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International Tropical

Timber Organization
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

CENTER,5TH FLOOR,

PACIFICO-YOKOHAMA1-1-1,

MINATO-MIRAI, NISHI-KU,

YOKOHAMA, 220-0012, JAPAN
F A C S I M I L E

++81-45-223-1121
Tropical Timber Market Report

16 - 31st January 1999


Contents
International Log Prices p1

Domestic Log Prices p3

International Sawnwood Prices p4

Domestic Sawnwood Prices p4

International Ply and Veneer Prices p5

Domestic Ply and Veneer Prices p6

Other Panel Product Prices p6

Prices of Added Value Products p7

Rubberwood and Furniture Prices p7
Report From Japan p8

Report From Korea p10

Report From China p10

Report from Germany p13

US Added Value Product Market p14
World Value of the US Dollar p17

Abbreviations p17

ITTO Fellowship Grants p18
Appendix: Tropical Timber Product Price Trends
International Tropical Log Prices

Sarawak Log Prices
There is no news of significant price changes. Busines is rather slow probably due to the festive seasons of New Year, Hari Raya and the Chinese New Year.
Logging activities are also affected by the long spell of wet weather being experienced currently. Prices for logs have been improving, China is reported to be the most active buyer recently. Meranti logs, C&F Shanghai are currently being traded at around US$165 per Cu.m. For other species, FOB prices per cubic metre for the various markets are as follows: Keruing US$140, Selanganr Batu US$150 and Kapur US$140

Sarawak Log Export Prices

(FOB) per Cu.m

Meranti SQ up US$130-135

small US$100

super small US$70

Keruing SQ up US$130-140

small US$100

super small US$80+

Kapur SQ up US$130-140

Selangan Batu SQ up US$140-150

Solomon Islands
Indicative FOB Prices and forecast price trend

Indicative Price Forecast

per Cu.m Movement

Group 1A


Kwila US$120 no change

Group 1B


Palaquium US$100-105 mod. rise

Planchonella '' mod. rise

Calophyllum '' mod. rise

Pometia '' mod. rise

Gonostylus mod. rise

Schizomeria '' mod. rise


Group 2

Canarium US$90-95 mod. rise

Burckella '' mod. rise

Terminalia '' mod. rise


Group 3

Dillenia US$90-95 mod. rise

Celtis US$80-85 mod. rise

Alstonia '' mod. rise

Dysoxylum '' mod. rise

Eugenia '' mod. rise

Endospermum '' mod. rise

Vitex US$120 no change

Amoora US$90 no change
Group 4

Campnospermum US$85 no change

Parinari US$70 no change

Marathes '' no change

Mixed white '' no change

Mixed red '' no change

Low Grade Logs US$70 no change

Cameroon Log Prices

FOB per Cu.m

N'Gollon 70cm+ LM-C FFR 1350

Ayous 80cm+LM-C FFR 1000

Sapele 80cm+LM-C FFR 1650

Iroko 70cm+LM-C FFR 1650



Myanmar
Average tender prices for Teak logs in the November 1998 Tender Sales
Veneer Quality per Hoppus Ton

4th Quality

Highest Lowest Average

US$3150 US$2732 US$2958


Teak Logs

Sawing Quality per Hoppus Ton

Grade 1

Highest Lowest Average

US$2307 US$2010 US$2249

Grade 2


Highest Lowest Average

US$1877 US$1460 US$1682

Grade 4

Highest Lowest Average

US$1289 US$910 US$1031
Hardwood Logs per Hoppus Ton

Pyinkado US$ 226

Gurjan US$ 166

Hnaw US$ 255

Yemane US$ 339

Hoppus ton equivalent to 1.8 Cu.m. Teak 3-4th Grade for sliced veneer. Teak grade 1-4 for sawmilling. SG Grade 3 3ft - 4ft 11" girth, other grades 5ft girth minimum.



Papua New Guinea

FOB per Cu.m

Group 1

Taun US$90-95



Calophyllum US$90-95

Group 2


Amoora, Hopea US$75-80

Group 3


Celtis, Watergum US$75

Group 4


Mixed Reds/Whites US$70
Indonesia
According to the Indonesian Forestry Society (MPI) , Indonesia's log production dropped by about 50% in 1998 because of reduced logging activities by private timber companies. The sharp drop in the log production has been aggrivated by the long and heavy rain season, which is expected to run until March. The heavy rains has disrupted forest operations and log transportation from the logging areas to the mills.

The same sources have suggested that logging activities will also be affected by political events in the country, especially run-up activities to the general election in June. This will result in wood processing industries working much below capacity. Already it is estimated that mills are currently operating at 30% to 40% of their production capacity due to the shortage of logs.

