Analysis of the China-Myanmar Timber TradeBy Eve Richer - Forest Trends View Publication
This policy brief analyzes recent trends in the timber products trade between China and Myanmar, using Chinese customs data from 2000 through 2013. Timber is one of the primary commodities traded between the two countries, providing significant revenue to Myanmar’s central government and ethnic political armed opposition groups, while supplying China with materials to feed its growing wood manufacturing sector. In 2013, timber product exports from Myanmar to China reached an all-time high by both volume and value, with 94% of these exports (by volume) registered by Chinese customs in Kunming, near the Myanmar border. Both countries banned cross-border timber trade in 2006, so these findings suggest high levels of illegality. Representatives from both countries plan to meet in March 2015 to discuss these issues further, and to develop strategies to promote a timber trade that is legal, beneficial to both nations, and sustainable in the long term.