U.S. tropical timber imports fall by half in 2006
May 28, 2007
Tropical lumber imports into the United States fell from 353,985 cubic meters in 2005 to 176,806 cubic meters in 2006, reports the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) in its latest update. Tropical timber made up only 12 percent of U.S. hardwood lumber imports by volume for the year.
Among tropical timber, mahogany has been displaced by balsa at the leading importer tropical wood. Overall, balsa made up 20 percent of all tropical timber imports, while mahogany accounted for 9.6 percent, keruing 8.9 percent, and virola 8.3 percent. Most balsa came from Ecuador while mahogany mostly originated in Peru. ITTO says that the listing of mahogany on CITES, a protected species list, has lead to a steady decline in U.S. imports of the timber. ITTO notes that mahogany imports were worth $69.7 in 2002 but in 2006 only reached $23.8 percent.
Sustainable wood products gain in Bolivia
Bolivia exported $21.4 million of FSC-certified wood products in 2006, 22.3% of total wood exports according to the ITTO. Certified wood exports are growing faster than non-certified wood products.
The FSC, Forest Stewardship Council, is an international nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable forest management.
Sarawak timber traders say forged log labels a problem
Sarawak timber traders said that logs of certain timber companies in Sarawak were being forged and pirated, essentially hurting the credibility of the entire Malaysian timber industry.