Myanmar: prices for non-teak hardwoods far below expectations

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Analysts report that, at present, demand in international markets is very poor especially for non-teak hardwoods.

Exports of pyinkado have been severely hit and prices offered at the latest Myanma Timber Enterprise (MTE) sealed tenders were unexpectedly low.

In the July’s sealed tender sale of export quality pyinkado logs prices offered were from US$368 to US$421 per hoppus ton against the MTE’s target price of US$678.

One possible explanation is that buyers were not keen on these logs as they were left over from the previous harvesting season. However, pyinkado is a highly durable wood and does not deteriorate so this cannot account for the steep decline in offered prices.

Teak log sales were at normal levels and prices, the only concern of the MTE is that the Indian rupee has depreciated over recent months and this is beginning to affect demand. Analysts are quick to point out that despite currency constraints, teak logs from the areas known to produce good quality sell much easier than logs from other areas. Overall the teak market has eased slightly over the past four weeks.

Exports of teak and non-teak hardwood logs

The figures below illustrate shipment of teak and other hardwood logs during the first four months of the fiscal years 2012-13 and 2013-14. These comparative figures expressed in cubic metres mirror international market demand for timber from Myanmar.

Teak logs 2012 2013
Apr 30330 29340
May 35910 49500
Jun 62370 23040
Jul 16850 28170
Total 145460 130050

 

Non-teak hardwood logs 2012 2013
Apr 96840 87120
ay 154620 112680
Jun 156600 148680
Jul 114300 103860
Total 522360 452340

                                                                                                                                          Analysts point to the overall decline in shipments in the first four months of fiscal 2013 compared to the same period a year earlier.

With a log export ban likely to be introduced in April next year it was anticipated that shipments would increase as buyers sought to increase stock levels but this has not yet been seen.

Seizure of illegal logs reported in daily press

The Daily Eleven newspaper has reported that 57 trucks carrying illegally felled timber were seized within a period of three days along the Bamaw- Momauk – Loigye road in the eastern part of Kachin State.

This is the first time government action to tackle transport of illegal logs has been reported by a local newspapers.

Teak tender prices

The following prices were recorded for teak log sales during competitive bidding on 26th and 29th July during the MTE tender. The next sale will be held in late August.

Grade Quantity (Tons) US$ per hoppus ton
4th Quality 11 6820
Sawing Grade-1 20 4787
Sawing Grade-2 25 3777
Sawing Grade-4 345 3186
Sawing Grade-5 186 2503
Sawing Grade-6 109 2062
Sawing Grade-7 105 1858
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