The International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) has launched an investigation into the reasons behind tropical timber price instability.

Tropical plywood has been trading at around 60% of its pre-crisis price levels in most markets, particularly Japan, since the Asian financial crisis. Such low prices, says the ITTO, have led to high levels of unemployment in the plywood manufacturing sectors of a number of countries.

Alongside the investigation the ITTO announced during its meeting in Yokohama, Japan that it is planning a major tropical hardwood promotional campaign to build a stronger market share for tropical hardwoods in world markets.

Both initiatives have been applauded by the tropical timber trade.