Industry News

WRI report: Global timber trade rose 10% in 2016. US, China and UK top 3 importing countries

According to Wood Resources International (WRI), 118 million m3 of timber was traded last year resulting in +10 percent compared to 2015.

Imports to the US account for about one-third of globally traded timber and have almost doubled in five years. China accounted for about 17% of import volumes in 2016, followed by the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany.
 
The biggest declines in imports globally from 2015 to 2016 were to the MENA region, where demand for timber fell in all the major markets, including Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Morocco.

Moreover, early 2017 showed an upward trend for global softwood timber market with prices in North America hitting a 13-year high, while Chinese import prices increasing 13% in 18 months.

WRI report also presents an insight on macro-areas:

  • North America
    Timber production in North America in 2016 was up six percent from the previous year, reaching its highest level since 2007. The biggest rises in production occurred in the US South and Eastern Canada, while the increases in western Canada and the western US were more modest.

    Prices for timber in the US have jumped during the first four months of the year to hit a 13-year high in April. Many of the commonly traded grades surged in price by more than 20% from April of 2016.
  • Northern Europe
    Sweden exported 12.9 million m3 of softwood timber in 2016, which was the highest volume exported since 2006. The increase from 2015 was a modest 1.5%, with shipments to Denmark, Japan, China and France rising the most.

    Domestic timber prices in both Finland and Sweden continue to be close to their lowest levels in ten years in US dollar terms, as reported in the Wood Resource Quarterly.
  • China
    Prices for imported softwood timber to China have been in a steady upward trend during 2016 and 2017 with the average import price in March 2017 being 13% higher than 18 months earlier.

    The biggest change in pricing over the past two year has been that prices for Russian timber are no longer substantially cheaper than those for timber from other supplying regions, but instead are rather close to the average import price.
  • Japan
    Total housing starts were up 3.2% in Japan in the 1Q/17 as compared to the same quarter in 2016, and the economic outlook for the coming year is slightly more optimistic than that for last year.

    Prices for domestic and imported timber have remained practically unchanged for almost a year in Yen terms. With the Yen strengthening against the US dollar during the first four months of 2017, timber prices have increased so far this year in US dollar terms.
  • Russia
    After a substantial decline in softwood timber export prices during 2014 and 2015, Russian timber prices have trended upward for most of 2016 and early 2017. Average export prices in March 2017 were 12% higher than in the same month last year, and prices for wood going to China have gone up even faster over the same time-period.

    Export volumes to China in the 1Q/17 were unchanged from the previous quarter, holding steady at the second highest level on record.

 The complete WRI report can be purchased here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/wri-report-global-timber-trade-rose-10-2016-us-china-and-uk-top-3-importing-countries]

BVRio and CINFT establish partnership to assist Chinese traders in sourcing legal timber

The online negotiations platform for wood products BVRio has established a partnership with the Center for International Forest Products Trade (CINFT), State Forestry Administration (SFA), located in the Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF).

The memorandum of understanding aims to promote legality in the timber trade sector in China. In particular, the parties will work together to adapt the BVRio Responsible Timber Exchange and Due Diligence and Risk Assessment System to enable Chinese timber traders and buyers to screen legal products. The process is set to be conducted in harmony with the China Responsible Company/Products Platform under development by CINFT and the China Responsible Forest Product Trade and Investment Alliance (China RFA).

The Chinese timber sector transacts significant volumes of timber, both domestically and internationally: China is the second larger global importer of tropical timber and consumes more than 10% of all harvested timber worldwide; the imported timber represents over 50% of the total volumes processed in China; a significant proportion of the timber production in China is exported for a variety of countries, including the European Union and the USA.

"The high rate of illegality affecting the tropical timber sector worldwide makes it urgent to provide the Chinese timber sector with appropriate tools to help importers to identify and avoid illegal timber," underlines BVRio in a news release. "Given the substantial volumes of timber imported by China, the adoption of measures to avoid the import of illegal tropical timber will generate a major positive impact in the global fight against timber illegality. Demonstrating the legality in the supply chain will also help the Chinese timber export sector to comply with requirements of regulated markets such as the EU, USA, Australia and others."

Both BVRio and the Chinese Academy of Forestry have been working to develop tools and systems to assist timber traders in conducting the due diligence and screening timber products for their legality status. This partnership will assist the parties to explore the synergies between their work, to result in wider positive impacts in the Chinese timber sector.   

BVRio's Due Diligence and Risk Assessment tool is an automated system, based on big data analysis and block chain technology, to screen tropical system for legality. Since it was launched in 2015, the system was used by timber traders and regulatory agencies to screen more than 15,000 containers and more than US$ 1 billion worth of timber products.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/bvrio-and-cinft-establish-partnership-assist-chinese-traders-sourcing-legal-timber]

Europe continues to dominate Supply of Timber and Panel Products to UK Market

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has issued its Monthly Stats Bulletin for April 2017 including a focus on the on the Source of Timber and Panel Products Supply to the UK Market in 2016.

