Enterprise to auction off timber in three regions

The government will auction off 5400 tonnes of logs and timber to small- and medium-sized businesses in Mandalay, Sagaing and Yangon regions in February.

The state-owned Myanmar Timber Enterprise announced the auction at an event organised by Mandalay’s Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Mandalay on Wednesday.

“I cannot say what will happen in the competitive bidding. This is the first event of its kind,” said Daw Myint Myint Khine of Bawga Wooden Furniture Industry, who wants to buy 25 tonnes of wood.

She said that only a few large businesses could buy timber legally in the past because it was expensive, and small and medium enterprises lost out. This pushed the price of one tonne of timber from around K1 million to K1.5 million.

U Tun Tun Oo, deputy general manager of the Myanmar Timber Enterprise, said, “Despite furniture selling well in foreign markets, getting the raw materials is difficult, so we are holding this auction to help small and medium enterprises,” said.

He said the auction had been delayed by a shortage of timber.

Only businesses that are registered with the government will be allowed to take part in the auction.

“How the auction will go depends on the quality of timber, the quantity, and demand,” said U Tun Tun Oo.

Businesses looking to buy one to 50 tonnes of logs and timber will be required to place a deposit of K1.5 million while those wanting to buy 51 to 100 tonnes must pay a K2.5 million deposit. The deposit for 101 to 150 tonnes will be K4 million and that for 151 to 200 tonnes will be K5.5 million. For more than 200 tonnes of wood, a deposit of K7.5 million will be required.

Winning bidders will have to pay within 30 days of the auction date and pick up the wood within 60 days. Those that fail to do so will lose their deposit and be banned from bidding for six months for a first infraction and for one year for a second violation.

Daw Khin Toe Wai of the Myanmar Timber Enterprise said, “The auction will sell more than 94 tonnes of teak and 836 tonnes of hardwood from Paleik, Pyin Oo Lwin and Myaing Hay Wun timber yards. It is estimated that at least 600 tonnes of timber will be auctioned off.”

Myanmar earned US$800 million in foreign revenue from exports of 1.2 million tonnes of timber in fiscal 2015-2016.

The government then changed its enterprise forestry policy and started to curb production, which subsequently fell to 350,000 tonnes in fiscal 2016-2017.

With the ban on exports, production has continued to drop to 300,000 tonnes of timber in 2018-2019, and is expected to drop to 280,000 tonnes in 2019-2020.

Source: Myanmar Times

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