman of Global Integration Business Consultants, said the current reduction in export orders is temporary and the furniture industry has considerable growth potential for the next five to ten years. Compared to global GDP that forecast growth of 3% this year the world furniture industry's compounded growth rate is expected to be 4.5%.

According to Statista Market Insights the world furniture market may reach US$766 billion in 2023 and is estimated to hit approximately US$932 billion by 2027.

Vietnam ranks among the world's five largest wooden furniture exporters underlining its solid internal resources.

Nguyễn Quốc Khanh, Chairman of HAWA shared a similar view stating that woodworking firms showcased their business integration initiative. During market downturns, businesses remained proactive by reorganising production and streamlining operations to reduce costs while also seeking support from trade promotion agencies to explore new markets.

Khanh pointed out a new trend in the woodworking industry, where significant furniture brands from Vietnam are expanding into promising export markets, notably super-rich countries in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia and Dubai with an eye on supplying products to new up-market real estate projects.

With the industry's internal strength and the return of orders the industry's export target for 2023 is considered attainable, said Khanh.

Experts at the forum emphasised the importance of businesses strengthening their internal resources to be prepared for orders to rebound in a recovering market and embrace green transformation to improve competitiveness.

Trai said Vietnamese businesses will face new demands such as the EU's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), effective from October 2023. Goods imported into the European market may incur additional costs if they fail to adopt a lower-emission production model and earn carbon credits.


Planted forests
Vietnam has significant reserves of planted forests which offer opportunities for domesic furniture enterprises to capitalise on the carbon credit market, said Trai.

Phạm Thị Ngọc Thủy, Director of the Private Economic Development Research Board, pointed out that challenges related to the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) and net-zero goal will push Vietnam's wood and forest product processing industry in a more positive direction, encouraging further outreach and attracting foreign investment.


Wood industry will struggle to achieve export target
The Import and Export Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade) quoted statistics from the General Department of Customs saying that in June 2023 the export of wood and wood products reached US$1.1 billion up 4% month on month but down 23% compared to June 2022.

In the first 6 months of 2023 exports of wood and wood products reached US$6.1 billion, down 28% over the same period in 2022. In which, the export of wood products reached US$4.1 billion, down 32% over the same period in 2022.

The recent global economic recession lead to a plummeting of orders. As a result Vietnam's exports of wood and wood products to major markets in the first half of 2023 dropped sharply.

Exports to the US accounted for 54% of the total export value of wood and wood products, reaching US$3.3 billion, down 33% compared to the same period in 2022.

The sharp decline of orders from the US makes the target of US$18 billion sales in 2023 unachievable.

According to the Import-Export Department recovery of the timber industries will depend on many factors including the stability of the global economy, especially the key export markets for wood and wood products such as USA and EU and with promoting export support measures and exploiting market expansion opportunities.

Speaking at a meeting Mr. Ngo Sy Hoai, Vice President and Secretary General of the Vietnam Timber and Forest Products Association (VIFORES) said the wood industry in recent years has recorded high achievements and made a breakthrough to become one of the world's major exporters and wood processing centres. However, in the first half of 2023 exports of wood products dropped sharply.

The decline in exports of wood and wood products resulted from a steep drop in demand in some main markets such as the US due to a drop in consumer purchasing power. In addition the wood industry has faced anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations since 2020 but, up to now, after seven reviews the US Department of Commerce has not yet issued a final decision.

However, according to Mr. Ngo Sy Hoai, the current difficulties are only temporary and global demand for wood products is still growing so there opportunities.

To limit the decline and maintain growth targets Mr. Ngo Sy Hoai suggested solutions are needed for Vietnamese products to have global brand recognition.

Vietnam has signed many FTAs such as VPA/FLEGT Agreement, also known as the Voluntary Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Vietnam on forest law enforcement, forest governance and trade in forest products.

Also, Vietnam entered into a bilateral agreement with the United States to address the complete removal of illegally harvested timber from the supply chain. At the same time it is effectively implementing the EU regulatioms.

A representative of the Vietnam Timber and Forest Products Association said that, at the national level, the solutions mainly focus on improving the business environment and enhancing the competitiveness of enterprises but more solutions are needed for Vietnamese wood to build their brand name in the global market.

The Vietnamese Government, businesses and the people of Vietnam have shaken hands to promote green growth and green development, contribute to the formation of a responsible wood industry and contribute to a reduction of global deforestation.

According to Mr. Ngo Sy Hoai, because of the order shortage many businesses have reduced the workforce and cut working hours so as to maintain a minimal level of production to wait for demand to recover.

With positive demand signals in the US market businesses must be well prepared to ramp up production.


 Timber sector in the spotlight in southern Brazil
The timber sector in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, one of Brazil's furniture hubs, is an important generator of jobs, income and taxes for the region and the sate. The timber industry makes a significant 4% contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the state.

The Union of Timber, Sawmills, Carpentry, Framing, Joinery, Furniture, Plywood and Veneer, Particleboard and Wood Fiber Sheets Industries SINDIMADEIRA – RS in the State of Rio Grande do Sul has highlighted the economic and social benefits the timber industry brings to the region, adding that it is crucial to find a balance between economic development and promoting sustainable practices to ensure the long-term preservation of natural forests.

