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International Log & Sawnwood Prices

01 – 31th December 2020



  Signs of orders recovering but prices easing
As businesses in importing countries adapt to working
with the corona virus risk trade has started to revive and
some FOB price movements have been reported.

Producers report a growing interest in ovangkol for the
Chinese market suggesting this could be an alternative to
kevazingo/bubinga. The Chinese demand for okan for
flooring production is said to be stable as is demand for

Over the past few months demand for okoume has waned
but, fortunately, the market in the Philippines for okoume
is firm and stable. Analysts write “If not for this market,
okoume production in Congo and Gabon would slow
down very fast”. The steady demand for okoume,
andoung, gheombi and iroko in Middle East markets has
been encouraging and as there are reports that stocks held
in the Middle East are declining more orders are

In contrast to Asian and Middle East demand some
producers have seen easing FOB price from French
importers for species such as douka and moabi easing.
Similarly, importers in Belgium seem to have cooled to
padouk and doussie while in Germany the market for sipo
and sapelli is weak.

The only timber doing well in Europe at present is azobe
but as mills switch from sawing okoume to azobe there is
a risk of over-supply and a downward pressure on prices.

Cameroon under the spot light
Reports from Cameroon say more Chinese mills are
closing, apparently in response to a crackdown by the
authorities on mills that ignore regulations from the forest
authorities. It is rumoured that as many as 50 operators in
Cameroon have ceased operation.

In related news, the domestic press in Cameroon has
reported on allegations from two international NGOs that
Vietnamese operators in the country are suspected of
smuggling timber out of the country between 2014-17.
This, it is reported, is based on discrepancies in trade data
whereby the value of exports from Cameroon does not
match the value of imports into Vietnam.


Exporters facing delays in Gabon
Exporters in Gabon say there has been no improvement in
either the speed at which export documents are processed
or in shipping. There have been suggestions that the
slowdown in work and in implementing instructions from
the Minister is related to the non-payment of forestry staff

It has been reported that the first parcels of barcoded
kevazingo sawnwood has been trucked from one of the
major millers to Gabon Wood Industries in the Special
Economic Zone (SEZ) for further processing.

The decision to require container stuffing be undertaken
by SNBG/GSEZ and by the Operator of the SEZ NKOK
has resulted in delays in shipments and many complaints
have been lodged. It has been reported that the Minister
invited tender bids for a second stuffing facility in the
Owendo Port. Apparently five companies tendered, three
are Chinese along with Bollore and Sotrasgab.

In other news from Gabon, it has been reported that the
police in Moyen Ogooué Province are questioning several
forestry officials in relation to the ‘disappearance’ of some
4,000 cubic metres of seized illegally harvested logs.

ATIBT ‘think-tank’ output reported
Presentations and commentary on the 3rd ATIBT Think-
Tank themed ‘What future for certified companies in the
Congo Basin’ have been made available by the organiser,



  Businesses continue to feel impact of pandemic
Even 3-4 months after the lifting of restrictions to combat
COVID-19 businesses are still suffering. In August and
September the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) conducted
a second survey which showed that businesses continue to
feel the impact of the disruption to businesses due to
COVID-19 control measures. The latest GSS survey
updates an earlier exercise May and June this year.

A total of 3,658 firms were interviewed by the GSS on
their operations and workforce and a summary of results
are shown below.


Secondary products account for most exports
Shipments of wood products by road and sea from Ghana
are classified by the Timber Industry Development
Division (TIDD) under one of three main headings
Primary Products (PWP), Secondary Wood Products
(SWP) or Tertiary Wood Products (TWP).

Primary products (PWP), which are mainly billets (short
logs), go to markets in Asia especially China and India and
this group of products accounted for around 8.5% of first
three quarter 2020 exports.

Secondary Wood Products (SWP) comprising sawnwood,
plywood, veneer, kindling, boules and briquettes formed
the bulk of wood exports accounting to close to 87%
during the period January to September 2020.

