Tropical Timber Trends

A look at some exotic wood exports from various places.

Prices are mostly stable from Africa, prices for padauk and khaya have not increased much despite the recent addition to CITES. Expect that to change as stocks in the west and Asia decline and replacement becomes more difficult. Sapele remains a big volume seller and prices are steady. Sapelli will probably be the main replacement for khaya, so expect prices and volumes to rise over the next 2 years. But this also will lead to the inclusion of sapele on CITES. Sipo is another species that will most likely be a khaya replacement, so that species could also increase in volume and price. Low demand in Vietnam and Europe will keep prices down for now. The market for khaya veneer and what will replace it is another thing to watch. Khaya has replaced genuine mahogany in the market after it went on CITES 20 years ago. Now khaya will also most likely be replaced soon as well.

Exports from Brazil were down 35% last month, many other countries such as Peru are also facing weak demand. Now is a good time to look for tropical decking for those who can buy container loads. Prices from Peru seem better than Brazil for cumaru, with container loads of North American sizes coming in at about $2100 m3, S4S, E4E, 12-15% MC. That is FOB Peru, (payment terms Cash against Documents). -That works out to US$1.70 lineal ft for 3-/4” x 5-1/2”, US$2.25 for 1” x 5-1/2” (net sizes). Shipping to major US ports probably adds $0.10 a lineal ft. Cumaru and ipe go on CITES next year, so those prices will probably start to rise steeply next spring. Ipe decking from Brazil is officially around $5150 m3, FOB Brazil, but I have seen prices 15-20% lower than that. There are lots of alternative species available, those will grow in volume as the 2 biggest decking species (ipe and cumaru) get harder to find and much more expensive next year.


Very interesting information for hardwood importers. @Steve_Getsiv @Laurens_van_Kleef @Burford_Bolander have you been tracking this?