Is Myanmar’s teak trade sustainable?

Exports from Myanmar to the US have risen from zero six months ago to US$2.30 million in April this year. What is being traded? Progressive Trade Facts reports:

December 2012 – No imports reported.

January 2013 – $54,000, embodied in 360 teak chairs landed at Norfolk, Virginia.

February 2013 – $163,000, including 18.5 tons of frozen smelts brought to New York, plus another 170 rattan craft furniture pieces at Norfolk.

March 2013 – $1.2 million, including 241 tons of fish, 30 tons of shrimp, and 41 tons of dried peas, plus an assortment of miscellaneous stuff: antiques and rattan baskets for sale in New York, 500 Asian-style wigs for Boston and $3,500 worth of women’s underwear for New Orleans. Together they come to $1.2 million.

Aside from the wigs, the figure that leaps out is the teak. Where does it come from? Is it sustainably sourced? Anyone out there know?

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