Processing mills are rejecting big orders because they are wary of the log supply situation. Local wood-processing industries are forecast to need about 36million cubic meters of logs a year to sustain past levels of production, however, the supply of logs is forecast to reach only 22 to 26 million cubic metres this year.

National demand for the logs was initially projected at about 36.2 million cubic meters in the 1998/1999 fiscal year, of which 12.6 million cubic meters would be needed for the sawmill and wood working industry, 18.5 million cubic meters for the plywood industry and 430,000 cubic meters for the furniture industry and 4.64 million cubic meters for the pulp and paper industry.


Currency Woes in Brazil
Brazil raised interest rates to halt a rapid weakening of its currency, but overseas investors appeared to have lost faith. Amid growing dollar flight and a renewed slide in its, the Central Bank set interest rates at 35.5 percent in money markets up from 32.5 percent.

Economists said the rate increase was aimed at encouraging investors to keep money in fixed-income market and prevent a further wave of dollar outflows. But the move failed to appease nervous foreign exchange markets, and the real assumed its slide, closing at a new low of 2.05 to the dollar, down over 40 percent since the government first relaxed its stiff foreign exchange policy on January 13.

Now some three weeks into its most severe financial crisis in years, Brazil is striving to steady its currency as a first step to bringing back sorely needed foreign capital and softening recession expected to drag down the economy in 1999.

But the country faces a tough situation: While high interest rates stabilise the currency, they aggravate recession fears and increase the nation's mounting 320 billion reals (US$172 billion) domestic debt.


Even with slightly higher rates, Brazil continues to watch dollars leave the country at US$200 million to US$550 million per day. More than US$8 billion has been pulled out of foreign exchange markets in January alone.

Domestic Log Prices
Report From Brazil

Logs at mill yard per Cu.m

Mahogany Ist Grade US$340

Ipe US$68

Jatoba US$45

Guaruba US$30

Mescla(white virola) US$38

Indonesia

Domestic log prices per Cu.m

Plywood logs

Face Logs US$80-90

Core logs US$50-60

Sawlogs (Merantis') US$75-85

Falkata logs US$50-55

Rubberwood US$29-32

Pine US$55-65

Mahoni US$380-395



Peninsula Malaysia

Logs


Domestic (SQ ex-log yard) per Cu.m

DR Meranti US$130-135

Balau US$115-125

Merbau US$165-170

Peeler Core logs US$70-75

Rubberwood US$25-27

Keruing US$135-145

Report from Peru
Domestic Log Prices Pucallpa

per Cu.m


Caoba

(Swietenia macrophylla) US$376

Capirona

(Calycophylum spruceanum) US$61

Catahua (Hura crepitans) US$27

Cedro (Cedrela odorata) US$228

Estoraque

(Miroxilon balsamun) US$67

Huayruro (Ormosia sp) US$81

Tornillo


(Cedrelinga catenaeformis) US$87

International Sawnwood Prices
Brazil

Export Sawnwood per Cu.m

Mahogany KD FAS FOB

UK market US$1005

Jatoba Green (dressed) US$490

Asian Market

Guaruba no business

Angelim pedra no business

Mandioqueira no business

Pine (AD) US$140




Peru

Export Sawnwood FOBCallao/Lima

per Cu.m

Caoba (Mahogany) US$786

Cedro (Red Cedar) US$629

Cumala (Virola) US$389



Malaysia

Sawn Timber

Export(FOB) per Cu.m

Dark Red Meranti (2.5ins x 6ins & up)

GMS select & better (KD) US$435-440

Seraya


Scantlings (75x125 KD) US$545-555

Sepetir Boards US$175-185

Perupok (25mm&37mm KD)

US$720-730

K.Semangkok

(25mm&37mmKD) US$720-735



Domestic Sawnwood Prices
Report from Brazil

Sawnwood (Green ex-mill)

Northern Mills per Cu.m

Mahogany US$740

Ipe US$382

Jatoba US$330

Southern Mills

Eucalyptus AD US$156

Pine (KD) First Grade US$148

Peru

Caoba per Cu.m

(Swietenia macrophylla) US$538

Capirona


(Calycophylum spruceanum) US$95

Catahua (Hura crepitans) US$53

Cedro (Cedrela odorata) US$3296

Huayruro (Ormosia sp) US$135

Shihuahuaco (Dipterex sp) US$107

Tornillo


(Cedrelinga catenaeformis) US$121

Copaiba (Copaifera) US$107




Report from Indonesia

Sawn timber

Domestic construction material
Kampar

AD 6x12-15x400cm US$250-260

KD US$340-350

AD 3x20x400cm US$325-335

KD US$390-400

Keruing


AD 6x12-15cmx400 US$200-210

AD 2x20cmx400 US$205-210

AD 3x30cmx400 US$210-225

Malaysia

Sawnwood per Cu.m

Balau(25&50mm,100mm+)

