Ramin: Grows faster than bamboo? Scarce? Plentiful?

ahohen

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Ask the moulding manufacturers/dealers!... they know a little about nothing!:::


>A new line of mouldings are introduced using a good hardwood... ramin.

>>Less than a year later, footage is ordered, BUT what you get is now a less popular wood... lauan (or similar).

>>>Call and ask them why and they claim "ramin is getting more scarce". (I have been hearing this since 1982.)

>>>>A few months later, a new line of mouldings are introduced, using a good hardwood... ramin.

>>>>>
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I call and ask them if they know how fast ramim grows. "Is it like bamboo?" i ask... (Bamboo can grow about an inch a day...) They reply that ramin is plentiful, but getting scarce in certain parts of the world.

>>>>>>I ask them what part of the world is moulding #123456 manufactured... they tell me Indonesia. I then ask them where the latest ramin moulding is manufactured... they say Indonesia. I ask them why moulding #123456 was reproduced NOT using ramin and now the newer line IS, and they replied "if you don't like the mouldings, don't buy them..."


Well, moulding manufacturers/distributors what is your excuse? AND, AND, AND... IF FOOTAGE OF A MOULDING IS MANUFACTURED IN A POORER QUALITY WOOD, WHY DOES THE FOOTAGE COST THE SAME? AND 1/2 VICE-VERSA... WHY DO THE PRICES PER FOOT GO UP WHEN A MOULDING ORIGINALLY MANUFACTURED IN LAUAN IS REMANUFACTURED USING RAMIN? I'M SICK OF YOUR EXCUSES.

(
As long as the mouldings are not twisted or warped, easy to cut and assemble and holds a descent finish over a the years, I DON'T care what type of wood it is. I'm just sick and tired of hearing the manufacturers/distributors poor excuses of their very instable moulding lines.)
 

John Richards

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Andrew: Not all the answers but some.

Ramin (Gonystylus spp.) is a tropical hardwood tree species, occurring in peat swamp and lowland freshwater swamp forest in Borneo, Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia. As a swamp species ramin is prone to over-exploitation and cannot be cultivated on plantations. In Kalimantan some of the last stands of ramin trees exist in protected and conservation areas such as Tanjung Puting National Park, around the Sebangau River, Lake Sentarum National Park, Gunung Palung Nature Reserve, Mandor Nature Reserve, Muasra Kaman Nature Reserve, Gunung Penrisen/Gunung Nyiut Game Reserve and Pleihari Martapura Wildlife Reserve. Ramin has run out within most forest concession areas and is classified as a vulnerable tree species by the World Conservation Union (a status applied to species facing a high-risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term). Those who benefit from the sale of this valuable species log within these protected areas, including national parks or expired concessions.

Ramin is a valuable light hardwood species and is the most valuable tree species found in Indonesia. It is widely used for furniture, picture frames, futons, snooker cues and so on.

Ramin commands some of the highest prices per cubic metre paid for timber from South-East Asia. Those who log ramin in Tanjung Puting National Park receive about US$2.20 per m3, by the time this wood reaches consumers in the USA, Italy, Japan and the UK the cost is US$1000 per m3. The international demand for the wood has had devastating effects on the forests in Indonesia. In 2001 the then Coordinating Minister for the Economy in Indonesia, Rizal Ramli, commented that "the illegal logging of ramin has sharply increased in line with the increasing price of it on the international market".

Ramin has been a target for illegal loggers since the early 1990s with illegal cutting soaring in recent years as civil order and law enforcement has eroded. The former Minister of Forests in Indonesia, Marzuki Usman took the first action to curb the logging within Tanjung Putting by issuing a Ministerial decree to place a temporary moratorium on the cutting and trading of ramin in April 2001. In August 2001, Indonesia placed ramin on Appendix III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) with a zero quota, to seek international support for their actions. The Ministry of Forestry in Indonesia has awarded low cutting allowances to try and combat the problem of over-exploitation. However ramin is still cut and exported illegally.

