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Forum topic by ArawakTeak posted 05-15-2013 09:47 AM 1816 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 2080 days

05-15-2013 09:47 AM

Teak Lumber – Possible Bust

What does it take to get a footing in the U.S. lumber market these days? We have about 8000bdft of teak left back from a total of 20000bdft we imported earlier this year, and all of a sudden we are getting a lot of push back from the bigger suppliers…BIG SURPRISE…We’re small but still able to bring this teak in to the U.S. at 30-50% less than the other guys…

Obviously there is some sort of demand for this type of lumber…or else we wouldn’t have moved so much product as quickly as we did…Did we perhaps make someone disgruntled and they put the hit out on us? Is there some kind of underground committee that I don’t know about where all the exotic lumber suppliers meet and talk about how they will squish the new guys a like a bug or something?

Seriously though, it seems to me that this business is just as cut throat here in the U.S. than it is everywhere else in the world…any thoughts are appreciated…

—Teak, Port Saint Lucie, FL –

-- Teak, Port Saint Lucie, FL -

9 replies so far

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 3199 days

#1 posted 05-15-2013 03:03 PM

Humorous post, thanx for the snicker. Anyway, a lot of woodworkers avoid teak as it is awfully rough on blades when compared to our maples and walnuts. It has its properties and a true beauty about it, and there is a market for sure, but if it were that easy it would be taken up by now anyway. Sometimes things need to be a little harder to get before its as valuable as it needs to be.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2756 days

#2 posted 05-15-2013 03:24 PM

Interesting post. Not too far back, when my local area lost their last supplier of exotic lumber, my wife and I thought about setting up a retail exotic lumber store. Currently, you have to travel two hours in one direction to buy exotic lumber here.
I spoke at length with the president of I think it was World Timber Company out of Huber, NC. Nice guy who started out in New Jersey in the 70’s, been in the business for decades. One of the things he did do was brag on about how they are the premium supplier of hardwood for the East Coast, instrument builders, custom cabinet shops, etc. His pricing was good from my standpoint, talking about a $20K purchase to get started. He even offered to allow me access to his database of most bought woods in my area. Unfortunately we could not get the funding so that didn’t happen.

I do think this industry is quite tied up. A few players have bought up most of the lots in the third world countries, possibly years in advance, and when someone climbs aboard and makes waves, profits are lost and push-back occurs.
Heck, even Fender guitars went so far as to set up their own forest in very Western Canada, to develop flame maple since the other industries and other instrument makers were scarfing it up faster and further out time wise than ever before.
Heck, two days ago I bought some simple white pine boards from HD to make a downdraft table for my workbench, and much to my dismay, the label said the origin was Belgium! So all of the white pine in the US and Canada is sold????

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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9 posts in 2080 days

#3 posted 05-15-2013 05:43 PM

Thanks for the responses guys…I losing sleep and patience with this whole teak thing. Even though there are a few people that are well educated about teak from Trinidad….ALOT of people think that Burma Teak is the best! In actuality, India comes to Trinidad, buys up massive quantities of teak and ships it back. They blend it with Burma Teak and then sell it back to the U.S. as 100% Burma Teak/Asian Teak. The Americans gobble it up as well..they market it as the best thing since slice bread and no other kind of teak is better.

It makes me laugh! I’ve decided to provoke the situation by bringing this lumber in directly from the island. A lot of the local guys here hate that! They said I am destabilizing the market…I really don’t care! Ive compared the so called Burmese Teak to mine and I see absolutely no difference between the two. I then compared it to Costa Rican teak and determined that plantation teak is def not as good as Burma/Trinidad teak…it looks crappy!

The problem I am now encountering is that Trinidad teak is often labeled as plantation teak. Ive been there! There is no plantation…its 56000 acres atleast of organic growth teak! How come people don’t know this!?

-- Teak, Port Saint Lucie, FL -

View Harry Montana's profile

Harry Montana

46 posts in 2236 days

#4 posted 05-16-2013 07:13 PM

well here is a post from a supplying country (bolivia) , by the way, the concept of the ‘third world’ is outdated since the new world order. Yes there is poor people here, but so there are in the US. And people who do have money live like kings and go shopping for a weekend in Miami.
Anyway, the lumber market is getting CONSOLIDATED, this is the correct term, due to economic crises small companies do not have enough capital to survive and are eaten by the bigger ones. This results on a world scale view that there is fewer supplier, which means: higher prices. If you want to invest your money, don’t buy stocks, just buy wood, look at the price for ipe over the last 5 years (crises or not). Then wood is every year getting more and more scarce so price will go up no doubt.

-- With regards from Harry Montana

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3889 days

#5 posted 05-16-2013 07:39 PM

No comment.

View shampeon's profile (online now)


1899 posts in 2425 days

#6 posted 05-16-2013 07:46 PM

Man, I’ve been having trouble with this guy at work. Anyone want to hear about it? No?

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View RockyTopScott's profile


1186 posts in 3720 days

#7 posted 05-16-2013 07:52 PM

Try selling on They have a lot of large offers to sell on there.

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

View RogerInColorado's profile


321 posts in 2196 days

#8 posted 05-17-2013 05:27 AM

Have you talked to the customers who bought the first 192,000 bf to see if there is a reason they wouldn’t buy more? If your existing customers aren’t happy it might give you a path to fix a problem you don’t know you have. It’s also possible that in talking with them you might stumble across an order that is getting ready to be placed and they don’t know where to send it. Wouldn’t be the first time a new employee didn’t know where to find the telephone number.

View ArawakTeak's profile


9 posts in 2080 days

#9 posted 05-20-2013 03:37 PM

Thanks Roger,

My customers seem to be pleased with the product. They are local guys here in Florida that do minor to semi-extensive repairs on boats…They gobbled a lot of it up, but now I am looking to expand to the bigger guys out there and all they want to do is talk down the quality and back away from paying what I think is a reasonable price. I’ve tried woodplanet…but got nothing…must be because I am new to the industry and to that site…is there something I am missing here\?

-- Teak, Port Saint Lucie, FL -

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