US$175-185

Kempas50mm by

(75,100&125mm) US$120-130

Red Meranti

(22,25&30mm by180+mm)

US$210-220

Rubberwood

25mm & 50mm BoardsUS$155-165

50mm squares US$200-210

75mm+ US$225-230

International Plywood and Veneer Prices
Indonesia

Plywood (export, FOB)

MR, per Cu.m

Grade BB/CC

2.7mm US$305-315

3mm US$275-280

6mm US$225-230

Brazilian Plywood and Veneer

Veneer FOB per Cu.m

White Virola Face

2.5mm US$200-260

Pine Veneer (C/D) US$160-180

Mahogany Veneer per Sq.m

0.7mm US$2.30

Plywood FOB

White Virola (US Market)

5.2mm OV2 (MR) US$290

15mm BB/CC (MR) US$295

For Caribbean countries

White Virola 4mm US$370

9mm US$330

Pine USA market

9mm C/CC (WBP) US$280

15mm C/CC (WBP) US$273

Elliottii Pine Plywood

February/March Shipment 2440x1220

and 2500x1220 FOB C/ 5%

Phenolic Exterior Resin
Prices have been raised across the board by a minimum US$10 per cubic metres. In some cases the increase is as much as US$20 per cubic metre.
C/C C+/C C+/C+

9mm 3ply 293 - -

9mm 5ply 293 298 303

12mm 5ply 283 288 293

15mm 7ply 288 293 298

18mm 7ply 273 278 283

18mm 9ply 283 288 293

20mm 7ply 273 280 283

20mm 9ply 283 288 293

20.5mm 7ply 273 278 283

20.5mm 9ply 283 288 293

22mm 9ply 288 293 298

25mm 9ply 283 288 293

Malaysian Plywood

MR Grade BB/CC FOB

per Cu.m

2.7mm US$310-320

3mm US$265-275

3.6mm US$235-240

9-18mm US$210-215
Domestic plywood

3.6mm US$245-255

9-18mm US$215-225

Domestic Plywood Prices
Brazil

Rotary Cut Veneer

(ex-mill Northern Mill) per Cu.m

White Virola Face US$155

White Virola Core US$126
Plywood

(ex-mill Southern Mill)

Grade MR per Cu.m

4mm White Virola US$480

15mm White Virola US$375

4mm Mahogany 1 face US$1,190


Indonesia

Domestic MR plywood

(Jarkarta) per Cu.m

9mm US$245-250

12mm US$220-235

15mm US$205-215

18mm US$185-195

Other Panel Product Prices
Brazil
Export Prices

Blockboard 18mm per Cu.m

White Virola Faced

B/C US$260

Domestic Prices

Ex-mill Southern Region per Cu.m

Blockboard

15mm White Virola Faced US$390

15mm Mahogany Faced US$930

Particleboard

15mm US$247

Indonesia
Other Panels per Cu.m

Export Particleboard FOB

9-18mm US$85-95

Domestic Particleboard

9mm US$135

12-15mm US$120

18mm US$100
MDF Export (FOB)

12-18mm US$120-130

MDF Domestic

12-18mm US$160-170



Malaysia

Particleboard (FOB)

per Cu.m

6mm & above US$95-105

Domestic

6mm & above US$110-120

MDF (FOB) per Cu.m

Less than5mm US$155-165

Greater than 6mm US$125-130
Domestic Price US$150-160

Prices of Added Value Products

Indonesia

Mouldings per Cu.m

Ramin casings US$685-700

Laminated Scantlings US$345-350

Laminated Boards

Falkata wood US$225-275

Red Meranti Mouldings

11x68/92mm x 7ft up

Grade A US$570-590

Grade B US$450-460



Malaysia
Rain continues to play havoc with the industry especially in Peninsula Malaysia. Moulding and furniture mills are expecting severe shortage of raw materials and production by these mills has been reduced drastically with some mills operating at barely a single shift in a week of only 4 to 5 days.
Mouldings (FOB) per Cu.m

Selagan Batu Decking US$530-540

Laminated Scantlings

72mmx86mm US$480-490

Red Meranti Mouldings

11x68/92mm x 7ft up

Grade A US$625-635

Grade B US$500



Ghana
Wawa

10mmx23mmx2.16m - 2.45m per Cu.m

some black spots allowed DM 900

Finger jointed mouldings DM 850

With 30% Filled holes DM 550

5mmx24mmx2.43m DM1200

Dahoma

Blanks KD 20% No defects



25mmx90mmx510, 533, 1000, 1273

1800 Stg505

Albizzia Blanks

25mmx90mmx510, 533, 1000, 1273

1800 Stg505

Odum Blanks

KD 14% PAR

25,28x66, 90x674,728,762 Stg660-780

(for the Irish market)

