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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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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Survey Highlights Benefits of FLEGT Licensing to European Market Prospects. ITTO European Market Report 15th June 2021

A survey of over 130 companies in the EU+UK, including a significant proportion of the region’s largest importers of tropical timber products, highlights that FLEGT licensing has helped boost market prospects for Indonesian products. It also shows that implementation of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and associated rising dependence on certified products has led to a narrowing in the range of tropical companies supplying the region overall. 

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UK Tropical Wood Imports Recover Ground Despite Supply Challenges. ITTO European Market Report 15th May 2021

The UK imported tropical wood and wood furniture products with a total value of US$290 million in Q1 2021, a 2% increase compared to the previous quarter and 6% up on Q1 2020 (even before the effects of the COVID pandemic were being felt – Chart 1). The strong performance in the first three months of this year reflect both a robust rise in consumption in the UK, supported by strong government stimulus measures, and the late arrival of delayed shipments from the previous year. The rise occurred despite severe logistical problems that have emerged in shipment of tropical wood products to the UK since the start of the pandemic. 

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Record Low EU27 Tropical Timber Imports in 2020. ITTO European Market Report 30th April 2021

Total EU27 (i.e. excluding the UK) import value of tropical timber and wood furniture products was US$2.99 billion in 2020, 9% less than the previous year. This is a significantly higher level of import than forecast when the first waves of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the continent early in 2020. It was, however, the lowest level in recent decades and represented a further decline in a market that has been severely restricted ever since the financial crises (Chart 1).

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Proposals for FLEGT and EUTR to Be Merged With EU “deforestation-free” Regulations. ITTO European Market Report 15th April 2021

The EU is considering the introduction of new forest and climate policy measures which would reshape timber trade relations with tropical countries. In some ways, the proposed measures build on the existing policy framework contained in the FLEGT Action Plan. However, they also raise questions about the future of existing instruments such as the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and FLEGT licensing systems.

The potential far-reaching implications of the ongoing policy discussions were highlighted in a presentation by Hugo Schally of the European Commission’s Environmental Directorate (EC DG ENV) to a webinar hosted by FERN, the Brussels based environmental NGO, on 17 March 2021 which brought together a range of policymakers and civil society stakeholders for presentations and discussions on the theme “Enforcing Due Diligence regulation for forest risk commodities”[1].

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