Monthly export volumes dipped from 15,832cu.m in
March when Ghana recorded its first COVID-19 case and
restrictions were imposed to 9,307 cu.m in May 2020.
Production by local mills began to ramp up from June
when restrictions were eased and reached a level of 22,576
cu.m in September.

Tertiary wood products (TWP) comprising mouldings,
dowels and doors represented 4.8% of total exports in the
first 9 months of 2020.

Exports to the ECOWAS sub region included SWPs
totalling 19,940 cu.m (against 20,612 cu.m in 2019) which
helped buoy overall exports.

Nigeria is considering opening its Eastern border with
Ghana which was suddenly closed for trade in August
2019 in order to stamp out smuggling. Nigeria is a leading
market for Ghana’s plywood and other wood products
delivered by road.

New application to support Wood Tracking System
Sources of wood products from Ghana can now be public
identified through a new public portal which will be linked
to Ghana’s Wood Tracking System (GWTS). This is to
enable industries in the sector to showcase their wood
products along with the information allowing tracing from
the forest or plantation and along the supply chain.

The Project Coordinator from the Nature and
Development Foundation (NDF), Glen Asumaning, said
the portal was developed in response to complaints from
the private sector who said an interface with the GWTS
platform would be more useful as they could then upload
their own specific information.

Stakeholders in the industry were involved in the
development of the portal which is a web and mobile
phone based application for easy access to the GWTS.


Banks financially strong to support businesses
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison,
has said the Ghanaian banking sector remains financially
strong and adequately capitalised to withstand adverse
shocks and support the country’s recovery efforts from the

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of
Ghana (BoG) has maintained its policy rate at 14.5%
reflecting the health of the economy. The timber industry
struggles with such high interest rates. Year-on-year
inflation for November was 9.8%.


President re-elected
The Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana has declared the
incumbent President of Ghana H.E. Akuffo Addo, winner
of the 2020 presidential election. In his acceptance speech
the President promised to continue policies and
programmes initiated in his first term. He also assured the
nation he will continue to work extra hard to reverse the
effects of COVID-19 so as to improve the lives of
Ghanaians and businesses for a full economic recovery.



  First half exports better than expected
The Malaysia Timber Industry Board (MTIB) has reported
on the export performance of the timber industry in the
first half of the year to see the effects of the Covid-19
pandemic on exports.

The value of exports of all wood products for the first half
of this year was RM9,601 million some 9% below the first
half 2019 exports of RM10,565.21 million.

The value of Malaysian wood product exports in June
2020 increased 50% month-on-month to RM1.9 billion.
However, cumulative exports for the period of January to
June 2020 dropped by 9%.

Sawnwood exports in June 2020 increased both in volume
and in value. Cumulative exports for the period of January
- June 2020 declined 36% in volume and 37% in value to
584,869 cu.m worth RM1.1 billion.

Exports of MDF in June 2020 increased month-on-month
in both volume and value to 36,897 cu.m worth RM55.2
million. Cumulative exports for January-June 2020 fell
38% to 278,433 cu.m and were worth RM380.7 million.

Exports of plywood in June 2020 increased both in volume
and value by 31% and 26% respectively to 116,328 cu.m
however, cumulative exports for January-June 2020
declined by 48% to 790,203 cu.m and by 15% in value to
RM1.5 billion.

Exports of mouldings in June increased by 48% in volume
and by 46% in value however, cumulative exports for the
first six months of 2020 declined year-on-year by 31% in
volume and 29% in value to 83,876 cu.m worth at
RM313.2 million.

Exports of veneer in June 2020 grew month-on-month by
47% in volume and 75% in value to 2,959 cu.m and
RM6.2 million. In contrast, cumulative exports for 2020
January- June compared to 2019 declined in volume by
48% to 28,892 cu.m and in value by 47% (RM46.1

Builders Joinery and Carpentry (BJC) exports in June
2020 jumped 21% in volume and 19% in value to
10,430,859 cu.m and RM85.4 million month-on-month.
Total BJC exports in the first half of 2020 compared to the
corresponding period last year dropped 12%.

Exports of wooden and rattan furniture for the period of
January to June 2020 recorded mixed trends.