Furniture and Rubberwood Parts
Malaysia

per Cu.m

Finger jointed

laminated boards US$545-555

top grade US$605-615

Dining table

Solid rubberwood laminated top 3' x 5'

with extension leaf US$27-29ea

As above, Oak Veneer US$42-43ea

Windsor Chair US$8.50-9.0ea

Colonial Chair US$10.0-10.5ea

Queen Anne Chair (with soft seat)

without arm US$16.5-17.5ea

with arm US$21.5-22.5ea

Rubberwood Chair Seat

20x450x430mm US$1.5-1.6ea

Rubberwood Tabletop

22x760x1220mm

sanded and edge profiled US$11.5-12.0ea

Brazil

Edge Glued Pine Panel

per Cu.m

for Korea 1st Grade no business

Last price US$580

US Market US$510


Hardwood Veneer Doors

2100x800x35mm FOB Southern

Brazil Port

US$ each

Rotary Cut Painting Grade 11.00

Sliced Cut Painting Grade

Hardwood Frame 20.00


Sliced Cut

Itauba/Curupixa 24.00

Mahogany/Imbuia 27.00

Sucupira 30.00



Freijo/Marfim 35.00

Forecast for the Japanese Economy
The Deepening Recession in 1998
In fiscal 1998, the weakening of Japan's economy resulted from a continued decline in exports, especially to Asia, and stagnant domestic demand from falling personal consumption and house buying, there was also a decline in investment in plant and equipment.
The economic recession in fiscal 1998 was aggravated by a cycle of worsening corporate performance involving structural adjustments in the factors of production, such as plant and equipment, stock adjustment and a reduction in numbers of employees. This resulted in a further decrease in demand as unemployment rose and incomes fell which, in turn, was a further cause of worsening of corporate profits. The cycle was accelerated by the credit squeeze and the dramatic decline in consumer confidence.
Economic Growth in Fiscal 1998
The Government is implementing measures to meet the severe economic situation. Measures include increased government spending and measures to stabilise the financial system. The effects of these measures will be a boost for the economy. The real effect of the emergency economic package for supplementing public works (8.1 trillion yen=67.2 billion dollars), should begin to appear in the first half of fiscal 1999. The effective functioning of the policy to stabilise the financial system using public funds should work to halt the credit squeeze. It is anticipated by government that by these measures, the rate of decrease in corporate profits will decline and the worst period of consumer confidence will be, at least, reigned in.
On the negative side the continuing reduction in plant and equipment, the reduction of the workforce in the corporate sector plus declining exports because of the strong yen will delay any recovery. Any recovery will be against a background of a slowing U.S. economy. Further the narrowing gap between U.S. and Japanese interest rates continues to exert strong downward pressure on the economy.
From a synthesis of the above, analysts at the Bank of Yokohama are forecasting, for fiscal 1999, a fall of 0.6% in the growth rate.
Profile of Japan's economy in Fiscal 1999
Personal consumption is forecast to be down 0.2% on a year-to-year basis in fiscal 1998, the second year in succession recording a negative growth, but could rise to 0.4% in 1999. While the employment and income situation will continue to worsen from the continued restructuring of enterprises in early to mid 1999, concern about the financial system will slowly subside and in the last period of fiscal 1999, stock prices are forecast to rise moderately, which is expected to lead to a slight improvement in consumer confidence and household expenditure. As a result, consumption may improve slightly in fiscal 1999.
The Bank of Yokohama analysts are forecasting real growth of exports (on a GDP basis) will be –2.5% on a year-to-year basis for fiscal 1998 and –1.3% for fiscal 1999. The volume of exports is expected to continue to be below that of the previous year due to stagnation in the Asian economies and deceleration of the US and European economies. Real growth in imports is forecast to be –8.1% on a year-to-year basis in fiscal 1998 and –3.0% in fiscal 1999. Import prices will be lower because of the high value of the yen and general weak commodity prices. The volume of imports is expected to continue to fall because domestic demand will stay weak.
The bottoming out of Japan's economy cannot be expected in fiscal 1999, because of the continuing downward pressure on the economy from structural adjustments in the corporate sector. In the latter half of fiscal 1999, however, inventory adjustment will have run their course and consumer confidence is expected to improve slightly, preparing an environment for economic recovery.
Source: Summary of Japan's Economy, Yokohama Bank Monthly Economic Report Jan 1999.

