Sharp drop in sawnwood contract approvals
In the fourth quarter of 2015 the Timber Industry
Development Division (TIDD) processed and approved
export shipment contracts covering 120,642 cubic metres.
This was an almost 30% decline on the 172,124 cubic
metres approved for shipment in the third quarter.
Secondary wood products (mainly sawnwood) topped the
list of approved contracts in the fourth quarter followed by
primary products and tertiary products as shown below.
Primary product shipment comprised mainly teak
roundwood and fourth quarter shipments at 13,525 cu.m
were 93% higher than in third quarter 2015.
In the fourth quarter there was a sharp drop in shipments
of secondary products. This fall in approved contract
volumes was mainly due to a big drop in contracts for
sawnwood. However, export contracts for sliced veneer
improved (+42%) to 5,090 cu.m compared to the third
Export contract volume approvals for shipment of tertiary
products fell by 33% in the fourth quarter and this was put
down to the difficulty mills had in securing sawnwood for
further processing rather than weak demand.
Plywood dominates exports to regional markets
West African regional markets continued to be the major
outlet for Ghana¡¯s plywood. Out of the total volume of
19, 563 cu.m of plywood contracts approved, 98% in
terms of volume were for exports to regional markets.
Most contracts for tertiary products, including sliced
veneer and kiln dried sawnwood, were for European
markets while shipments of air dry sawnwood, especially
sawn rosewood and sawnwood of other high density
species such as apa, ekki and denya, were for the Chinese
The United States market continued as the major
destination for mahogany and cedrella sawnwood as well
as for rotary veneer. Markets in the Middle East and Egypt
emerged as a major destinations for backing grade veneer.
India continued to be the sole market for teak and gmelina
roundwood and sawnwood.
Prices for wood products remained unchanged as of 30
Weak ringgit - an advantage when
When speaking to the domestic press, United Business
Media (UBM) managing director M. Gandhi said
Malaysian furniture exporters will benefit when the Trans-
Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is ratified as this will
remove many hurdles to exports to the US, currently one
of the biggest buyers of Malaysian furniture.
In commenting on the impact of the depreciation of the
ringgit against the US dollar, Gandhi pointed out that this
is an advantage to exporters of wooden furniture as most
of the raw material inputs are locally produced and only
some accessories are imported such that the locally made
furniture has a high ringgit content while earnings are in
Alibaba and UBM join forces to create new
In related news, Alibaba¡¯s B2B business unit, including
Alibaba.com and 1688.com a leading platform for online
wholesale trade of the Alibaba Group, and UBM plc one
of the leading trade exhibition organisers, have announced
an alliance to unite the online and offline buying
The UBM-Alibaba.com collaboration will be tested at
MIFF 2016, the first UBM trade event in which the
Alibaba.com Trade Assurance Programme will be
introduced to test how Malaysian exporters can move
marketing beyond trade exhibitions.
The media release from UBM says ¡°Initially, the Trade
Assurance Programme was available only to China
businesses but will now be offered to Malaysian
manufacturers. Under the programme, Alibaba will
guarantee the quality of Malaysian products and guarantee
delivery times. In the case of complaints Alibaba will
compensate the purchaser. This would be especially
helpful for first-time buyers and will serve to introduce
more buyers to the Malaysian furniture market.¡±
Heart of Borneo project gets implementation
A total of 12 timber licensees within Sarawak¡¯s ¡®Heart of
Borneo¡¯ areas are now progressing towards forest
certification and are set to achieve this by 2017. The
Director of the state Forestry Department, Sapuan Ahmad,
said it is the policy of the state to ensure forest areas are
sustainably managed to international standards recognised
Ahmad explained that the state government has developed
a project implementation framework to secure of the
objectives of the Heart of Borneo project. The framework
has five elements: sustainable forest management, ecotourism,
sustainable agriculture, community-based/rural
poverty eradication and conservation of biodiversity.