Ramin distribution is restricted to Indonesia and Malaysia but is becoming increasingly scarce in Malaysia. Malaysia is a crucial pivot in the international trade in illegal ramin. As the country's own supplies have been over-exploited and fallen dramatically, its industry has moved to secure fresh sources by exploiting the situation in Indonesia. In Indonesia 90 % of ramin production is exported. Analysis of production data for recent years reveals a huge discrepancy between the legal production of ramin in Indonesia and the amount processed and exported by the timber industry and brokers. The figures read as such; in 2000 Peninsular Malaysia exported 39,644 m3 of ramin sawntimber, in 2001 Peninisular Malaysia exported 39,793 m3 of ramin sawntimber. From figures released so far in 2002 it appears exports have not dropped off significantly since last year. Indonesia has recorded no legal exports of ramin logs or sawntimber to Malaysia from 2000 to the present. Thus all these exports have originated in Malaysia, which means Peninsular Malaysia would have had to produce 80,000m3 of ramin logs in 2000 and again in 2001. However, Peninsular Malaysia has virtually no swamp left and in recent years they have produced only an estimated 80-90,000 m3 of ramin as a whole.
 

Lance E

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You will find some interesting reading here: CITES search on "Ramin"

Note that Ramin (and a multitude of sub species) has been moved to Appendix II. You may not like what you read...
 

B. Newman

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I just really have a hard time understanding "illegal" logging. We've done some logging here on the farm (got 40 logs ready to be sawn right now) and it is not an easy nor quiet task! How in the world can anyone log enough to export without getting caught? Or for that matter, how in the world can it be shipped?

This is not ziplock bags of stuff that can be hidden in suitcases (or that's how tv portrays drugs being smuggled.)

Gotta be a payoff somewhere...

Betty
 

GRYPHON 1

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I have heard of some European factories who stock piled some Ramin when the new regulations were taking effect. I have been approached by some Chinese factories who also some way or some how have Ramin. (very sketchy) The item described with the IS and the number code I believe may have came from a factory in Malaysia called Intan Suria. I know this factory well and at one time they used to buy all the short pieces of ramin and scrap from furniture factories. They would then finger join the pieces to make full sticks. This may explain why they still have ramin. I am not trying to make excuses for your vendor but chances are there is a very good excuse that only the buyer knows. Want to be safe, stay away from Ramin.
 

Lance E

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How? Label the timber incorrectly, put it on a barge and float it off to another country (i.e. Malaysia) and send it from there where restrictions are not so well controlled. Get caught??? bribe the official.
 

Lance E

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Originally posted by B. Newman:
...not an easy nor quiet task!
Is there anyone from govt dept overseeing the work? Have they even visited to check you comply with your permits?
 

B. Newman

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What permits? It's our farm, our trees, our hiring of the sawmill, our lumber and our labor. What's the governmant got to do with it?

Oh, and it's gonna be my house, too...

Betty
 

Lance E

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Really??? We're not allowed to chop much down here at all without a permit. Maybe it falls into the same category in Indonesia though, perhaps the tress are being culled from private land and that way noone knows.
 

Baer Charlton

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I would have you close your eyes and imagine what I'm going to tell you; but then you couldn't read the writing . . . so just imagine this one.

You and your partners are deep in the jungle, maybe 1-2 kilometers from the closest road cut in the jungle. At night, you work wrapping "det cord" (Detination cord or fast burning fuse. This stuff burns at twice the spead of sound = four wraps around the base of a 30" thick tree, burns and sounds like one big bang.), around 5-6 trees that are very close together. Next you climb the trees and very high in the tops, you wrap a belt around the tree which is attached to a "spider" rope that has arms reaching out to each tree.

In the middle of the spider is a "Hooie" noose. soon a "Haul Hook" will come along, dangeling from a very large helicopter made by Shikorsky and made to lift 3x it's own weight. Some call it a "Flying Crane" in Nam it was called a ****hook.

As the Hook connects to the Hooie and starts a lift, the "ground crew" blows the det cord which effectively severs the trees, and away they go.

They will probably be dropped in a clearing of "private land" which is being "legally logged".

The cranes fly all over the penninsula legally. Hauling legal trees. And private land owners can log their land....

Moral and ethical issues are something every country has to deal with.
Personally, I would rather sell "Luan" than "raman", which is now being replaces greatly with Jelutung and Tulip which is what the carvers of Bali and Malay used to carve untill it got to expensive due to the moulding wood buyers buying up all the lumber.

Here in the states we have a great supply of Cherry, Maple, Walnut, poplar, basswood, pine, and beech. Ok, maybe not so much beech. Southern California had much of it's beech washed away last week...... :D

The purpose of going to Southeast Asia is that the "Manufacture" can buy moulding for 12 cents/ft, ship for 2/ft warehouse for 17/foot and sell for $6.87/ft. Same reason Wal Mart is there.
 
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