This report is intended to provide an overall analysis of the timber market situation for Oman. This is in line with MTC Dubai’s budgeted market visit to achieve the following objectives:
- To maintain MTC rapport with the Oman timber companies, joinery factories and contractors
- To maintain MTC rapport with Malaysian Embassy and relevant authorities
- To observe the recent construction sector which directly linked to the demand of timber
- To monitor relevant competition towards Malaysian timber products
General market trends
The majority of European importers and agents reported patchy business for South-East Asian plywood in Q4 of 2013. Demand remained especially cool in the Netherlands, the key market for Indonesian plywood. Business was also reported to be slow in Belgium. Demand in Germany strengthened towards the end of the year and the majority of importers there were reported to be happy with business, especially for 4mm and 8mm filmed plywood and for raw plywood. Business in the British plywood market is noticeably better than in Germany - however, Chinese plywood is the main beneficiary of this increase in demand.
GENERAL ECONOMIC TRENDS
Since March 2009, the Bank of England has maintained the base rate at 0.5% and this rate is expected to remain so for the next few months.
Inflation unexpectedly fell in December 2013, returning to the Bank of England's 2% target for the first time in four years. The surprise fall drove the Consumer Price Index to its lowest level since November 2009, when it stood at 1.9%.
The Retail Price Index, more broadly based than Consumer Price Index rose to 2.7% in December 2013 up from 2.6% in November.