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Trade

Bamboo and rattan raw materials and products have been traded for millennia. The incomes generated from bamboo and rattan depend on the market demand for the products they are used to produce, and on the effectiveness of the trading systems in place to enable the producers to participate in the market. When bamboo and rattan products meet market demand and can adapt to changes within it, then they can generate sustainable incomes.

National/domestic trade for most products, except high-end rattan furniture from Indonesia, outstrips exports, Innovations in bamboo and rattan production and processing open new opportunities for market development nationally and internationally, but local markets with low value-addition products often dominate domestic trade in producer countries. In China alone, the domestic bamboo sector is now worth US$ 19.5 billion per year and provides employment to 7.75 million people. In India, roughly 8.6 million people are also dependent on bamboo for their livelihood. In 2012, the domestic market for bamboo and rattan products in major producing countries was estimated at US$ 34.2 billion.

Extending value chains from the local level to national and international levels can bring major benefits, but today, international markets are dominated by the world’s more affluent countries, and stronger partnerships between consumer and producer countries are needed to bring more equitable benefits. Over the past decades, the international trade of bamboo and rattan has increased steadily with product innovation often the driving force – the export value of higher technology value-added bamboo and rattan products (such as engineered bamboo panels, modern bamboo furniture.) increased faster than traditional products  such as mats, screens and basketwork). International trade in bamboo and rattan products reached a high of US$ 2,557 million in 2008, prior to the financial crisis, and is now recorded at a little under that, but growing again. One of INBAR’s roles is monitoring and improving international trade reporting so its producer-country members can make effective decisions about where to focus investment for maximum benefit.
INBAR’s trade development work focuses on:

Bamboo and  Rattan Trade Database
The data in INBAR’s Bamboo and Rattan Trade Database are regularly updated, based on UN Commodity Trade Statistics Database (UN Comtrade), which contains import and export data listed by commodity and partner country, as reported by the statistical authorities of almost 200 countries or areas. Please read the Introduction to the Trade Database for more information.

For more about our work on trade, please read INBAR’s trade and standardisation policy here.

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