Trends in international NWFP trade


Table 7.4 summarizes the most economically important NWFPs in world trade, totalling about US$ 11 billion annually. These products originate from a wide variety of geographic sources, but a significant portion come from the forests of Southeast Asia, especially fruits, resins, fungi, wild honey, medicines, aphrodisiacs, sandalwood, bamboo and rattan ware. China processes and trades in more products from wild sources than probably any other country, and now dominates world trade in NWFPs (Iqbal, 1995). Other major suppliers to world markets include India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Brazil.

Table 7.4: NWFPs most prominent in world trade*, with three main markets

Item

Total imports (US$ million)

EEC

USA

Japan

Other plants used in pharmacy

689.92

171.23

88.59

91.96

Other fresh fruits (including, i.a.jujubes)

685.22

263.22

51.30

127.91

Natural rubber latex in primary forms

519.92

109.24

84.08

37.09

Essential oils, resins

312.52

95.53

108.54

22.43

Ginseng roots

389.34

11.90

11.10

39.89

Mats, mattings and screens of vegetable materials

215.95

22.03

17.13

135.12

Other live animals

183.92

61.67

43.48

8.05

Natural honey

268.18

143.39

53.92

35.12

Edible products of animal origin

80.38

6.75

4.02

1.46

Ambergris, castoreum, civet, musk

134.08

44.48

3.02

42.92

Brazil nuts, fresh or chilled

44.34

22.11

16.78

0.20

Walnuts in shell

115.33

91.11

0.03

1.26

Walnuts without shells

100.56

37.68

0.27

13.03

Chestnuts

109.95

2.01

10.46

64.14

Other nuts

222.91

21.01

91.68

24.39

Mucilages, thickeners derived from locust beans, locust bean seed or guar seeds

141.33

34.02

45.35

25.95

Cinnamon and cinnamon-tree flowers

95.62

10.05

28.91

2.58

Nutmeg

24.16

12.56

2.51

2.58

Other spices

48.34

5.65

20.85

2.22

Flour and meal of sago

18.06

0.77

0.92

0.33

Liquorice roots

33.45

5.74

9.39

7.54

Locust beans

22.39

18.30

0.45

0.18

Lac

25.28

4.67

9.37

2.38

Gum arabic

101.31

53.74

18.89

6.18

Other natural gums, resins, balsams

92.75

29.95

11.00

2.14

Liquorice sap

57.27

22.79

15.48

5.38

Bamboos

37.56

12.57

3.13

7.58

Rattans

118.98

13.75

5.44

6.53

Other vegetable materials for plaiting

39.67

20.90

4.73

8.33

Kapok

11.92

1.45

0.73

5.23

Vegetable materials esp. for brooms, brushes

28.11

10.20

8.59

3.96

Raw veg. materials esp. for dyeing, tanning

31.06

9.40

2.03

2.48

Other vegetable products (doum palm flour, Panama bark, bidi leaves, etc.)

63.85

18.43

11.49

20.29

Tung oil and its fractions

49.59

4.53

9.36

11.86

Jojoba oil and its fractions

11.59

7.61

2.29

0.42

Other fixed vegetable fats and fractions

98.90

33.73

8.67

10.06

Vegetable waxes

44.02

13.49

13.08

6.13

Beeswax, other insect wax

19.14

8.65

2.38

2.77

Maple sugar and maple syrup

43.63

9.64

28.09

1.30

Quebracho extract

51.93

20.66

6.36

0.98

Wattle extract

63.87

15.41

8.07

5.49

Tanning extracts of vegetable origin

20.51

1.54

7.59

0.66

Colouring matter of veg. and animal origin

152.08

32.21

31.80

12.94

Resinoids

61.35

7.92

34.88

3.01

Concentrates of essential oils in fats

39.95

9.23

7.30

3.71

Gum, wood or sulphate turpentine oils

31.23

12.16

2.12

7.84

Balata, gutta-percha

26.72

5.25

4.87

6.71

Corks and stoppers of natural cork

157.16

17.45

59.26

6.18

Other articles of natural cork

13.71

2.81

3.05

1.30

* Categorized by Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) codes.

