EU publishes far-reaching “deforestation-free” regulatory proposal. ITTO Market Report 30th November 2021

Malaysia Tropical forest. RJW Oliver

On 17 November 2021, the European Commission announced a Proposal for a new Regulation to reduce global deforestation and forest degradation driven by EU consumption of certain commodities. If enacted the law would have a profound effect on EU trade in the regulated wood and agricultural commodities. It would represent a very significant extension of state intervention in European commodities trade even compared to the existing controls imposed through the EUTR.

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EU27 Tropical Wood Imports Still High But Beginning To Slow. ITTO Market Report 15th November 2021.

Loading Tropical Timber. RJW Oliver

After reaching the highest level for nearly a decade in the first half of this year, the US$ value of EU27 imports of wood and wood furniture products from tropical countries declined sharply in July and August. However, import value during the summer months was still higher than is usual at that time of year (Chart 1).

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Big Push To Inform Climate Change Talks Of Forest Industry Role. ITTO Market Report 31 October 2021

A coalition of timber industry associations is collectively hosting the ‘World of Wood Festival’ from 25 October to 3 December at the Building Centre in London, online, and virtually. The six-week celebration of global timber and global forests coincides with COP26 climate talks being held in Glasgow in the first two weeks of November which brings together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree on coordinated action to tackle climate change.

Designed to inform climate change policy and raise awareness of the mitigation opportunities presented by the forest products sector, the World of Wood Festival will showcase the vital role that forest supply chains have to incentivise sustainable forest management, increase carbon sequestration both in forests and products, and substitute for more carbon-intensive building materials.

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European Wood Furniture Production Down 5% Last Year. ITTO European Market Report 15th October 2021

Furniture production

The latest Eurostat PRODCOM data reveals that the total value of wood furniture production in the EU27 declined 5% to €32.4 billion in 2020. This performance for the year is significantly better than initially anticipated at the start of the pandemic. It is also an improvement on the 8% decline in total EU27 furniture production in 2020 implied by the Eurostat furniture production index published earlier this year. Nevertheless, the decline was a major setback for a sector that has been sliding since 2018. Production value last year was the lowest since 2014 when the EU27 was just emerging from the depths of the Euro Debt Crisis in the aftermath of the 2007-2008 global financial crash (Chart 1).

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Imports Of Tropical Wood Rebound In The UK But Lose Share In A Rising Market

UK Tropical Wood Imports Graph

The UK imported tropical wood and wood furniture products with a total value of USD760 million in the first seven months of 2021, a 36% increase compared to the same period in 2020. Following the sharp increase in April, when import value was at the highest monthly level since before the financial crises of 2008-2009, imports declined only slightly from this peak between May and July (Chart 1).

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Hardwood Trade In Europe Profiting Under Pressure

It’s been six months plus of extremes and superlatives in the European sawn hardwood sector.

Importers, distributors and merchants say the trading environment has been like nothing they’ve experienced during decades in the business. Demand has climbed across key markets. Freight rates have reached unprecedented levels. Supply has become exceptionally tight and lead times have stretched from sources globally. Prices have consequently hit the heights, while margins are variously described as good to extremely so.

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Trade In Tropical Hardwood Logs At Lowest Level Ever Recorded As Tropical Forest Sector Hit Hard By COVID. ITTO Market Report 31 August 2021

Yokohama, 30 August 2021: Tropical log production declined by 3% in 2020 due largely to the COVID-19 pandemic, and imports plummeted by 11%, according to ITTO’s Biennial Review and Assessment of the World Timber Situation 2019–2020, which was released today. The flagship report provides data on the production and trade of primary and secondary processed wood products in 73 countries worldwide.

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Some Encouraging Signs for European Furniture Sector. ITTO European Market Report 15th July 2021

The global significance of the European furniture sector, and some positive signs for the sector after the turmoil caused by the COVID pandemic, are highlighted in recent reports in World Furniture, the trade journal of CSIL, the Milan-based furniture market research organisation (www.worldfurnitureonline.com). 

In the editorial to the most recent edition (June 2021) of World Furniture, Paola Govoni notes that “the disruptive consequences of the last 18 months are there for all to see. A lot has changed on every level and some of these developments could be here to stay. At the time of writing there are encouraging signals in Italy and most of Europe showing that the summer could be the beginning of an exit-phase from the pandemic. Major international economies have entered a recovery path and the strengthening of the increasing trend resulted in an upward revision of growth forecasts in many countries”.

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UK Tropical Wood Import Value in April at Highest Level Since 2008-09 Financial Crises. ITTO European Market Report 30th June 2021

The UK imported tropical wood and wood furniture products with a total value of USD419 million in the first four months of 2021, an 18% increase compared to the same period in 2020. There was a particularly sharp increase in April when imports were USD129 million, the highest monthly import value recorded since before the financial crises of 2008-2009. 

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