The area under the Heart of Borneo extends over
approximately 20 million hectares of contiguous tropical
forests between Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei with 2
million falling within Sarawak and a further 6 million
Plywood export prices
Plywood traders in Sarawak reported export prices:
Floor base FB (11.5mm) US$580/cu.m FOB
Concrete formboard panels
CP (3¡¯ x 6¡¯) US$ 500/cu.m FOB
Coated formboard panels
UCP (3¡¯ x 6¡¯) US$ 580/cu.m FOB
S Korea (9mm and up) US$ 417/cu.m C&F
Taiwan (9mm and up) US$ 395/cu.m FOB
Hong Kong US$ 415 FOB/cu.m
Middle East US$380/cu.m FOB/cu.m
Sabah sawnwood trade data
The Statistics Department in Sabah has released 2015
sawnwood export data(including shipments to Peninsular
Malaysia). The volume exported in 2015 was less than in
In 2015, the value of sawnwood exports was RM
368,884,569 (approx. US$ 87.37 million) compared to
RMM 393,589,378 (approx. US$ 93.23 million) in
2014.The table below shows the top ten destinations for
Malaysian companies to participate in ¡®Indiawood
In a press release the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC)
has announced that Malaysian companies will be assisted
to participate in Indiawood 2016, a major woodworking
and wood products fair. The MTC says India has been
amongst the top three major export markets for Malaysia¡¯s
timber products since 2008, accounting for over RM1.5
billion in annual exports for the last three consecutive
MTC is providing an opportunity for four Malaysian
timber companies to join over 650 exhibitors from all over
the world to exhibit their designs and products at the
upcoming IndiaWood 2016. The four selected Malaysian
companies who will exhibit their products are Sri Ledang
Sdn Bhd, Desa KL Enterprise Sdn Bhd, Stanford-Dor
Marketing (M) Sdn Bhd, and Besgrade Products Sdn Bhd.
MTC writes ¡°the fair is expected to attract over 40,000
visitors from the entire furniture and woodworking sectors
of India, South East and South Asian countries, including
Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Middle East, Myanmar,
Bhutan, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.¡±
For more see: http://mtc.com.my/wpcontent/
Reform of forestry revenue system to
A plan prepared by the Corruption Eradication
Commission (KPK) and government institutions including
the Ministries of Finance and Environment and Forestry as
well as the Supreme Audit Agency recommends the
government reform the non-tax state revenue system in the
This proposal follows from a KPK study published in
October last year which found that the state lost millions
of dollars through either accidental or deliberate under
calculation of fees from forestry operations. The KPK put
the losses to the state at around rupiah 87 trillion between
2003 and 2014.
NGO succeeds in pursuit of access to forestry
The Ministry of Environment and Forestry has been
ordered to release documents demanded by Forest Watch
Indonesia (FWI). This follows a drawn out legal battle, the
core of which was open access to information.
The Central Information Commission (CIC) of the forestry
ministry was taken to court by FWI for refusing to release
documents which the CIC considered confidential
documents. The courts handed a victory to FWI but the
CIC filed an appeal with the Jakarta State Administrative
Court (PTUN) which was rejected.
Indonesian SVLK certified furniture Sold out in
SVLK certified furniture suppliers exhibiting at the recent
Furniture and Light Fair held 9-13 February in Stockholm
were well received.
One of the Indonesian exhibitors, CV Nuansa Kayu Bekas
secured orders from five companies: from around the
world. Buyers from Russia (Belsi Home), Denmark
(Kilroy Indbo A / S, Bakkehuset, Torben Schreibers) and
Israel (Pront Decor) placed substaintial orders.
For more see
Bank Indonesia cuts interest rates to spur growth
In a press release Bank Indonesia (BI) announced that its
board agreed to lower the interest rate to 7% and to adjust
the Deposit Facility and Lending Facility rates.
These changes, say BI, are ¡°consistent with greater room
to ease monetary policy on the back of solid
macroeconomic stability, especially in terms of less
intense inflationary pressures in 2016 as well as less
uncertain global financial markets.