According to TTF data:

- UK imports of the main timber and panel products rose in 2016 by 5.2% to climb to a total of 9.8 million m3.

- Europe accounted for the great majority of the volume of timber imported to the UK, supplying 86% of all imports. Volume from Europe was 8.4 million m3, an increase of just over 6% on 2015.

- Volume supplied specifically from the EU amounted to 7.9 million m3, or 93% of all volume from Europe including Russia.

- The share of supply from Asia fell from 8.7% in 2015 to 8.0% in 2016, mainly due to lower plywood volumes shipped from China.

- The share of supply held by North America fell for the third year in a row, down from 2.3% in 2014 to 1.9% in 2016.

Softwood is by far the main product imported to the UK Timber Market, mostly for Europe. The European supply continued to be dominated by EU countries such as Sweden, with a 43% share of supply, Latvia, Finland, Germany and the Republic of Ireland.

Hardwood is traded in much lower volumes with products mostly coming from Europe (51% of global market share in 2016) and North America (28% of global market share). 

TTF Members can access the complete infographic on the Source of Timber and Panel Products Supply to the UK Market in 2016 here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/europe-continues-dominate-supply-timber-and-panel-products-uk-market]

Teak from Myanmar: TTF warns on high risk of illegality in the supply chain

Following Denmark’s recent decision to prohibit Danish companies selling Teak from Myanmar on the EU market, the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has warned its member companies of the high risk of illegal logging in the area.

According to the TTF, currently it is extremely difficult to fully document the Myanmar supply chain from forest source to export and, therefore, conducting due diligence.

However, the TTF also notes that on 16 March this year the Myanmar Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC) published a statement setting out the next steps in the country’s forestry reform process.  In the statement on behalf of the Union Minister, U Ohn Win, there was an acknowledgement of the complexity of the current system and a commitment to streamlining their systems.  A joint focal group has been convened to prepare a document for international traders that sets out a full description of supply chain documents.  This will be aligned with the restarting of logging following the current 2016-17 Logging Moratorium so that the new harvest will have improved traceability. 

David Hopkins, Managing Director of the TTF said: “If the EUTR is to be successfully implemented, then there must be a level playing field in Europe. This means we should respect the decisions made in Sweden and Denmark. While noting the positive reform changes recently announced in Myanmar we continue to advise our members to exercise caution in any trade from Myanmar, be aware of ongoing reform developments and ensure that all due diligence documents are clearly in place.” 

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/teak-myanmar-ttf-warns-high-risk-illegality-supply-chain]

Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme now fully accepted in the Netherlands

The Government of The Netherlands has announced the full acceptance of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) under the Dutch public procurement policy for sustainable timber following a parliamentary debate on 18 January 2017. 

This decision marks an important milestone for the MTCS and is a significant endorsement of Malaysia’s commitment and ongoing efforts in promoting sustainable forestry and timber industry through a timber certification scheme.

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) believes the acceptance of the MTCS under the Dutch public procurement policy for sustainable timber will allow Malaysian wood based companies to enjoy better access to the Dutch markets.

The Dutch market currently accounts for about 30% of the total export of PEFC/MTCS-certified timber products from Malaysia which was valued at RM202 million in 2015. The PEFC/MTCS-certified timber products from Malaysia constitute approximately 50% of the total certified tropical timber imported into the Dutch market. This volume is approximately the same as the volume of PEFC/MTCS-certified timber collectively imported by other EU member states with operational sustainable timber procurement policies, namely United Kingdom, Germany, France, Belgium and Denmark.

In her letter to the Dutch Parliament dated 22 December 2016, The Netherlands’ Minister for Environment, Sharon Dijksma affirmed her decision to fully accept the MTCS following the positive outcome of the fact finding mission by the Timber Procurement Assessment Committee (TPAC) to Malaysia which was held from 23-25 November 2016.

Minister Sharon Dijksma stated: “Forests are of crucial importance in combating climate change and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals…The TPAC report confirms my belief that MTCS has implemented important improvements and has sufficiently mitigated the three bottlenecks…Consequently, I hereby decide to accept the MTCS timber certification scheme under the Dutch central government’s public procurement policy."

The MTCS started its operation in 2001 and has since evolved into a scheme with international stature with endorsement by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). 

“As a PEFC-endorsed scheme, the operation of the MTCS has been significantly strengthened to meet international sustainability benchmarks. With this acceptance, the Netherlands becomes the latest country to fully recognize the MTCS in its public procurement policy along with other countries such as United Kingdom, Germany, France, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Switzerland and Japan,” said Datuk Himmat Singh, Chairman of the MTCC.   

“This acceptance marks a significant milestone for the MTCS and would further encourage the implementation of sustainable management of tropical forests globally and spur growth for the use and consumption of certified tropical timber. Additionally, the acceptance of the MTCS will contribute towards The Netherlands’ ambition of procuring at least 90% of its tropical timber imports from sustainable sources by 2020,” Datuk Himmat Singh explained.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/malaysian-timber-certification-scheme-now-fully-accepted-netherlands]

Pages