Log, Lumber and Panel Prices

Logs For Plywood Manufacturing

CIF Price Yen per Koku

Meranti (Hill, Sarawak)

Medium Mixed 5,400

Meranti (Hill, Sarawak)

STD Mixed 5,500

Meranti (Hill, Sarawak)

Small Lot

(SM60%, SSM40%) 4,600

Taun, Calophyllum (PNG)

and others 4,600

Mix Light Hardwood

(PNG G3-G5 grade) 3,700

Okume (Gabonese) 6,500

Keruing (Sarawak)

Medium MQ & up 7,500

Kapur (Sarawak) Medium

MQ & up 5,600


Logs For Sawmilling FOB Price Yen per Koku

Melapi (Sarawak)

Select 9,500

Agathis (Sarawak)

Select 8,500


Lumber FOB Price Yen per Cu.m

White Seraya (Sabah)

24x150mm, 4m 1st grade 170,000

Mixed Seraya 24x48mm,

1.8 - 4m, S2S 38,000
Red Oak 5/4x6 ins and wider

FAS (US East Coast) 125,000



December Wholesale Prices in Japan




Report from Korea

per Cu.m


Sarawak Meranti regular W399,600

Solomon Taun regular W273,060

Solomon Taun Low grade W199,800

Solomon Dillenia regular W266,400

Solomon Dillenia Low gradeW183,150

Low grade Calophylum W166,500

NZ Radiata 11m W111,000

Woodbased Panels


Price of Panels: ex factory per piece
Combi-Plywood
12mm x 4'x8' T-1 W14,000

12mm x 3'x6' T-1 W 7,700

12mm x 4'x8' T-2 W13,000

12mm x 3'x6' T-2 W 6,500

Tego Plywood
12mm x 4'x8' Tego W21,000

12mm x 3'x6' Tego W11,000

Particle Board
12mm x 4'x8' W7,440

15mm x 4'x8' W8,200

18mm x 4'x8' W10,210

Report From China
No devaluation
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji on Monday 25th reconfirmed that the yuan or renminbi, would not be devaluated. He is reported as saying "The Chinese government will continue to adhere to its policy of not devaluing the renminbi,"
Earlier the same day Chinese central bank dismissed a report in Sunday's China Daily Business Weekly that unnerved financial markets by suggesting a devaluation or float of yuan might be desirable.

China's Foreign Ministry was quick to re-iterate that the country would continue to maintain a policy of not devaluing its currency. By way of relief to exporters, who have been facing stiff competition because of the high value of the yuan, export taxes have been reduced further for many items


China's Timber Market in 1999
Experts believe that there will be both positive and negative factors influencing the market in 1999. It is felt that, generally, China's timber market in 1999 will become better with increased sales and gradual price rises.
Positive factors
The priority given to further economic development of China during 1999 will translate to increased demand. The growth rate will be sustained at a level between 7-8%. Macro-economic policies are very favorable to the development of the economy. Measures decided and implemented in the new programmes in 1998 will have a greater impact in 1999 which will promote market development.
the massive rebuilding of residential housing after the bad floods of 1998 will provide a new stimulus to the timber market. Some of the project related to flood repair will be implemented in 1999.
National production of timber will fall by 15 million cubic metres over the next 3 years as the Natural Forest Protection Policy is implemented. This reduction in wood available from nation sources will alter the structure of timber supply creating various opportunities for timber supply countries.
The government will strengthen its efforts to fight smuggling, this move positively affects the domestic timber and panel market.
the reforms in the housing distribution and ownership and the phasing out of the welfare housing distribution system will stimulate growth in the sector. Residential construction will become a new economic growth point and will drive greater activity in the building industry, in the home decoration industry, in the furniture industry and in other related industries generally driving up timber demand.
Negative factors
As countries in Southeast Asia begin to export their wat out of crisis, the timber export business in China will be plagued by very competive pricing and sluggish exports. The recovery of the economies in Southeast Asia will directly affect the China timber market.
a growing level of substition of timber will be seen in the building and home decoration sectors which will cause a decline in the market share held by timber products.
as the import trade is freed and becomes more multi-channelled there may be some inbalance in supply and demand. Any disorder will directly influence the sale of domestic timber. If there is less control of the timber import business there will be fierce competition amongst the importers which could negatively affect the trade.
Prospects in the Shanghai Timber Market in 1999
Review of the timber market in 1998
Two trends were apparent in the Shanghai timber market in 1998. From the beginning of the year to July timber prices kept falling. As a result of the Southeast Asian Crisis, prices for imported timber fell considerably and this caused domestic timber prices to fall to rock bottom. Imported timber from the Southeast Asia, for example, fell to 2350 yuan per cubic meter, down over 30%. The price of the imported threeply plywood went down to 24 yuan per sheet a decline of more that 40%. Due to the low prices for imports domestic timber prices also fell. White pine sawnwood fell to 900 yuan per cubic metre and the domestic plywood fell to 18 yuan per sheet.
In mid August, changes took place in the timber market and the price falls were reversed. The main causes were, first, the implementation of the logging ban and cutting limited in some major forest regions. As aresult of the National Natural Forest Protection Policy formulation an estimated 12-15 mil. cubic metres of timber will be taken out of the domestic supply chain. Secondly more effort was made to fight against the smuggling of plywood. Implementation of a package of stimulus measures to promote domestic demand and encourage the timber demand for the infrastructure industry further helped the sector. Finally, engineered changes in house ownership patterns and the development of the housing estatesdrove up interest in tropical logs. Because of these factors timber prices began to rebound and some stability returned to the markat.
Prospects for 1999
After a surge of activity in the first half of 1993, the Shanghai timber market experienced modest declines over the past five years. However, since the second half of 1998, this situation was reversed. Chinese experts believe that Shanghai timber market will improve moderately in 1999, but this is from a relatively low level. Generally, the Shanghai timber market in 1999 will exhibit the following characteristics:

The Logging Ban


It is projected that the price of logs, particularly the popular, high quality species will increase. As Shanghai is the major port and trading location for timber imports the impact of the logging ban can be minimised. The logging ban affects areas mainly located in the middle and upper reaches of Yungtze and Yellow Rivers and only small amount of timber for Shanghai comes from these areas. Most timber from the Northeast of China, such as Korean Pine, White Pine and Larch which reaches Shanghai can also be substituted by imported timber from Russia which, incidently, is much cheaper.
Prices for Imported Timber
The price of the Southeast Asian timber and the plywood from Malaysia and Indonesia is expected to remain stable or increase slightly but the highs of 1993 are not anticipated. It is expected that the domestic plywood industry will revive as prices climb and remain steady. The price of Okoume logs, which comprised some 30% of the total log imports in Shanghai in 1997, is expected to climb accordingly.
More species and Diversified Importers
As of December 1st 1998 the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation decided to do away with control regulations on private sector timber imports. This means that companies have few restrictions on how they import. This opens the door to more timber corporations to enter the import business and many are expected to do so In addition, the range of species and the kinds of imported timber products are expected to become more diversified and the import trade, including the border trade, will become more active.

Demand from N. America


With the expansion of infrastructural projects and the availability of government financing demand is expected to increase for N.American timbers. Consequently demand for American Douglas fir, Spruce, Hemlock logs and Canadian sawnwood will also increase and drive up imports.
Joinery and furniture Demand
With the expected rapid development of the building industry and with the improvement of the living standards in some segments of the population, demand for all kinds of medium and high grade flooring, veneers for decorative plywood, timber for medium and high grade furniture as well as decorative mouldings will become the hot points in domestic demand.

yuan per Cu.m

Shanghai

Radiate pine log

length:6m, dia. 26cm+ 850

Douglas fir log 28cm 1300

White oak lumber 2 ins 10000

Canadian sawlog 4m+ 1600

US maple lumber 2 ins 11000

Teak sawlog 4 m+g 8000


Beijing yuan per Cu.m

Lauan log ( mixed) 2450

Teak sawlog 4m+ 8500
Qindau yuan per Cu.m

Luan Log (mixed) 1175

White oak lumber

2 inches thick 9000


Nanjing yuan per Cu.m

Douglas fir log 1450

Lauan log 1900

Teak sawlog 4 m+ 9000

American maple lumber

2 inches 10500

SE Asian Sawlog 2700

Hangzhou yuan per Cu.m

Douglas Fir sawlog length:

more than 4m 1500

Lauan log 1550

Keruing log 1550

Canadian sawlog 4m+ 1200

Teak sawlog 4m+ 8500

SE Asian Sawlog 3000
Guanzhou yuan per Cu.m

Lauan Log 1300

Keruing log 1800

White oak 2 ins sawnwood 10,000

Canadian sawnlog

length: 4m+ 2300

US maple Lumber 2 ins 10000

Teak sawlog 4 m+ 7500

Sawlog from SE Asia 2800

Wholesale Prices Indonesian and Malaysian

plywood 3mm 1220x2440

yuan per sheet

Beijing 34

Shanghai 29.5

Harbin 32

Shenyan 38

Zhengzhou 30

Lanzhou 33

Shijiaozhuang 35

Yingchuan 35

Xian 30

Jinan 38


Hefei 38

Qindau 39

Chongqing 35

Chengdu 31

Nanjing 29.5

Hangzhou 34

Wuhan 28.5

Changsha 31

Guanzhou 29

From Europe an Update on Germany
According to the German furniture industry association, in 1998 the German furniture industry is expected to post a 3% growth in turnover to DM 43 billion. The demand for furniture has been positively affected by a slight upturn in consumption while exports are reporting good results too. In the first six months of 1998 exports rose by 12%, while imports rose by 10% (already in 1997 furniture exports had grown more than imports). Also the specialist furniture and kitchen trade sector expects to post a growth of 3% in 1998 to reach a turnover of about DM 45 billion.