The dual policy of lowering the BI Rate and primary
reserve requirement is expected to strengthen efforts to
boost the ongoing economic growth. In addition, the BI
will continue to strengthen coordination with the
Government to control inflation, bolster growth and
accelerate structural reforms thereby supporting
sustainable economic growth moving forward, while
maintaining macroeconomic stability¡±.
Several other countries are also following the strategy of
monetary easing, which generally comes in the form of an
interest rate cut, to boost growth and the Indonesian
President has been calling for an easing of rates to spur
New body to oversee natural resources
The 15-member Amyotha Hluttaw (Government Lower
House) has instituted a Natural Resources and
Environmental Conservation Committee to prepare
policies to guide the natural resource management. The
forestry and timber sectors are keen to see how the new
administration intends to develop the sectors.
The domestic media have reported that the new committee
will be headed by U Kyaw Thiha and U Sa Khin Zaw Lin
will act as secretary, both are members of parliament.
C&I for natural and planation forests to developed
Dr. Thaung Naing Oo, Director of Forestry Research has
warned that Myanmar could be facing serious insect
infestations in its teak plantations.
Since 2006 private plantations, mainly teak, have been
established and currently these extend over 100,000
hectares. The Myanmar Forest Certification Committee is
recommending these forest be certified and has invited
public consultation on the appropriate criteria and
indicators for natural and plantation Forests. The first such
meeting will take place on 4 March.
Timber exports drop to 6th place as impact of export
Export earnings during fiscal 2014-15 have been released.
The oil and gas sector are in top position with earnings of
around US$5.178 billion.
Forestry sector export earnings fell in the year for
data has been reported mainly because of the log export
Other important sectors include agricultural US$2.923
billion, mining US$1.469 billion, industrial products US$
1.369 billion, marine and fishery products US$420 million
and in 6th place forest products US$98 million.
Low quality teak logs sold
On 24 February the Myanma Timber Enterprise sold
around 4,200 hoppus tons of low quality teak logs. Prices
ranged from Kyats 800,000 to 12,000,000 depending on
dimensions and the area from which the logs were
sourced. There were no sales of higher grade teak logs.
Sawing Grade Teak logs Open Tender 03/15-16 Yangon
Depots 26 Jun 2015.
Inflation rate trends down
The Office of the Economic Adviser (OEA) to the Indian
government provides trends in the Wholesale Price Index
The official Wholesale Price Index for All
(Base: 2004-05 = 100) for January fell 1% to 175.7 from
177.4 in December. The year on year annual rate of
inflation, based on monthly WPI, stood at ¨C0.9%
(provisional) as of January 2016 compared to -0.73% in
For more see:
Timber and plywood price indices climb
The OEA also reports Wholesale Price Indices for a
variety of wood products. The Wholesale Price Indices for
Wood products and Plywood are shown below.
Government targets 81,000 homes for urban poor
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation
(HUPA) has approved finding for construction of 81,757
homes for the so-called economically-weaker-sections
(EWS) of society.
Seven 7 states will benefit from this plan which is
estimated to cost around Rs.41 billion. Of this, the
Ministry will provide around Rs. 12 billion based on
Rs.150,000 per home to be built for the benefit of urban
poor under the Prime Minister¡¯s ¡°Housing for All¡±
mission in urban areas. West Bengal will build 27,830
homes, Telangana 22,817, Bihar-13,315, Mizoram 8,922,
Rajasthan 6,052 Jharkhand 2,337 and Uttarakhand 484.
An inter-ministerial Central Sanctioning and Monitoring
Committee chaired by Dr.Nandita Chatterjee, the
Secretary of (HUPA), approved the proposals after
detailed discussions with the 7 states and after satisfying
itself on the availability of land for the proposed projects.
To-date the government has approved funding for over 5
million homes for the poor. The government is targeting
assisting construction of 20 million houses for urban poor.
