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
super small US$70
Keruing SQ up US$130-140
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
Myanmar Average tender prices for Teak logs in the November 1998 Tender Sales
Veneer Quality per Hoppus Ton
Highest Lowest Average
US$3150 US$2732 US$2958
Sawing Quality per Hoppus Ton
Highest Lowest Average
US$2307 US$2010 US$2249
Highest Lowest Average
US$1877 US$1460 US$1682
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
Amoora, Hopea US$75-80
Celtis, Watergum US$75
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
Mescla(white virola) US$38
Domestic log prices per Cu.m
Face Logs US$80-90
Core logs US$50-60
Sawlogs (Merantis') US$75-85
Falkata logs US$50-55
Domestic (SQ ex-log yard) per Cu.m
DR Meranti US$130-135
Peeler Core logs US$70-75
Report from Peru Domestic Log Prices Pucallpa
(Swietenia macrophylla) US$376
(Calycophylum spruceanum) US$61
Catahua (Hura crepitans) US$27
Cedro (Cedrela odorata) US$228
(Miroxilon balsamun) US$67
Huayruro (Ormosia sp) US$81
(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
Guaruba no business
Angelim pedra no business
Mandioqueira no business
Pine (AD) US$140
Export Sawnwood FOBCallao/Lima
Caoba (Mahogany) US$786
Cedro (Red Cedar) US$629
Cumala (Virola) US$389
Export(FOB) per Cu.m
Dark Red Meranti (2.5ins x 6ins & up)
GMS select & better (KD) US$435-440
Scantlings (75x125 KD) US$545-555
Sepetir Boards US$175-185
Perupok (25mm&37mm KD)
Domestic Sawnwood Prices Report from Brazil
Sawnwood (Green ex-mill)
Northern Mills per Cu.m
Eucalyptus AD US$156
Pine (KD) First Grade US$148
Caoba per Cu.m
(Swietenia macrophylla) US$538
(Calycophylum spruceanum) US$95
Catahua (Hura crepitans) US$53
Cedro (Cedrela odorata) US$3296
Huayruro (Ormosia sp) US$135
Shihuahuaco (Dipterex sp) US$107
(Cedrelinga catenaeformis) US$121
Copaiba (Copaifera) US$107
Report from Indonesia
Domestic construction material
AD 6x12-15x400cm US$250-260
AD 3x20x400cm US$325-335
AD 6x12-15cmx400 US$200-210
AD 2x20cmx400 US$205-210
AD 3x30cmx400 US$210-225
Sawnwood per Cu.m
25mm & 50mm BoardsUS$155-165
50mm squares US$200-210
International Plywood and Veneer Prices Indonesia
Plywood (export, FOB)
MR, per Cu.m
Brazilian Plywood and Veneer
Veneer FOB per Cu.m
White Virola Face
Pine Veneer (C/D) US$160-180
Mahogany Veneer per Sq.m
White Virola (US Market)
5.2mm OV2 (MR) US$290
15mm BB/CC (MR) US$295
For Caribbean countries
White Virola 4mm US$370
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+
Greater than 6mm US$125-130 Domestic Price US$150-160
Prices of Added Value Products
Mouldings per Cu.m
Ramin casings US$685-700
Laminated Scantlings US$345-350
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
Red Meranti Mouldings
11x68/92mm x 7ft up
Grade A US$625-635
Grade B US$500
10mmx23mmx2.16m - 2.45m per Cu.m
some black spots allowed DM 900
Finger jointed mouldings DM 850
With 30% Filled holes DM 550
Blanks KD 20% No defects
25mmx90mmx510, 533, 1000, 1273
25mmx90mmx510, 533, 1000, 1273
KD 14% PAR
25,28x66, 90x674,728,762 Stg660-780
(for the Irish market)
Furniture and Rubberwood Parts Malaysia
laminated boards US$545-555
top grade US$605-615
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
sanded and edge profiled US$11.5-12.0ea
Edge Glued Pine Panel
for Korea 1st Grade no business
Last price US$580
US Market US$510
Hardwood Veneer Doors
2100x800x35mm FOB Southern
Rotary Cut Painting Grade 11.00
Sliced Cut Painting Grade
Hardwood Frame 20.00
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)
(SM60%, SSM40%) 4,600
Taun, Calophyllum (PNG)
and others 4,600
Mix Light Hardwood
(PNG G3-G5 grade) 3,700
Okume (Gabonese) 6,500
Medium MQ & up 7,500
Kapur (Sarawak) Medium
MQ & up 5,600
Logs For Sawmilling FOB Price Yen per Koku
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
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
Price of Panels: ex factory per piece
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
12mm x 4'x8' Tego W21,000
12mm x 3'x6' Tego W11,000
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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:
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
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 March1999 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,