Hulsta Werke Huls GmbH & Co KG (Stadtlohn) has taken over the majority stake of Rolf Benz AG, the upholstered furniture producer located in Nagold, from Welle group of Paderborn. A holding company has been created for the takeover.


Zeyko GmbH Kopp and Zeyher, the kitchen furniture producer of Althengstett, which has recently filed bankruptcy proceedings, might be acquired in the short term. A group of kitchen furniture producers is interested in Zeyko. One of the potential investors should be Hans Feierabend GmbH of Einbeck. In the meantime, operations are currently continuing, but the Althengstett plant will be closed by the end of June 1999. Zeyko is aiming at a turnover of DM 66 million in 1999.

The 3K furniture plant, located in Worms, will be closed by the end of March 1999. The plant belongs to the Welle group of Paderborn. 270 workers will be affected by the closure.

Other News from Europe
Conforama, the French furniture and consumer electrical goods chain, has bought nine new stores in Picardie (Northern France), thus bringing to 98 the number of its outlets. The new stores employ 580 workers and have a total surface of 27,400 square metres: the total surface area of all Conforama stores is now 338,600 square metres.
The UK furniture retailer MFI has registered an interim loss of Stg 26 million, due to falling sales and heavy restructuring charges. Sales registered a 10.6% decline, with a fall of 8.4% in the core area of kitchens and bathrooms, while exceptional costs were related mainly to restructuring the delivery system. On the positive side, MFI announced that its market share remains constant and the drop is in line with movements in the sector.

Cornwell Parker, which manufactures Parker Knoll furniture, will register a drop in profits in 1998-1999, due to the downturn in the furniture market. In the fiscal year to July 1998 the UK company reported underlying pre-tax profits of Stg 9.02 million.


Sawnwood Prices in the UK

FOB plus Commission per Cu.m

Teak 1st Quality 1"x8"x8' Stg2650
Brazilian Mahogany

FAS 25mm Stg694

Tulipwood FAS 25mm Stg245

Cedro FAS 25mm Stg405


DR Meranti Sel/Btr 25mm Stg275

Keruing Std/Btr 25mm Stg240


Sapele FAS 25mm Stg316

Iroko FAS 25mm Stg368

Khaya FAS 25mm Stg325

Utile FAS 25mm Stg385

Wawa No1. C&S 25mm Stg190
Plywood and MDF in the UK
CIF per Cu.m

Brazilian WBP BB/CC 6mm US$455

" Mahogany 6mm US$1300

Indonesian WBP 6mm US$385


Eire, MDF BS1142 per 10 Sq.m

12mm Stg32.50

Manufactured Items

CIF Wholesale

Carolina Door US$25.00 Stg34

Directors ChairUS$9.00 Stg8.00

8" Salad bowl Stg2.00 Stg5.00

US Added Value Product Market
As 1998 came to a close, all of the major American wood products associations issued statements on their respective industries and their predictions for the foreseeable future. In the next few North American reports Analysts from AKTRIN research institute will summarise the association statements, adding its views and predictions where appropriate.
The American Kitchen Cabinet Market
Since the beginning of the decade, American sales of kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities have grown 69 percent from the 46.6 million units in 1990 to 78.7 million for 1998. While current sales of kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities are not quite as brisk as during the booming 80s and early 90s, the overall health of the industry remains good.

Sales of kitchen and bath cabinets have grown every month for more than two years. The last month in which there was negative growth was February 1996.


In 1997, sales grew by a robust 6.4 percent toping the 78 million mark for the first time in the cabinet industry's history. Lower interest rates were a key reason for the booming markets. Growth in 1998 was with 0.6 percent, substantially slower, but still in positive territory. Demand for kitchen cabinets will be negatively affected by any slowing economy this year. The price, quality and availability of wood supply is also a concern for the industry. Sales are projected to reach 78.9 million units, up a meager 0.3 percent from the 78.7 million units last year.
Cabinet sales, for both new construction and remodeling, have grown but it is the remodeling market which provides the main impetus to the industry. Between 1990 and now, the share of cabinets that have been sold for the remodeling market has grown from slightly more than half to about three-quarters of the market. The best performing states for new construction are the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Vermont and North Dakota.