Export of Plywood and wood products
Exports of many of India¡¯s wood products fell year on
year in 2015, the exception being wooden furniture and
Other articles of wood.
While 2015 exports of some wood products beat
expectations the prospects for 2016 are not good. January
exports of all products fell almost 14% from a year earlier
according to data from the Ministry of Commerce and
In the face of declining exports the government is
expected to announce incentives in the upcoming budget.
The Indian Prime Minister is pushing a 'Make in India'
drive focused on raising export earnings.
Imported plantation teak prices
The level of domestic demand is currently matching
import deliveries. The reported rise in C&F prices reflect
changes in average log dimensions and are not indicative
of either supply or demand changes.
The continued weakness of the rupee against the US dollar
is resulting in higher landed costs and this is being passed
on as higher wholesale prices in the domestic market.
Prices for locally sawn hardwoods
Price rises have been reported in response to the
depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar.
Myanmar teak flitches resawn in India
There has been no change in pricing over the past two
weeks. Imports of large sized flitches from Myanmar are
helping sustain domestic stocks of teak.
Prices for imported sawnwood
The minor price changes are the result of the depreciation
While prices for imported plywood have been rising due to
exchange rate movements prices for locally manufactured
plywood remain unchanged.
Mahogany exports to resume
Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), one of high value
hardwood species in the Amazon is back on the market. A
timber company in Acre state will be the first to have
secured FSC forest certification covering mahogany
Excessive harvesting of mahogany in Brazil led the
Brazilian Institute for Environment and Renewable
Natural Resources (IBAMA) to prohibit any harvesting or
sale mahogany product in the country. In 2002, mahogany
was listed in appendix II of the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna
and Flora (CITES).
In a report filed by Madeira Total this month it is stated
that mahogany harvesting in the certified forests has
started in the States of Acre and Amazonas and the first
batch of mahogany logs will be transported for processing
for export this month.
The resumption of mahogany product exports from Brazil
is a victory for those who believe that industries based on
timber produced responsibly contribute to the generation
of employment in the Amazon.
When contacted a spokesperson from IBAMA said they
have carefully monitored all administrative procedures and
approved the management plan and that they have been
following progress and are prepared to issue a
BVRio launches timber legality verification system
The BVRio Environmental Stock Exchange has launched
a new and more robust version of its Timber Legality
Verification System. This online system was developed to
provide immediate feedback to buyers and traders on the
legality of Brazilian tropical timber.
Launched in December 2011, BVRio initially focused on
establishing partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders
from government, NGOs and industry and to identify and
prioritise sectors on which to focus its efforts. Recently,
BVRio has focused on promoting trading of ¡°responsible
commodities¡±, i.e. legal and/or sustainably produced forest
and agricultural products.
The use of the basic version of the on-linesystem is free.
Users need only to scan the bar code of the ¡®forest origin¡¯
document issued by IBAMA and instantly receive a basic
report on the status of legality of the timber. The user can
get the details of each selected item, including the status of
documentation, any infractions and fines, irregularities
related to volume, species and where the logging took
The exact location of the forest area where the timber
originated and the route the timber followed is shown on
maps. Each batch of timber can be checked for the chain
of custody, estimating the probability of risks related to
social and environmental violations.
This application is being promoted for buyers in Europe
and in the United States, where they have to ensure
compliance with the EU Timber Regulation and the US
Plywood exports a success but average prices dip
In January 2016, Brazilian exports of wood-based
products (except pulp and paper) declined 6.6% in value
compared to January 2015, from US$187.5 million to
However, pine sawnwood exports increased 13.5%
between January 2015 (US$17.8 million) and January
2016 (US$20.2 million). In terms of volume, exports
increased 33.5% year on year in January from 76,400 cu.m
to 102,000 cu.m.
