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The following sections provide a brief description of various sources that may be useful for the economic analysis of the forestry sector in Suriname as well as more general forestry policy analysis. All of the sources listed here are free. The text also contains hyperlinks (shown as underlined text) to each of these sites. If the electronic version of this document is loaded into a computer with internet access, it should be possible to connect directly to each of these sites, simply by clicking once (with the left-hand mouse button) on any of the hyperlinks.

Timber prices

Three international agencies present regular information about timber prices on their Internet sites and one national institution produces some tropical timber price information that may be of use to Suriname. In addition to these, a few other organisations produce some price and marketing information (mostly for the USA) which may be of limited use.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) is the UN specialised agency responsible for international forestry policy development, statistical collection and analysis and currently has 175 member countries and territories. The general FAO Internet address is:

The FAO has a substantial on-line forestry statistics database within its World Agricultural Information Centre (WAICENT). The database contains annual statistics showing: production volumes; trade volumes; and trade values, from 1960 to the most recent available year. The database contains over 30 forest product categories (plus many aggregated categories) for all countries and territories of the world. Time series data for individual countries and products can be downloaded for free by the general public.

The main strengths of the FAO forestry database are that it: covers all the countries of the world; has data stretching back over a long period of time; and includes a comprehensive set of product categories. The main weaknesses are that it is not very up-to-date and that the product categories included on the database are rather broad. It is mostly useful therefore, for long-term trend analysis. The WAICENT forestry database can be found at:

In addition to the forestry database, the FAO Forestry Department also has an internet site within WAICENT which contains a wide range of information, including: publications; additional forestry databases; links to other forestry sites; information notes; regional reports; reports of meetings and statutory bodies; and reports of current activities. The FAO Forestry Department's Internet service is also currently being upgraded to offer more information in the future. The Forestry Department's current homepage can be found at:


The International Tropical Timber Organisation

The International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) is an intergovernmental organisation established by international treaty. Members of the ITTO include all of the major producers and consumers of tropical wood products. ITTO currently has 23 consumer country members and 26 producer country members (of which Suriname is the latest to join). The general ITTO Internet address is:

The ITTO produces the following two sources of information on timber prices:

the Annual Review and Assessment of the World Tropical Timber Situation; and

the Tropical Timber Market Report

The ITTO Annual Review is produced for the annual meeting of the International Tropical Timber Council in December each year and is usually made available on the ITTO website at around this time. It contains a complete description of developments in solid wood product markets for all ITTO member countries. Statistics are presented for the previous 2-5 years, and the ITTO Annual Review includes estimates of most statistics for the current year. Data presented in the ITTO Annual Review includes statistics in the following areas: production; consumption; trade; and prices, plus general information on individual countries and trade issues.

The ITTO Annual Review is a good source for up-to-date information about timber markets in ITTO member countries in the current and recent years. It is less useful for the analysis of longer-term trends. The ITTO Annual Review for 1997 can be found at:

The ITTO Market Report is produced twice every month and contains domestic and export price information for all solid wood products made from tropical timber species across all ITTO member countries. It also features reports from individual countries (mostly Asian countries) which present recent developments in their markets and occasional articles on thematic topics. This is a very useful source of recent and short-term price information and goes into some detail (e.g. prices by species, grade and product). However, only a few recent copies of the report are kept on the internet site, so it is less useful for getting long-term information (unless it is regularly downloaded and printed-out) The ITTO Market Report can be found at: or can be automatically received by e-mail, by requesting this service from

The ITTO also produces some general tropical forestry information and information about the ITTO, which can be obtained from the general Internet address given above.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is an agency of the UN Economic and Social Council. Members of the UNECE include all the countries of Western Europe, most of the states of the former USSR, the United States of America and Canada. The UNECE has a Timber Section (which is jointly funded by FAO) and their general Internet address is:

The Timber Section produces a rang of marketing information, including: bulletins of forest products prices; an annual market review; outlook studies describing likely future market developments and special papers on various timber marketing issues. They also arrange study tours in Europe and America (mostly for East European countries). Very little of the information produced by the FAO/UNECE Timber Section is currently available on the website at the moment, but there are plans to increase the amount of information that will be presented on-line.

Malaysian Timber Council

The Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) is a Malaysian forest industry association and produces a range of information about Malaysian forestry, including some price information. The MTC Internet site is one of the better national forestry Internet sites and can be found at:

This site contains some data of relevance to Suriname, such as general market reports and price series for exports of Malaysian tropical timer. The MTC also host the International Timber Marketing List (see below).

Other sources

In addition to the above, there are a range of other sources of price information produced in the USA. Most of the price information available from these internet sites is for species and grades of wood products produced in the USA and is not, therefore, particularly relevant to Suriname. However, most of these sites also contain general information about global market conditions, which may be of use.

The Western Wood Products Association (WWPA) is a private company which provides an independent timber grading service and other marketing and technical services to the forest industry in the north-western USA. The WWPA regularly produces timber market reports, covering prices and supply and demand conditions around the world, which may be of interest in Suriname. The WWPA Internet site can be found at:

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is produces timber price reports for the State of Mississippi every two months. While this information is not particularly relevant to Suriname, it does provide some general information about timber market developments in the southern USA. The service's current timber market report can be found at: The previous year's market reports can also be obtained from this address.