President of the Malaysian Furniture Council, Khoo Yeow
Chong, writing in the Malaysia Furniture News Oct 2020
(no.12), said the furniture sector is recovering and he
continued “statistics provided by the Malaysian External
Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) has shown
that the export value from January – June 2020 was
RM5.06 billion compared to January - June 2019 at
RM4.92 billion, an improvement of 2.9%.

He said that while this performance is lower than
anticipated “the Malaysian furniture industry remains
resilient in the face of adversity under various challenges
and restrictions”. One particular success mentioned by
Khoo was the increase in exports of wooden kitchen
furniture in the first half of 2020.


Engineered wood promoted for construction
A Engineered Timber Product Seminar was hosted in
Kuching by the Sarawak Timber Industry Development
Corporation (STIDC) in collaboration with Universiti
Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam. The aim was to
promote and develop engineered wood products for the
use in buildings in Sarawak.

At the seminar opening the Assistant Minister of Urban
Planning, Land Administration and Environment, Len
Talif Salleh, said Sarawak industry needs to forge
collaboration with higher institutions as well as research
agencies to develop engineered timber products.

Salleh also revealed that the STIDC is collaborating with
Woodsfield Glulam Sdn Bhd, a Johor-based company
which specialised in producing engineered wood products
and has successfully exported its products.



  Raw material prices undermining competiveness
Indonesia has vast forest resources and an active wood
processing sector but struggles to make a real contribution
to national economic growth. This is because the price of
raw materials is too high which undermines
competitiveness in the domestic market and international
markets according to the Executive Board of the
Indonesian Furniture and Craft Industry Association (DPP

This issue was discussed at a recent webinar facilitated by
the Indonesian Furniture and Craft Industry Association.

The webinar was attended by government officials, timber
sector experts and business executives from the national
timber industry. The point was made that downstream
SMEs cannot afford to purchase top quality raw materials
so must process low quality wood raw materials.


The problem of raw material supply was raised recently by
Purwadi Soeprihanto, Executive Director of the
Association of Indonesian Forest Concession Holders
(APHI), who said the problem of raw material supply is
one of the reasons that Indonesia's furniture export
performance is still behind that of Vietnam. He said
furniture products from natural wood tend not to be
competitive in the global market.

Purwadi also said Vietnamese manufacturers are better in
terms of design so one way to raise the competitiveness of
Indonesian furniture products is to accelerate the
development of plantation forests.


In related news, Abdul Sobur, Chairman of the Presidium
of the Indonesian Furniture and Craft Industry Association
(HIMKI), said rattan furniture and craft entrepreneurs are
having big problems securing raw material and that some
companies have been forced to stop production.

The scarcity of rattan raw materials became extreme in
Cirebon, Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi,
Sukoharjo, Jepara and Surabaya.

The HIMKI has asked the government to find a solution to
the scarcity of rattan raw materials and to prohibit the
export of raw rattan.


Wood product exports recovering well
The chairman of the Association of Indonesian Forest
Concession Holders (APHI), Indroyono Soesilo, said that
wood product exports through to November 2020 were
recorded at US$10.13 billion which is around 5% less than
in the same period last year. "At the global economic
level, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused the forestry
industry sector to weaken, which is marked by a decline in
the export performance of forest products compared to
2019," said Indroyono.

Indroyono explained that in January 2020 exports of wood
products increased 2.1% year-on-year and in February
there was also a rise in the value of exports. However,
beginning March exports started to drop sharply and by
April there was a 4% year-on-year decline.

The worst month was May when there was an 8% decline
but between June and November there were some months
when there was a year-on-year rise in the value of exports.

Indroyono projects that by the end of the year, forestry
product exports will reach US$11 billion.



Exports delayed due to shortages of containers
The Furniture and Craft Industry Association has alerted
the government on the scarcity of shipping containers and
limited space on ships that carry exports. The container
shortage has driven up shipping costs. Sobur, chairman of
HIMKI explained that the problem of scarcity and rising
container prices could have an impact on production rates
and even result in layoffs.


