Timber export volumes may fall when new regulation introduced

Export volumes may fall when new regulation introduced The MyanmarTimes has reported that a spokesperson from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, U Win Zaw, has said the volume of timber that can be exported is likely to decline beginning May this year.

The news item says “Only timber cut from logs sold by the state-owned Myanmar Timber Enterprise (MTE) which contracts out much of its cutting activity is eligible for export. MTE sells timber monthly through a tender system, with separate tenders in kyat and US dollars.”

U Win Zaw announced that beginning May 2017 only logs purchased in US dollars can be processed for export.
Myanmar’s trade deficit reached to US$3.2 billion for the 9 month period April to December 2016, down slightly from a year earlier.

Exports of wood products, at US$160 million, were the highest since the log export ban in April 2014. Although this is a small amount compared to exports from Myanmar’s neighbours the growth since the log export ban is significant. The major products exported are teak sawnwod and ‘mini’ decking used for luxury boats.

The classification of sawnwood qualities and specifications in Myanmar is rather unique. The most common quality is the so-called FEQ (First European Quality).

There are three major groups of sawn timber: Flitches (with a cross-sectional area of 24 square inches and up, excluding heartwood), boards (width 6 inches and wider), scantlings (width 5 inch or below). In addition to sawnwood there are two other main marketable items: outdoor decking and ‘mini-decking’ for yachts. Because there are restrictions on the maximum size of a flitch that can be exported flitch production is limited.

Boards and scantling are regularly available and the EU and US markets prefer long length boards. FOB prices for these items depend not only quality but also the average width and length.

The price of boards with an average width (8 inch) and length (8 ft) can vary from US$ 4100 to 4500 /cu.m.

Source: IHB

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