The World Bank produces a quarterly commodity market review: Commodity Markets and the Developing Countries. A summary of the latest copy of the review (August 1997) is available at the following Internet address: The summary contains some very brief information about timber prices and general commodity market developments. However, it would probably be necessary to subscribe to the review to get all of the information available. Also, the last edition of the review available on the Internet site is over a year old and it is not known whether the World Bank is still producing this information.

Production cost information

Very little information about production costs is available from international sources. Most of the information that is available only covers new and second-hand equipment prices in the USA. However, this may be useful to get a general impression of equipment prices in Suriname. (With freight charges, insurance and import duties, it seems that prices of equipment in Suriname are roughly twice the prices quoted in the USA).

Many suppliers in the USA have Internet sites that contain information about equipment prices and a useful Internet site, which provides links to a wide range of suppliers, is the Forest Industry Network. This network also provides many links to a range of other forestry information sources, and can be found at: The two largest Internet sites, which contain a vast amount of information about equipment prices, are described below.

TMS Machinery Sales

The largest source of information about equipment prices is the TMS Machinery Sales Internet site, which can be found at: TMS Machinery Sales is a company specialising in selling forestry equipment (new and second-hand) using the internet and their equipment listing includes around 3,000 pieces of equipment for sale. Each sale record includes the type of equipment, manufacturer and model, details of any additional equipment included in the sale, location, price, condition of the equipment and, sometimes, the age of the equipment. A wide range of types of equipment are contained in the listings, including: bandsaws; gangsaws; edgers; planers; chippers; generators; fork lift trucks; log carriages; grinders; dryers; sorters and stackers; panels saws; hoists; cranes; loaders; logging trucks and trailers; skidders; bulldozers; plus many other minor items.

Equipment Search

Another large source of equipment price information is Equipment Search, which can be found at: Equipment Search is a search engine that allows the user to specify what type of equipment they are interested in, then it supplies links to dealers who currently have that equipment for sale. Equipment Search covers a wide range of heavy equipment, including forestry machinery such as: bulldozers; skidders; logging trucks and trailers; and loaders. Each record indicates the manufacturer and model of the equipment, details of any additional equipment included in the sale, the age of the equipment, location and price. In some cases it also provides a picture of the equipment being sold.


There are a number of on-line journals currently available, covering a wide range of topics. The ones that are most relevant to forestry are described below.


Unasilva is the journal of the FAO Forestry Department and is published four times per year. Each issue of the journal usually concentrates on a particular forestry topic that is likely to be of interest to a wide range of countries. Recent issues have covered: global fibre supply; computers and forestry; forest extension; and forest products trade and marketing. The Unasilva Internet site contains the last 12 issues of the journal. The Unasilva Internet address is:

Tropical Forest Update

Tropical Forest Update is the journal of the ITTO and is published four times per year. The journal covers a range of topics that are likely to be of interest to forestry policymakers in Suriname, including: advances in tropical forest management; market information; international agreements and meetings; and reports from individual countries. The journal is available free from ITTO by mail, or can be accessed from the following Internet site: The site carries the last eight issues of the journal.

Timber Processing

Timber Processing is an American trade magazine dealing with the solid wood processing industry. The magazine covers a range of issues such as: market developments; technology; and new products. The magazine is available free to anyone working in the forest processing industry, but only, unfortunately, in the USA. However, a summary of some of the magazine's articles can be found on the magazine's Internet site. The Internet address for Timber Processing is:


CINTRAFOR (the Center for International Trade in Forest Products) is an independent research organisation within the University of Washington. The main focus of CINTRAFOR's research is global supply and demand studies, but the centre also produces research on particular regions (especially the North-western USA and Pacific Rim) and on forest management and industry development topics. CINTRAFOR News presents the results of the center's recent research, information about current and forthcoming research activities and other information about the center. The main CINTRAFOR internet address is: and the last two issues of CINTRAFOR News can be found at: this address.

Discussion groups and listservers

Discussion groups and list servers are e-mail services that automatically e-mail messages on the topic the group is interested in to members of the group. Some act as discussion groups, where every member of the group can post a message to all the other members of the group. Others act mainly to disseminate information from a particular organisation (e.g. CIFOR's POLEX listserver). Joining the group is usually achieved by sending a message that is formatted in a particular way to the list owner. The most useful forestry listservers are described below. However, it is worthwhile noting that some of these listservers are very active and often send many messages to group members every day.

Forest Mailing List

The Finnish Forest Research Institute (METLA) maintains the Forest Mailing List. The list is intended to be a general-purpose forum for all issues related to forestry that can be put into an e-mail. The list tends to cover temperate forestry issues rather than tropical forestry issues. The list can be joined by sending an e-mail message to, leaving the subject line empty and typing in the first row of the message: subscribe forest your name (i.e. type in your name). The listserver will identify the sender's e-mail address from their message and e-mail the sender to confirm that they wish to join the list. Then it will send full instructions for using the list. Expect about 3-4 e-mails per day from this listserver.

