Myanmar Teak Still Find Its Way to Europe

Teak wood is very well known for its durability and has luxury looks, especially mush used by furniture industry and by luxury yachting builders for its beautiful patina and superior water-resistant properties.

A worker is checking a pile of logs in Yangon river, Myanmar/img: Gettyimages

Since April 2021, the US government sanctioned MTE (Myanmar Timber Enterprise), and the EU followed suit two months later. It meant MTE could not sell and export any teak wood from Myanmar into the EU and US markets. Sending any money to MTE in exchange for teak was also prohibited.

According to its own reporting, Myanmar exported $235.6 million worth of timber between October 2021 and mid-2023, and as much as 80% were exported to India and China.

EIA (Environmental Investigation Agency) strongly believes that Myanmar teak is being shipped into EU and US markets via other countries. According to the data from Eurostat, total teak imports from Myanmar to the EU from 2022 to 2023 has been significantly decreased, from over 23 millions euro to just 3.8 million euro.

And as for an example at the similar period, teak export from India to the EU has seen an increase from only 500K euro to 7.5 million euro in 2023. Although, it is not possible to know if teak exports from India is actually Myanmar teak. India also has their own forest with naturally-grown teak.

The demands for this high value wood remains high, so the international community still have more to do to stop illegal logging for this wood species.

Source: EIA, FP, FT


Because wood is sustainable and more eco-friendly

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