The American Market for Store Fixtures


This industry is enjoying increased sales. Sales grew by 2.5 percent in 1996 and by a healthy 8.8 percent in 1997. In value terms, overall sales exceeded US$ 7 billion in 1997. While figures for 1998 are not yet available, it is believed that growth slowed down to between one and three percent. This year (1999) may see still slower growth but will remain on the plus side.
While wooden fixtures dominate, the industry is fashion conscious when it comes to materials. Chrome, glass, and wire join wood as materials being used for fixtures.
The export business is growing at an above average rate as American companies establish stores overseas. Store owners prefer to use the same fixture makers when they expand into other countries. This guarantees a uniform and consistent image of the stores and also assure quality in the fixtures.
The year of 1996 was signified by a healthy profitability. The average pre-tax profit margin improved from 4.2 percent both in 1994 and 1995, to 4.7 percent in 1996. However, the overall profitability declined again in 1997 to 4.1 percent . It is believed that 1998 profit results were similar to 1997. In view of the slowing American economy this year may see a further deterioration in profit margins.
The American Laminating Materials Market

While laminating materials are not wooden products, they are applied to a wooden substrate such as particleboard and MDF. Therefore, the laminating materials market is an excellent indicator for the wooden panel industry.


Between 1987 and 1997, sales of industrial-grade decorative overlays increased 87 percent from 5.58 billion square feet to 10.43 billion square feet. Currently available information seems to indicate that last year's sales exceeded the record of 1997. This would be the seventh annual increase since the recession in 1991. On the negative side, there is likely to be an industry-wide slowdown in 1999 and 2000. Nevertheless, the industry is expected to see continued growth in the saturated paper and low basis weight paper categories. Most of the recent and potential future growth in the vinyl films category will come from thermoformed overlays that are used in membrane press operations.






IHPA Convention
The International Wood Products Association (IHPA) has announced details of the group's 43rd Annual Convention, for March 17-19, 1999. The theme is "2000 Trade Opportunities." The convention will take place at Saddlebrook Resort near Tampa, Florida. Participants include wood products importers, overseas producers, manufacturers, and representatives from the service industry.

The aim is to evaluate today's situation and to explore the possibilities for tomorrow. To present the most timely and important information on trends in order to establish a better understanding of what your options are and the choices that can be made to support an ongoing and strong

imported wood products industry. Sessions will focus on new markets, new

strategies, and new opportunities.


Watch the IHPA web site for updates on the Convention, additional session

details and information on speakers as they are confirmed at:


http://www.ihpa.org/convention.html



Abbreviations
LM Loyale Merchant, a grade of log parcel Cu.m Cubic Metre

FOB Free-on-Board SQ Sawmill Quality

SSQ Select Sawmill Quality KD Kiln Dry

AD Air Dry FAS Sawnwood Grade First and

Boule A Log Sawn Through and Through Second

the boards from one log are bundled WBP Water and Boil Proof

together MR Moisture Resistant

BB/CC Grade B faced and Grade C backed pc per piece

Plywood ea each

MBF 1000 Board Feet BF Board Foot

Sq.Ft Square Foot MDF Medium Density Fibreboard

FFR French Franc F.CFA CFA Franc

Koku 0.278 Cu.m or 120BF   Price has moved up or down


ITTO FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMME GRANTS
ITTO offers grants for training and technology transfer through its fellowship programme to promote human resource development, development of downstream timber industries and institutional strengthening in the forestry sectors of member countries. The priority areas are: Forest Industry; Economic Information and Market Intelligence; and Reforestation and Forest Management. Grants are provided for a variety of activities including: study tours of forests, mills and research institutions; participation in conferences, workshops and training courses; postgraduate programmes (partial tuition grants), not including Ph.D.; short-term research; technology transfer to tropical producer member countries; and preparation of technical documents.
Applications are required to conform with ITTO’s general objectives in respect of sustainable forest management, utilisation and trade and, in particular, the Year 2000 Objective. The grant is a maximum of US$12,000. Only nationals of ITTO member countries are eligible to apply.
A Fellowship Selection Committee appraises applications at the ITTO Council Sessions in May and November/December each year. Applicants should note that grant funded activities should not start until at least one month after the relevant Council Session. The next deadline for applications has been extended to 28th March 1999 and this is for activities that can begin in June 1999 at the earliest.
Further details and application forms (in English, French or Spanish) are available from:
Dr. Chisato Aoki, Fellowship Programme, ITTO,

E-mail itto@mail.itto-unet.ocn.ne.jp




Appendix 1 Tropical Timber Product Price Trends
















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