Hopes for SME growth pinned on clustering
The Director General of Small and Medium Industries and
Miscellaneous Industries in the Ministry of Industry, Gati
Wibawaningsih said the Ministry of Industry is working to
advance the development of SMEs in the furniture sector
so they can produce for export.

In her statement she said that several strategic policies had
been prepared to create good coordination among
stakeholders. In particular she mentioned the development
of a Material Center in Jepara, the development of
furniture clusters, the development of product design, the
link and match programme and the strengthening of the
Timber Technical Service Unit.

Gati said that development of the Material Center in
Jepara, Central Java aims to maintain the availability of
raw materials and supporting materials and to facilitate the
latest machines for furniture SMEs.

In addition to the development of the Material Center the
Ministry also has a wood and rattan Technical
Implementation Unit in furniture centers that can assist
SME furniture makers.



Indonesian state forest are for 63% of total land area
Environment and Forestry Minister, Siti Nurbaya, has
reported Indonesia has more than 120 million hectares or
63% of its total land area under forest. This was stated in
relation to the newly-passed job creation law. She added
"More than 10% of the total area containing state forests
consists of convertible production forests (HPK), which
are prioritised for non-forestry development such as food

The Minister explained that the focus will be on a
landscape-based approach which prioritises biodiversity
conservation efforts regardless of administrative



  Teak log prices soar
The Myanma Timber Enterprise (MTE) sold teak logs on
1 December after a suspension of sales for three months.
The total quantity of teak logs sold was 713 tons, - 616 ton
of SG-7 and 97 tons of SG-6.

The grade in highest demand was SG-7 and for this the
average price was US$2,566 per ton and the highest price
was US$2,940 per ton. In the August Tender the average
price of SG-7 was US$2,065.

In the calendar year 2020 MTE held Tenders in only five
months (January, February, July, August and December)
as a result of Covid-19 preventive measures this resulted
in a shortage of logs for the industry. Currently exporters
are facing a container shortage and much increased freight

Covid-19 impact on wood-based SMEs
The European Forest Institute (EFI) and the Sagawa
Institute of Organization Development supported a survey
of members of the Wood-Based Furniture Association
(WBFA) and the Myanmar Arts and Craft Association
(MACA) to assess the impact of the Covid-19 control
measures on their production.

Most of the enterprises surveyed are SMEs, the backbone
of Myanmar’s economy constituting the vast majority of
formally registered enterprises in the country.

The first COVID-19 cases were observed in Myanmar in
March 2020. Since then, the Government has adopted
measures to contain the spread of the virus including
border closures, travel restrictions and stay-home notices.

The pandemic is severely impacting Myanmar’s economy.
To better understand assess the impact on wood-based
SMEs a survey was conducted in August 2020.

The results indicate:
 COVID-19 forced the majority of enterprises to
stop or permanently close their business.
 COVID-19 is having a significant impact on
employment and livelihood.
 17% of respondents reduced their workforce by
50–75%, while 15.6% of respondents had to
make reductions in the range of 25–50%.
 The majority of respondents have no or low
access to COVID-19 relief programmes.
 The majority of respondents face shortages of
raw materials.


Myanmar has been experiencing a second wave of
COVID-19 since Aug. 16, when the country’s first
domestic transmission in a month was reported in the
Rakhine State capital, Sittwe. Since Aug. 16, 100,057
COVID-19 cases and 2,126 deaths have been reported in
the country. The country only reported 374 COVID-19
cases and six deaths between late March and mid-July.
Cases have been reported in more than 200 townships
across 15 regions and states.


Contract transparency for extractive industries
On the 1st December 2020, The President issued the order
on the Contract Transparency in line with Myanmar
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (MEITI).

According to the order, any government organizations of
both union and state/region level, state-owned enterprise
(SOEs) and private companies are liable to declare the
contents of the contracts of the extractive industries. Such
declaration must be uploaded in the website of MEITI,
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental
Conservation and Ministry of Electricity and Energy.

Since Myanmar began implementing the EITI in 2014,
EITI reporting has played an important role in providing
data to inform extractives sector reforms.

