The world market value of bamboo and rattan products (domestic and international) is holding steady, according to statistics compiled by INBAR.
After the financial upheavals of 2008, when sales dropped significantly, data reveals that demand has largely recovered - particularly for woven bamboo and rattan goods and industrialized bamboo products.
Figures taken from the United Nations Comtrade Database reveal that the international trade of bamboo and rattan products amounted to $2.5 billion in 2013 - the latest available figures. The world's most significant export market is the European Union, which accounted for 38 percent of the world's bamboo and rattan imports, and the world's largest producer and exporter of bamboo and rattan remains China.
Major global trends based on available commercial trade figures include:
- The continued rise of industrialized bamboo products: the proportion of industrialized bamboo exports rose from 23 percent in 2009 to 29 percent in 2013, as did the value - from $414 million in 2009 to $547 million in 2013;
- Steady demand for woven products: the proportion of woven bamboo and rattan products remained at 35 percent.
- Increased demand for bamboo shoots: the proportion of bamboo shoots increased globally despite a reduction in value.
- Bamboo and rattan are mostly traded within and between Asia and Europe: the global export value of bamboo and rattan products from Asia were estimated to be $1565 million; Europe accounted for 38 percent of world imports of bamboo and rattan, making it the world's largest import market.
- China remains the largest producer and exporter of bamboo and rattan products: the country accounted for 65 percent of the world exports of bamboo and rattan products, with an estimated value of 1207 million.
INBAR, in partnership with FAO and China's Customs Authorities, has for the first time helped bring bamboo into global customs classification systems (Harmonized Description and Coding Systems), helping to increase its relevance and visibility in international trade.
Reflecting on the bamboo and rattan trade data, Dr. Hans Friederich, INBAR Director General commented: "With China alone predicting a doubling of its domestic bamboo and rattan market by 2020, and increasing awareness of the 'green' credentials of bamboo, it is highly likely that the trade of bamboo and rattan will continue to hold stable, and very probably grow, during the years to come."
The INBAR report - Overview of International Trade of Bamboo and Rattan Products - can be downloaded here.