Industry News

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]

TTF launches online survey to assess panel products specified in UK market

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has launched an online survey to help understand what buyers of panel products order and the performance requirements expected for the various grades of plywood and OSB.

The survey - accessible here - is part of TTF review into the specification of plywood and other panel products to assess whether the right panel products are being specified, and subsequently supplied, for the right applications.

The online consultations is specifically aimed at the purchasers of panel products, such as principal contractors, trade contractors, product manufacturers and merchants.

In fact, both the construction industry and the merchant community have repeatedly raised concerns on the quality of a range of panel products being specified and/or supplied in the UK market.

The Timber Trade Federation is now addressing the issue though a specific task force led by the independent chair Charlie Law from Sustainable Construction Solutions Ltd.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/ttf-launches-online-survey-assess-panel-products-specified-uk-market]

China and Brazil dominate plywood supply to the UK, TTF Stats show

As reported by the latest TTF Statistical Bulletin, China and Brazil dominate the supply of plywood to the UK, accounting for around three-quarters of the total volume from non-EU countries.

In details, China is by far the largest supplier of hardwood plywood - commanding a 56% share of the market – while Brazil controls around 56% of softwood plywood market.

These figures confirm that plywood imported to the UK is largely sourced outside the European Union (81% against 19%) both for hardwood and softwood plywood.

Among plywood suppliers from the EU, Finland accounts for nearly 50% of the trade, followed at a distance by France (8%) and Latvia (8%).

The Statistics - available here for TTF Members - also underline a reasonable increase in the imported volume of timber and panel products in the first half of 2016: around 5% higher than in the same period in 2015.

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/china-and-brazil-dominate-plywood-supply-uk-ttf-stats-show]

Hardwood imports from the EU down 4% in first five months of 2016

The market share of UK hardwood imports coming from the EU is shrinking, says the latest TTF Statistical Bulletin.

As reported by the Timber Trade Federation, in the five months to May 2016 - before the result of the EU referendum was known - the percentage of hardwood imports from the EU was 49%, down from the 53% in 2015

The main global supply country of hardwood to the UK remains the US accounting for around 25% of total imported volume.

Other main suppliers include Estonia and Italy for temperate hardwood; Cameroon and Malaysia for tropical hardwood.

Significantly, the great majority of tropical imports (78%) are supplied by non-EU countries, but large amount of volumes are transhipped to the UK through EU member countries like the Netherlands and Germany.

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/hardwood-imports-eu-down-4-first-five-months-2016]

UK heavily reliant on softwood imports from EU, TTF Stats show

The latest Statistical Bulletin released by the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) shows how UK softwood imports heavily rely on trade with the EU.

Following on from 2015 trends, in the four months to April 2016, 92% of total UK softwood imports came from the EU. Sweden is by far the largest supplier of softwood to the UK market accounting nearly 50% of the trade with the EU. Other strong EU trade partners include Latvia and Finland.

Of non-EU countries, the great majority of softwood trade is with Russia which accounts for nearly 80% of the softwood imported into the UK from outside the European Union. Canada and Norway make up most of the remainder.

On a wider perspective, the volume of timber and panel imports to the UK was 5% higher compared to the same period of 2015, mainly due to an increase in the imports of panel products. Major growth sectors included Brazil - which saw a 31% growth in volume of softwood plywood exported to the UK compared to 2015 - and Indonesia which increased its export of hardwood plywood by 53% in volume.

However, the value of softwood imports declined over the same period in 2015 by around 7.5%: sawn goods were down by around 8%, while planed goods were 6.5% lower. This is linked to currency fluctuations during this period.

David Hopkins, Managing Director of the TTF, said: “These statistics show the continued reliance on trade with the EU for the softwood market, though other countries seem ready to increase their market share. We will be following these statistics up with an event in September looking at the potential impacts of the EU referendum vote on the UK timber trade and forecasts for the future.”

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/uk-heavily-reliant-softwood-imports-eu-ttf-stats-show]

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