RECP Trade Deal
According to ‘The Frontier Myanmar’ the existing free
trade agreements and longstanding non-trade barriers
could limit the Regional Comprehensive Economic
Partnership’s (RCEP) impact on Myanmar’ but the
country may benefit from increased investment due to
improved access to global value chains.

The government said Myanmar’s decision to join the pact
is an important development for future economic growth
and the country has much to gain the media question what
this deal will mean for ordinary people in Myanmar.


Local Investment
Domestic investment has topped Ks10 trillions over the
past 4 years with most being in real estate, services and
production sectors according to Myanmar Investment
Commission (MIC).

A total of 575 investments have been made by Myanmar
citizens in 12 sectors between 2016-17 to 2019-20 FYs.

The twelve sectors are housing development, services,
manufacturing, transportation and telecommunication,
tourism, power supply, industrial zone building, livestock
and fishery, construction, mining, farming and oil and
natural gas sectors.

Myanmar investment promotion plan is implemented with
a five-year short term plan from 2016-17 FY to 2020-21
FY, a five-year medium term plan from 2021-22 FY to
2025-26 FY and a ten-year long term plan from 2026-27
FY to 2035-36 FY.

The target in the investment plan is for US$5.8 billion
over the five-year term, US$8.5 billion in the five-year
medium term plan and US$17.6 billion in the ten-year

ADB Loan for power grid
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a
US$171.27-million loan to expand electricity access in
Myanmar. The loan will help Myanmar to construct 44
medium-voltage substations and 1,006 kilometres of
distribution lines across Kayin state and the Ayeyarwady,
East Bago, and Magway regions.



  Forecasts vary but all point to better days ahead
In its Global Economic Outlook, Fitch raised India's GDP
forecast to -9.4% in the current fiscal year to March 2021
from a previously projected contraction of 10.5%. The
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also revised its forecast
of economic growth for the current fiscal year to -7.5%
against its earlier forecast of -9.5%.



Panel prices increase
Due to rising prices for raw materials such as timber and
resins along with increasing labour cost, particleboard
manufacturers have decided to increase prices by 10%
with immediate effect.

This follows recent increases in plywood prices.
Particleboard traders say they have managed to pass on the
price increases to customers. As the Indian economy is
beginnings to show signs of recovery demand for
particleboard has risen providing the impetus for mills to
lift production.

See: (10 October magazine)

Microchips to protect sandalwood trees from theft
Beginning March 2021 land owners in Mysuru District in
the southern part of the state of Karnataka will have the
option to use microchip technology to protect their
sandalwood trees from theft.

The technology has been jointly developed by the
Bengaluru-based Institute of Science and
Technology (lWST) and Hitachi India Pvt Limited. Once
installed and linked to smartphones the chip allows the
tree to be tracked. Forest department officials said they
have got positive feedback from farmers.

Plantation teak
High freight rates have been hurting importers and the
Indian government has been considering legislation to
require shipping lines to provide “all-inclusive” freight
rates to eliminate the practice of “surcharge stacking”.
This came after traders called for regulation of shipping
lines as freight costs have been rising sharply.

India has been particularly affected by the global container
shortage as a recovery in exports but falling imports has
led to high container repositioning costs.


C&F prices for plantation teak from sources other than
those shown above continue to be within the same range
as shown in earlier reports.

Myanmar teak
Importers have not replenished stocks of Myanmar teak
which continues to buoy-up prices. When fresh shipments
are made they will attract the new, higher freight rates
which will put pressure on importers to raise prices even

Sawn hardwood prices
Traders report positive signs in the market for hardwoods
as demand is slowly rising.

Domestic production and sales are improving and the price
increases are holding at present as building activity is
steadily increasing.

Mills in the north of the country have overcome the labour
shortage as workers have now returned but some mill in
the south of the country still face problems.


