Indian wood consumption grows

ITTO's Tropical Timber Market Report
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Wood consumption in Indian is growing fast and although the country has over 250 commercial timbers (including some of the most highly prized tropical hardwoods like Teak, Rosewood, Padouk, Red Sanders, Sandalwood) a strict conservation policy limits harvesting. This means India is a net importer of wood and wood-based panel products. Indian industrial demand for wood jumped from 58 million cubic meters in 2000 to 85 million cu.m in 2008 and expected to cross 150 million cu.m by 2018.

India manufacturers prefer to import timber in log form to feed the domestic industries. Imports are mostly from Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Gabon, Brazil, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador and New Zealand. The major ports used for imports are Kandla, Mumbai, Mangalore, Tuticorin, Chennai Vishakhapatnam and Kolkata as well as many internal container depots.

Requirement for logs for the panel industry is met largely from plantations, Agro-forestry sources and natural forests. The concept of industry owned plantations of Eucalyptus, Poplar, Casuarinas and Acacia mangium is gaining popularity and this helps a lot in preventing illegal fellings from state forests. Teak harvesting is handled by the government Forestry Agencies and sales are made by auction at forest depots. Even the private logs are brought to the official depots for sale by auctions.

Auction prices
Auction prices for Teak logs at Government Forest depots have continued to be firm as domestic demand exceeds the quantity available. Adina cordifolia has been fetching Rs.300 to 350 per hoppus foot while Terminalia tomentosa has been selling for Rs.350 for A grade, Rs.200 to Rs.250 for B grade and Rs.200 to Rs.150 for C grade logs. All prices are per cubic foot (Hoppus) ex depot.

Plantation incentives
Besides industrial plantations, Sandalwood (Santalum album) and Red Sanders (Pterocarpus santalinus) are also now the focus of attention due to improved and relaxed rules and regulations for the growing and harvesting these high price exotic species.

There is plenty of scope for raising private plantations for these high value timbers as well as Teak. Now even Bamboo is being promoted by the Indian government as it is fast growing and finds many uses especially for the paper and rayon industries. The role of Bamboo is expected to boost the economy, the greening projects and carbon sequestration.

Trade analysts are reporting that import prices are steady as flow of arrivals is good. However the availability of timbers from Myanmar seems to be getting less and less but the expectation is for improved qualities of overseas plantations of Teak. The recently improved quality of plantation Teak from Ghana, Benin, Sudan and Tanzania are helping meet the shortages from Myanmar and supplies from Central and Latin American countries are also expected to get better as the plantations are getting older. The current prices for Teak imported from various sources other than Myanmar are shown below. All rates are per cubic meter C&F Indian ports.

India Domestic purchases
Sudan Teak logs Green
USD 585
Sudan Teak logs Dry
USD 535
Ivory Coast Teak logs
USD 500 to 525
Thai Teak logs
USD 400 to 450
USD 400 to 425
El-Salvador Teak logs
USD 400 to 425
Guatemala Teak logs
USD 395 to 415
Ghana Teak logs
USD 400 to 450
Benin Teak logs
USD 400 to 425
Togo Teak logs
USD 325 to 350
Ecuador Teak logs
USD 300 to 325
Costa Rica Teak logs
USD 300 to 325
Panama Teak logs
USD 275 to 300
All rates are per cubic meter C&F Indian ports.
The variations in price depend upon the thickness of sap, bark,
percentage of heartwood and clarity of logs. It also varies with
measurement allowances given for bark and sap.

India India Sawnwood Prices (domestic)
Indian sawnwood (Ex-mill)
Rs. per ft3
Teak (AD)

Plantation Teak A grade
Plantation Teak B grade
Plantation Teak C grade

India Sawnwood Prices
Sawnwood, (Ex-mill) (AD)
Rs. per ft3
Red Meranti
Radiata Pine (AD)
Sawnwood, (Ex-warehouse) (KD)
Rs per ft3
American Walnut
Hemlock clear grade
Hemlock AB grade
Western Red Cedar

India Plywood Prices
Plywood, (Ex-warehouse)
Rs per ft²
4 mm
6 mm
12 mm
15 mm
18 mm

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