International Forest List

The International Forest List is similar to the Forest Mailing List, but with a tropical forestry focus. The list can be joined by sending an e-mail message to, leaving the subject line empty and typing in the first row of the message: subscribe forest list. The listserver will identify the sender's e-mail address from their message and send full instructions for using the list. Expect about 3 e-mails per day from this listserver.

International Timber Marketing List

The International Timber Marketing List is a fairly new listserver, maintained by the Malaysian Timber Council. The aim of the list is for buyers and sellers of forest products to advertise their needs or products and make contacts with others in then business. About one-third of notices on the list are for products available for sale, another one-third come from buyers looking for products; and one-third are general notices from companies indicating their products and services. This list may be particularly useful for Surinam's forest industry to develop contacts and marketing opportunities in other countries. The list can be joined by sending a message to, leaving the header subject line empty and typing in the first row of the message: subscribe timber-biz. It is also necessary to include the following information in the message: your full name; your job title/profession; the full name of your organisation/company; your full postal address; a contact number (i.e. fax and telephone number); and e-mail address and homepage (if any). The listserver will identify the sender's e-mail address from their message and send full instructions for using the list. Expect about 2 e-mails per day from this listserver.

POLEX Listserver

The POLEX listserver is maintained by CIFOR (the Center for International Forestry Research). Unlike the other listservers, the list is only used to disseminate information from CIFOR and is not a general discussion group. POLEX is an acronym for POLicy EXchange and messages from the listserver mostly discuss the results of policy studies recently carried-out at CIFOR or (occasionally) present results of other policy studies. The geographical scope of POLEX is world-wide, but the studies disseminated through the list mostly examine policy issues in tropical countries. The list can be joined by contacting David Kaimowitz at the Center for International Forestry Research (phone 62-251-622-622, or e-mail: Expect about 1 e-mail per month from this listserver.


NTFP Biocultural Digest

The purpose of the NTFP Biocultural Digest is to promote the advancement of knowledge about human dimensions of world-wide non-timber forest product use. The list allows some commercial activity (e.g. announcement of NTFP books for sale), but in general the list is not intended for promoting and selling goods and services. This list can be used to share research materials, event announcements, funding, job and training opportunities, relevant newsletters, and news in general regarding non-timber forest products. The list can be joined by sending a message to, leaving the header subject line empty and typing in the first row of the message: subscribe ntfp-biocultural-digest <your e-mail address>. The listserver will identify the sender's e-mail address from their message and send full instructions for using the list. Expect about 2 e-mails per month from this listserver.

General forestry and economic information

In addition to specific information sources about forestry, there is also a wide range of other Internet resources that may be useful for forestry policy analysis in Suriname. Some of these provide general information about global forestry or forestry policy in other countries and others provide general economic information. A brief description of the resources, which are likely to be most useful, is given below.

GAIA Forest Conservation Archives

The GAIA Forest Conservation Archives present a wide range of information about forestry and conservation issues all over the world. The archives can be found at: One of the most useful parts of the archives is the database of newspaper reports and press releases, which can be used to discover what the international community is saying about forestry in Suriname. Currently, the archives contain 22 articles on forestry in Suriname covering issues such as: the proposed new nature reserve; indigenous rights; gold mining and forestry; ecotourism; and foreign-controlled companies applications for forest concessions.

The US Forest Service

The US Forest Service Internet site contains general information about forestry policy and research in the USA. The Internet address of the US Forest Service is: One of the most useful parts of this Internet site for forestry policymakers in Suriname, is likely to be the International Forestry Issue Briefs produced by the Service. These can be found at Recent articles have included topics such as: labelling tropical timber imports; forest certification; debt for nature swaps; forests and employment; and various articles about CITES.

The Committee for the National Institute for the Environment

The Committee for the National Institute for the Environment (CNIE) is a non-governmental organisation in the USA concerned with environmental isses. Their Internet address is: This site may be of interest because it contains reports of the US Congressional Research Service into the way timber levies are set in the USA (see, for example, Gorte, 1995 and 1995).

The Export Hotline

The Export Hotline is a privately owned American company, which produces trade statistics and reports on trade by country and by sector. There is a fee to print reports, but they can be accessed for free using the Internet. Some of the reports may be of use to the forestry sector in Suriname (e.g. marketing reports on furniture, forestry equipment, sawmilling and woodworking equipment and the paper industry). The Export Hotline Internet address is



Tradeport is another useful general source of information about trade. Subjects covered at this site include information about trade barriers, tariffs and taxes for every country in the world. Although the data is not very detailed, it provides general background information about trading with other countries which may be useful to Suriname. The Tradeport Internet site is at:

Other useful sources of data

Most of the information described above is also available in the form of publications (many of which are free) from the various organisations. These can usually be obtained by e-mailing them or writing to their postal address (which can often be found on their websites). In addition to these, there are many trade publications, but very few of these are free.


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