  USTR virtual public hearing on Vietnam’s timber
industry scheduled

Further to the initiation of an investigation pursuant to
Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, of whether
Vietnam’s acts, policies, and practices related to the
import and use of illegal timber are unreasonable or
discriminatory and burden or restrict US commerce,
USTR (United States Trade Representative) has invited
interested parties to submit written comments by
November 12, 2020, regarding the issues in the

On 27 November, 2020 USTR announced Notice of the
Public Hearing on this investigation. With this Notice,
USTR will convene a virtual public hearing and accept
rebuttal comments in the Section 301 investigation
concerning Vietnam’s acts, policies, and practices related
to the import and use of illegally harvested or traded

The deadlines are as follows:
 December 10, 2020, at 11:59 pm: To be assured
of consideration, you must submit requests to
appear at the hearing by this date. The request to
appear must include a summary of the testimony.
 December 28, 2020, at 9:30 am: Hearing will be
held virtually.
 January 6, 2021, at 11:59 pm: To be assured of
consideration, post-hearing rebuttal comments
must be submitted by this date.

According to the Notice, USTR will invite hearing
testimony regarding:
 The extent to which illegal timber is imported
into Vietnam.
 The extent to which Vietnamese producers,
including producers of wooden furniture, use
illegal timber.
 The extent to which products of Vietnam made
from illegal timber, including wooden furniture,
are imported into the United States.
 Vietnam’s acts, policies, or practices relating to
the import and use of illegal timber.
 The nature and level of the burden or restriction
on U.S. commerce caused by Vietnam’s import
and use of illegal timber.
 The determinations required under section 304 of
the Trade Act, including what action, if any.

Vietnam closer to VNTLAS implementation
On the 1st of September, 2020, the Government of
Vietnam issued Decree 102/2020/N?-CP to regulate the
implementation of the Vietnam Timber Legality
Assurance System (VNTLAS).

Under VNTLAS, the risk of timber imported into Vietnam
will be managed against criteria to define whether it comes
from a rsk area and against the species.

Low risk areas are those with the flowing:
 Can issue FLEGT licenses;
 Have a national legal framework and due
diligence system consistent with VNTLAS;
 Have national governance indicator from ":O"
and up defined by World Bank WB based on
their Worldwide Governance Indicator
 Have national legal framework grade I defined by
 Have bilateral agreement with Vietnam on timber
legality assurance and/or have national TLAS
recognised by Vietnam.

As a further step to operate VNTLAS, on 27 November,
2020 the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
(MARD) issued Decision No. 4832/Q?-BNN-TCLN to
announce the List of 322 timber species which have been
imported into Vietnam and the List of Active
Geographical Areas covering 51 countries which are
exporting timber into Vietnam.

Timbers imported into Vietnam for the first time and/or
from non-active geographical (risk) areas will have to
undergo additional Customs formalities.

Timbers which have been imported into Vietnam

1. The List of timbers which have been imported into Vietnam
wass provided by the General Department of Customs,
2. In this List, scientific names are the official names of
imported timbers, the Vietnamese names are just for reference


  Start-up develops equipment to identify tree hollows
Trees and large timber sections with hollows or internal
decay have inferior structural integrity. Felling trees with
undetected hollows can result in the tree collapsing during
cutting or fall in an unexpected direction. In the
construction sector the use of wood without evaluation of
its strength properties can cause poorly executed projects
or accidents.

A Brazilian start-up in partnership with the State
University of Campinas has developed ultrasound
equipment designed and manufactured in Brazil for
detecting hollows/decay in timber. The equipment is
portable and suitable for use for tree inspection and
evaluation of sawnwood.

The equipment detects the existence and extent of hollows
and deteriorated areas in trees, logs or timber and
contributes to wood character classification according to
the Brazilian technical standard NBR 15521 which
establishes guidelines for the classification of wood by

Furniture production shows signs of slowing
Since the resumption of production in May 2020 the pace
of increase in output of furniture has been decreasing
according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and
Statistics (IBGE).

In June the level increased 30% compared to May, in July
the increase month-on-month was 19%. In August monthon-
month increase was just 5% which seems to signal that
output will not recovery fully in 2020. In September the
increase was only 1% compared to August and in October
there was a slight decline compared to September.

The level of furniture production in the first 10 months of
the year registered a decline of 6.5% in comparison to the
same period in 2019.

