Myanmar: Community forestry plantation boosts agarwood availability

ITTO's Tropical Timber Market Report
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A community forestry plantation situated about eight miles from Myitkyina, Kachin State, in Northern Myanmar was established under a directive from the Ministry of Forestry’s aims to replenish agarwood (Aquilaria agallocha- Thymelaeaceae family) saplings. As reported in The New Light of Myanmar, agarwood is considered to be on the verge of extinction. The community forestry plantation had started sowing agarwood seeds in April 2008 and by June 2009 planted 12 acres. About 500 acres are expected to be planted under the initiative.

The seeds for the plantation were initially collected from trees in the nearby villages. About 100,000 seedlings were planted last year and sold to those interested in establishing plantations at the rate of Kyats 500 (about 50 US cents) per sapling. The Ngwe Pyaw Agarwood Plantation expects to plant another 100,000 seedlings this year. About 500 trees with a spacing of 10 feet by 10 feet can be planted per acre.

Agarwood trees are injected with microbes at three years, and can be utilized at five years. Old agarwood trees in nearby villages have straight boles and can grow up to about fifty feet in height. Agarwood is known to have medicinal properties and is highly popular in the Middle East. Prices are reported to vary up to USD20,000 per kilogram.

Plans designed to restore tidal forests
According to the Flowers News Journal, plans are being drawn up to rehabilitate tidal forests in the Tanintharyi Division. Records show that in 1980 the tidal forests extended to 647,571 acres. However, the area only spanned 587,776 acres in the year 2000 and 489,025 acres in 2008. Deforestation levels between 1980 and 2008 are attributed to human intervention such as the establishment of embankments and subsistence farming in the lowlands; expansion of fish farms; and fuel wood and charcoal production. Plans are now underway to rehabilitate mangroves that have been cut for various purposes and to provide effective protection the remaining tidal forests, thereby preserving the flora and marine life.

Tidal forests are to be found in Ayeyarwaddy, Yangon, and Taninthatyi Divisions and in Rakhine and Mon States. The largest areas of mangroves are to be found in the Rakhine State, Ayeyarwaddy Division and the Taninthatryi Division.

Market situation in Myanmar continues to be slow
The market situation remains as it was in July except some buyers reported a glut of pyinkado logs in Vietnam. Shipments to Vietnam are weakening. Teak was being shipped to India and the Indian teak market was reported to be quite firm.

Myanmar Log Prices (natural forests)
Teak Logs, FOB
€ Avg per Hoppus Ton
(traded volume)
Veneer Quality
2nd Quality
3rd Quality
(5 tons)
(4 tons)
4th Quality
(10 tons)
(10 tons)
Sawing Quality
Grade 1 (SG-1)
(38 tons)
(40 tons)
Grade 2 (SG-2)
(38 tons)
(56 tons)
Grade 3 (SG-3)
Grade 4 (SG-4)
(218 tons)
(196 tons)
Grade 5 (SG-5) Assorted
(152 tons)
(146 tons)
Grade 6 (SG-6) Domestic
(94 tons)
(80 tons)
Grade 7 (ER-1)
(57 tons)
(76 tons)
Grade 8 (ER-2) -
Hoppus ton=1.8m³; All grades, except SG-3/5/6, are length 8' x girth 5' &up. SG-3/4/6 are girth 4' &up. SG-3 grade is higher than SG-4 but with lower girth and price.

Logs, FOB € Avg per Hoppus Ton (traded volume)
Pyinkado (export)
377 (381 tons)
Gurjan (keruing-exp) 204 (389 tons)
Tamalan 338 (20 tons)
Taungthayet --
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