The Environmental Investigation Agency has scrutinised official figures on log harvests and timber exports over 15 years. During 2000-2013 official exports accounted for only 28% of all recorded trade in Myanmar logs.

The study also found official harvest volumes were only 53% of imports, leaving 47% of all logging illegal.

"The government’s official data on forestry and timber exports reveals endemic illegal logging and timber smuggling – crime only possible through institutionalised corruption on a huge scale," said EIA forest campaign leader Faith Doherty.

When discounting log transits across the land border with China, which Myanmar deems illegal, official export volumes were still 38% of recorded imports, indicating 62% of log exports ¬- about 8 million m3 – were unauthorised, EIA said.