Furniture sales, on the other hand, continue to increase. In
the last four months of the year furniture sales almost
doubled recovering about 50% of losses in March, April
and May.

It is noteworthy that although the pace of sales growth has
slowed there is optimism that demand will be sustained in
the coming months.

Brazil and US update trade and economic cooperation

The governments of Brazil and the United States recently
signed (October, 2020) an addendum to the bilateral
Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ATEC)
established in 2011.

The new trade package includes non-tariff issues related to
technical cooperation and exchange of experiences, trade
facilitation and economic cooperation mechanisms, good
regulatory practices and also anti-corruption measures.

The Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the
signing of the trade package is part of a context of
Brazilian foreign trade policy in which the main objective
is to create an economic environment favorable to
business and the stronger competitive insertion of Brazil in
the international economy.

The Protocol text has three annexes. The first annex in the
Agreement deals with export, import and customs transit
of goods. This aims to reduce the bureaucracy and
encourage the use of digital technologies in the processing
of exports and imports. The second annex refers to
regulatory practices, processes, systems, tools and
methods internationally recognised for improving the
quality of regulation. The third annex deals with anticorruption
efforts by Brazil and the United States,
including international anti-corruption cooperation.


Sustainable wood supply initiative secures funding
The Federal Government has announced details of an
agreement on a euro 25.5 million project to be supported
by the German bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau
(KfW). The focus will be on expanding sustainable
practices in the meat, soybean and wood supply chains in
the Amazon.

The Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of
Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA) stated that
resources will be allocated to the "Innovation in
Agricultural Supply Chains for Forest Conservation in the
Legal Amazon" programme, launched at the end of last
year which includes the nine states of the Amazon region.

MAPA will be responsible for implementing the project in
partnership with the Inter-American Institute for
Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) while the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs will coordinate "fruitful technical and
financial cooperation between Brazil and Germany aimed
at sustainable development".

The initiative comes at a time when deforestation in the
Amazon is being discussed in Brazil. Forest fires in the
Amazon region, for example, increased in October and the
number of fires rose 25% in the first 10 months of 2020
compared to the previous year according to the National
Institute for Space Research (INPE).

The funds will be used to combat deforestation, forest fires
among other activities to increase the effectiveness of
forest protection.


  Plantations programme – potential for job creation
It is estimated that up to 30,000 direct and indirect jobs
could be generated through the Financing Programme for
Forest Plantations by the National Forest and Wildlife
Service (SERFOR).

During a recent webinar the SERFOR Director of
Promotion and Competitiveness, Marco Llanos, said the
approx. US$13 million plantation programme will
establish 16,500 ha. of plantations and the jobs that will be
generated will help the economy recover.

He mentioned that only land owners who have registered
their forest plantations in the National Registry of
Plantations administered by SERFOR will have access to
the plantation fund. The other criterion mentioned was that
prospective beneficiaries should not have outstanding
debts with AGROPERU and should not have been
sanctioned by the Agency for the Supervision of Forest
Resources and Wild Fauna (OSINFOR).

Offering of timber harvesting concessions in Ucayali
SERFOR recently made public details of the areas and
shortened process for the granting of forest harvesting
concessions within the Permanent Production Forest of the
Ucayali Region.

In presenting details of the process the Regional
Government pointed out that it is imperative that the forest
heritage be protected and safeguarded as it is under
constant threat from illegal activities exacerbated by the
social pressure on communities throughout the Peruvian

Minimal reduction in deforestation in Peruvian Amazon

In 2029 the loss of Amazonian humid forests reached
148,400 hectares. This was only 4% less than in 2018
according to data presented by SERFOR in December this

The minimal reduction in deforestation warrants more
intensive work by the various institutions said SERFOR.
Ten regions with Amazonian forests achieved modest
decline in deforestation.

Among the regions that reduced their forest loss the
following stand out: San Martín (48% less), Amazonas
(22% less), Loreto (11.6% less), Huánuco and Madre de
Dios (9.6% less and 8.9% less, respectively). However, in
Ucayali, Junín and Pasco deforestation increased in 2019
compared to 2018.






Source:ITTO'  Tropical Timber Market Report

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