Teak » The market

 

 

 

 

 


The tree
The wood


Prior to the beginning of the 20th Century, practically all of the teakwood consumed worldwide came from the natural teak forests of Southeast Asia, especially India, Myanmar (former Burma) and Thailand.

The first large teak plantations were established in India in 1842 by the British colonial government. At much the same time, the Dutch colonial government began its own vast plantations on the island of Java, now part of modern Indonesia.

The purpose of these plantations was to ensure a sustainable supply of the species’ timber, which was essential in the construction of warships and large passenger and cargo sail ships.

Since then, and particularly from the Second World War on, there has been accelerated growth in the volume of planted timber on the international market, with consumption now matching if not surpassing that of natural forest teak.

In the last 30 years, Myanmar and Indonesia have been the main suppliers to this market.

The timber from Myanmar is entirely harvested from natural forests managed under a sustainable teak production regime since the mid-19th Century. However, qualified sources reveal that over the last 40 years the amount of teakwood extracted from Myanmar’s natural forests has far exceeded the growth rate of standing samples, thus compromising the prospects of a long-term sustainable supply. The effects of this excessive felling are readily verifiable in the fast-decreasing quality, quantity and size of the teak logs sold at Myanmar government auctions year after year.

Teakwood from Indonesia, on the other hand, all comes from plantations, most of which were established while the country was still under Dutch rule. According to the literature, when the country won its independence in 1948, the island of Java boasted something like one million, one hundred thousand hectares of teak plantations, managed for 60 to 120-year rotations and yielding good quality timber. Unfortunately, most of these plantations have since been felled. The internal supply of quality teakwood is now insufficient, which has led important furniture companies based in the country to import the product from Cáceres Florestal.

India, one of the main market suppliers up to the late 60s, now imports large quantities of teak logs, including roughly sawn, small-diameter, low-quality logs, from teak plantations in Central and South America.

Cáceres Florestal’s teak plantations have all been FSC® certified since the end of 2005, thus ensuring its customers well managed plantation timber, produced under their social and environmental principles and criteria.