Here is yet another example of the ever changing and exciting lumber import market. In the past I have written about Teak import difficulties. The rules have changed again with the landslide results of the latest election, ushering in a more democratic influence to the former military regime. With this dramatic change the European Union has lifted sanctions against Myanmar thus clearing the way for direct import of Teak. This is fantastic news for a country that has long been suffering from military oppression. The US has not yet lifted sanctions and we can only hold our breath and hope.
Currently the suppliers we trust and have used for decades all have strong relationships and even own mills in Myanmar so we are hopeful that we can still maintain our current supply channels without major increase in competition or price. However, the new Myanmar government has passed a new law that adds a 50% tax to all Teak logs and sawn lumber (this later part is still a little unclear) that will inevitably cause some pains for the market whether there are trade sanctions in place or not. For now Europe’s ability to buy Teak direct doesn’t seem to be much of an advantage. Regardless of where you buy, the prices of Teak are bound to climb.
The future of the Teak market is a bit unclear since it is already such an expensive species. With much of the world still facing recession, a dramatic increase in cost could be very bad for the entire market. Time will tell and we will keep you posted as this plays out.