No Strong COVID-19 Signal Yet in EU Tropical Timber Import Data – ITTO European Market Report 15th July 2020

EU27 (i.e. excluding the UK) tropical timber product imports continued to defy expectations of COVID-19 driven collapse in the four months to April this year. Despite all the large western European countries implementing COVID-19 lockdown measures starting in the second two weeks of March, and mounting supply-side problems in tropical countries, total imports of tropical wood and wood furniture products into in the EU in April were little changed compared to the previous month.

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UK Tropical Wood Trade Down 19% in the First Four Months of 2020 – ITTO European Market Report 15th June 2020

The value of UK imports of tropical wood products was US$360 million in the first four months of 2020, 19% less than the same period last year. Although a significant decline, the downturn is perhaps less than might have been expected given the exceptional circumstances surrounding COVID-19.

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EU Tropical Timber Trade Weakens Before COVID Lockdown – ITTO European Market Report 31st May 2020

Having reached the highest level in more than a decade in October 2019, EU27+UK trade in tropical wood and wood furniture products slowed in the last two months of the year, a trend which accelerated in January and February this year. Contrary to expectations, with the large western European countries implementing COVID-19 lockdown measures during the month, EU imports of tropical wood products picked up again in March this year.

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FII Comment on UK Green Supply Chains Initiative

I was asked today to comment an ongoing move by UK Government, led by Michael Gove, Zac Goldsmith and others, to draw up a “Green Supply Chains” initiative in which one proposal is that due diligence obligations, similar to those already imposed on the timber trade through EUTR, should now be extended to other “forest risk” commodities, such as palm oil and soy.

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EU Organisations Reaffirm Their Support for FLEGT and EUTR – ITTO European Market Report 15th May 2020

Feedback received by the EC on their “fitness check” of the FLEGT and EUTR regulations indicates a high degree of consensus amongst European organisations and interests on the broad aims and objectives of the policy and legislative instruments.

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Europe Takes Tentative Steps Out of COVID-19 Lockdown – ITTO European Market Report 15th May 2020

Timber trading activity across the EU continues at an extremely low level as countries emerge slowly and uncertainly from the coronavirus lockdown. Many companies have temporarily closed or curtailed operations, pushed back orders and have been asking for longer payment terms.

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COVID-19 Puts Europe On a Knife-Edge – ITTO European Market Report 30th April 2020

The COVID-19 situation in Europe is on a knife-edge. The numbers of new cases and deaths have stabilised and are beginning to decline in the worst affected countries, which include Italy, the UK and Spain. This has led to calls for the lockdown measures, which have been in place now throughout large parts of Europe for over six weeks, to be eased as the detrimental effects on economic activity, education, mental health and general well-being are becoming increasingly obvious.

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EU Wood Furniture Imports Last Year at Highest Level Since 2007 – ITTO European Market Report 15th April 2020

It is ironic that in 2019, just before the market chaos created by COVID-19, the EU recorded its strongest year for wood furniture imports since 2007. That was, of course, when the last consumer boom was at its peak just prior to the market meltdown of the financial crises.

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