Tropical sawnwood export volumes in January 2016 fell
almost 11%, from 27,900 cu.m in January 2015 to 24,900
cu.m in January this year. There was an even sharper fall
in the value of exports (-21%) from US$15.3 million in
January last year to US$12.1 million this year.
Pine plywood exports followed the downward trend falling
16.4% from US$31.8 million to US$26.6 million in
January 2016 in comparison with figure of January 2015.
However, there was a steep rise in the volume of exports
which increased by almost 21%, from 85,300 cu.m in
January last year to 102,900 cu.m this year.
Tropical plywood, export volumes increased 13% from
5,500 cu.m in January 2015 to 6,200 cu.m in January this
year while the value of exports fell 21.4% from US$2.8
million to US$2.2 million year on year.
As for wooden furniture, the exported value fell from US$
26.4 million in January 2015 to US$ 23.6 million in
January 2016, a 10.6% fall in the total exports of the
product during the period.
Mato Grosso sets out plan to eliminate deforestation
The Center for Timber Producers and Exporters of the
state of Mato Grosso (CIPEM) has proposed measures to
achieve zero deforestation by 2020 in the state.
CIPEM says the most effective way to stop deforestation
is to expand the area of sustainably managed forests and
limit harvesting to low impact systems.
After the COP 21 conference in Paris attended by
representatives of the state of Mato Grosso a decision was
taken to expand actions in support of reducing global
warming. The State aims to end all illegal deforestation in
Mato Grosso by 2020 and recover 2.9 million hectares of
degraded forests and create permanent protected areas.
Forest concession fees transferred to municipalities
The Forestry Development Institute and Biodiversity
(IDEFLOR-BIO) will transfer concession funds held in the
Forestry Development State Fund (FUNDEFLOR) to the
municipalities of Santar¨¦m, Monte Alegre, Juruti, Aveiro
and Santar¨¦m, in Par¨¢ state (Amazon region). Some R$2
million has been earned from companies that successfully
bid for forest concessions in the various municipalities.
The resources to be transferred represent around 30% of
the amount collected in 2015. Each municipality is
charged with using the funds for sustainable development
The Municipal ¡®Councils of the Environment¡¯ along with
FUNDEFLOR, are responsible for monitoring the
application of these resources. The amount will be used
for environmental and forest control by the State
Secretariat of the Environment (SEMA), such as licensing
procedures and monitoring activities.
Forestry sector to add extra 1 - 1.5% to
Juan Manuel Benites, Peru¡¯s Minister of Agriculture and
Irrigation (Minagri), has said the forestry sector could
contribute as much as 1 ¨C 1.5% more to GDP as the sector
has enormous potential which can be released through the
development of new markets.
He said further that enactment of Forestry and Wildlife
law and related regulations will free the forestry sector for
rapid growth and creation of thousands of jobs.
It is anticipated that export earnings from the forestry and
timber sectors will increase from the current US$150
million to US$$300 million by 2017. Investments in new
capacity are expected to reduce dependence on imports of
some wood products by as much as 50%.
Agrobanco forecasts forestry credits to rise
It has been estimated that from now to early 2018 the
Agricultural Bank (Agrobanco) will be providing US$55
million in credits to the private forestry sector.
Enrique D¨ªaz Ortega, Agrobanco President, said
investments are anticipated in forestry operations,
agroforestry and forest plantations. Agrobanco already
supports one agroforestry investment and a plantation
project and has identified other possible ventures worthy
of support. Agrobanco sees other opportunities as there are
around 10.5 million hectares ready for reforestation of
which at least 2 million hectares are served by adequate
Easier loans for forestry sector
The Minister of Production, Piero Ghezzi, has reported
that some US$140 million in loans will be available to
boost the forestry sector output under the National
Productive Diversification Plan.
The Minister believes this will attract over US$10 billion
in investment and financing because the country has 8
million hectares of forests to utilise and around 2-3 million
hectares for reforestation.
The Development Finance Corporation (COFIDE) is
expected to provide a major portion of the loan capital
along with Agrobanco.