The timber sector can attract investments, new businesses and boost research and innovation in the area, benefiting the local economy, workers and entrepreneurs involved.


Operations to combat environmental crimes in the Amazon
The State government of Pará is strengthening capacity, equipment and technology in the Public Security System to combat forest destruction and curb environmental crimes.

This initiative includes the mobilisation of security agents in strategic operations on waterways, on land and in the air. This is part of the operations called the "Curupira" and "Amazônia Viva".

In addition, there has been investment in equipping of the Public Security River Group (Grupamento Fluvial de Segurança Pública - Gflu) linked to the Secretariat of Public Security and Social Defense (Secretaria de Segurança Pública e Defesa Social - Segup) with the installation of the Integrated Public Security River Base "Antônio Lemos" in the Marajó island aimed at reducing deforestation and environmental crimes in the State.

Since the beginning of the operations, there have been significant seizures of timber, weapons and machinery and a strengthening of the commitment of the government of Pará to reduce deforestation and, above all, to advance in the preservation of the environment.


Global teak study
An international teak timber information network is conducting a global survey to analyse trade relations between teak exporting and importing countries.

Producers from about 80 countries that trade teak are participating in the study which is supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) through its Special Programme for Capacity Development (IUFRO-SPDC).

In Brazil, the coordination is under the responsibility of EMBRAPA Florestas (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation). The objective is to compile national level data without disclosing specific information on public entities or private companies. The study is a continuation of work carried out by FAO in 2012 and will update information on global teak resources and markets. The results will be published in 2024.

These results are expected to facilitate a better assessment of the importance of teak resources and the international teak trade providing policy makers and investors with a better understanding of the important role teak is playing today in providing raw material for industries and the contribution to national economies.


Expanding the border strip of the legal Amazon
The Brazilian Federal Government is debating the possibility of increasing the border strip between Brazil and its neighboring countries by approximately one hundred kilometers as a measure to protect the Legal Amazon. The Ministry of Justice and Public Security hopes that this expansion will allow the armed forces to work more effectively in the Amazon region.

Recently, the Amazon Plan - Security and Sovereignty (Amas) was launched, which aims to develop public security action in the states of the Legal Amazon (Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Pará, Roraima, Rondônia and Tocantins).

Thirty-four integrated bases will be set up by State and Federal Police. Funding for this plan, an amount of R$2 billion, will come from the National Public Security Fund and the Amazon Fund.



 Wood product exports fell in the first five months of 2023
The management of the Services and Extractive Industries section of the Association of Exporters (ADEX) has reported exports of wood products up to May of this year totalled US$46.3 million, considerably below (-30%) the US$66.4 million exported in the same period in 2022.

Of the amount exported, France was the major market accounting for 21% of exports but in the first five months sales dropped 15%. China was the second largest market accounting for 19% of wood product exports, however, in the first five months of this year exports were down almost 40%.

Mexico and the Dominican Republic were the third and fourth placed export destinations accounting for 15% and 11% respectively.

Semi-manufactured products earned US$20.1 million during the first five months of the year, down 30% year on year. The main market was France (48%) but export earnings were down 12% compared to the same period last year. The second most important market for semi-manufactured products was Belgium with a 13% share of the total followed by China with a 12% share.

During the first five months of the year the sawnwood subsector exported US$8.1 million, a decrease of 21% year on year. The three main destinations for sawnwood were China, the Dominican Republic and Mexico.

In the furniture and parts sub-sector, exports amounted to US$1.47 million but this was 23% less than in the same period of 2022. The main destination market was the US accounting for almost 60% of sub-sector sales but some 33% less than a year ago followed by Italy and Spain.

Reactivation of the Loreto wood manufacturing sector
Officials from the Economic Studies and Territorial Competitiveness Unit of the Ministry of Production and the Industry Directorate in the regional offices visited the Loreto region in the second half of July to assess progress in the wood processing centres and their impact.

The visit culminated in a meeting to coordinate action for the benefit of manufacturing businesses in the wood sector in the Loreto and Ucayali regions. Alex Ochoa Landa, Head of the Competitiveness Unit travelled to the native community of San Antonio de Pintuyacu - Alto Nanay where there is manufacturing of utilitarian and decorative items.

The regional specialist also participated in a meeting on the Exchange of Experiences and Identification of Investments for Optimisation, Marginal Expansion, Rehabilitation and Replacement (IOARR) programme related to wooden school furniture.

SERFOR – the shihuahuaco and tahuarí action plan
The National Forestry and Wildlife Service (SERFOR) continues with the implementation of the "Action plan for the proper implementation of the inclusion of the Shihuahuaco (Dipteryx genus) and Tahuarí (Handroanthus genus) in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)”.

For this it presented the Action Planto allied institutions such as the Forest and Wildlife Supervision Agency (OSINFOR), the Ministry of the Environment (MINAM) and the Ministry of Production (PRODUCE) as well as the Forestry Board which is led by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and brings together various public and private stakeholders in the forestry sector.

As a result of the meetings it was agreed that joint work plans with the technical teams of the General Directorate of Biological Diversity of MINAM and the Directorate of Supervision and Forest and Wildlife Inspection of OSINFOR should be prepared. SERFOR has consulted with universities in the design of training courses for the botanical and anatomical identification of both forest species.




Source:ITTO'  Tropical Timber Market Report