(Source: Iqbal, 1995)

A striking pattern in international trade of NWFPs is that developing countries are the major producers and exporters of raw or semi-processed products; and developed, industrialized countries are the major importers (Iqbal, 1995). Just three markets (the European Community, the United States and Japan) comprise about 60 percent of the world trade. Table 7.5 shows the direction of trade for some of the most-traded products.

Table 7.5: Directions of international trade for major NWFPs

Product

Main source countries

Main markets

Brazil nuts

Brazil, Bolivia, Peru

USA, UK, Germany, Australia, Canada

Pine nuts

China, Afghanistan, Pakistan

Middle Eastern countries

Pignolia nuts

Spain, Portugal

USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, EEC

Walnuts

China, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan

EEC, Japan, Canada, Switzerland

Morels

Pakistan, India, Afghanistan

France, Switzerland, Germany

Pine mushrooms

Chile

USA, France, Peru, Netherlands, Switzerland

Bamboo shoots

China, Thailand, Indonesia

USA, Japan, UK, Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, France, Korea

Sago

Indonesia, Malaysia

Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore

Shea nuts

West and central African countries

Japan, Sweden, EEC

Nutmeg and mace

Indonesia, Grenada

USA, EEC, Japan

Cinnamon and cassia

Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Madagascar

USA, EEC, Japan

Gum arabic

Sudan, Nigeria

USA, EEC (UK and Germany), Switzerland, Scandinavia, Japan

Gum tragacanth

Iran, Turkey

EEC, USA, Japan, CIS*

Gum karaya

India

USA, Japan, France, Germany, UK, Belgium, UAE, Netherlands

Carob gum

Spain, Italy, Portugal

Western Europe, USA, Japan

Annatto

Peru, Kenya, Brazil

USA, EEC, Japan

Gum rosin

China, Indonesia, Portugal

Japan, Western Europe

Rattan

Malaysia, Indonesia, Viet Nam, China

Europe, USA, Egypt, Japan, Thailand

Bamboo

China, Southeast Asian countries

France, Germany, Netherlands

Cork

Portugal, Spain, Morocco

EC countries

Lac

India, Thailand

Germany, Egypt, Indonesia, USA

Natural honey

CIS, China, USA, Mexico, Turkey

Germany, USA, UK, Japan

Beeswax

China, Tanzania, New Zealand, Canada, Netherlands

EC countries

Mulberry and non-mulberry silk

China, India, Brazil

EC countries, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong

Liquorice roots

China, Western Asian countries, Russia

USA, Japan, EEC

Ginseng roots

Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore, EEC

USA, Korea, Canada, China

Medicinal plants

China, Korea, USA, India, Chile, Egypt, Argentina, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Zaire, Czech Republic, Albania

Japan, USA, Germany, France, Italy, Malaysia, Spain, UK

Essential oils

China, India, Indonesia, Brazil

EEC, USA, Japan

Cochineal

Peru, Canary Islands

EEC, USA, Japan

Truffles

France, Italy

USA

Birds' nests

Malaysia

Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan

Bidi leaves

India

Pakistan, Sri Lanka

* Commonwealth of Independent States (part of States of the former USSR).

(Source: Iqbal, 1995)

9. Cosmetics from NWFPs in Myanmar. (Photo: M. Kashio)

10. Non-wood handicrafts in Iran. (Photo: L. Gronchi)

11. Sugar tapped from sugar palm is widely used in Myanmar. (Photo: M. Kashio)

Importing and exporting countries use tariffs and other measures to influence trade. Developing countries commonly tax exports to raise government revenue. Industrialized countries use tariffs, standards and safety regulations to control NWFP imports. In general, industrialized countries keep tariffs on NWFPs very low in order to ensure a sustained supply for their markets. These countries usually feel no need for "protection" against competition because they do not produce these products and because collecting and processing NWFPs is often a labour-intensive sector for which they do not aim to protect jobs (Iqbal, 199:5).