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The rapid spread of the coronavirus has adversely affected West Africa’s export markets, imports, foreign investment, tourism and remittances. Furthermore, the disruption in commodity markets, travel and tourism and country-level lockdowns have slowed economic activity.

The impact of pandemic control measures has hit West African timber producers across the region, coming at a time when demand in the traditional markets, especially in Europe, were already under pressure from lower consumption.

EU imports of tropical sawnwood declined sharply from West Africa in the first four months of 2020; down 22% from Cameroon to 84,500 cu.m, 28% from Gabon to 34,500 cu.m, 19% from Congo to 15,700 cu.m, 37% from Côte d’Ivoire to 7,600 cu.m, 16% from Ghana to 6,100 cu.m and 46% from DRC to 1,900 cu.m.

US imports from Cameroon in the first 5 months of this year were down 33%, Ghana down 6% but imports from Ivory Coast were up slightly. Imports of sapelli fell 18%, African mahogany fell 51% and padauk was down over 70%. China’s imports of both logs and sawnwood also dipped in the first quarter of the year.

Log Export Prices

West Africa logs, FOB € per m³
Asian market
LM
B
BC/C
Acajou/ Khaya/N’Gollon
265
265
175
Ayous/Obéché/Wawa
250
250
225
Azobe & Ekki
275
275
175
Belli
270
270
Bibolo/Dibétou
215
215
Bilinga
275
275
Iroko 300
280
225
Okoume (60% CI, 40% CE, 20% CS) (China only) 220 220 200
Moabi 365 365 285
Movingui 210
210
Niove
160
160
Okan
200
200
Padouk
250
230
200
Sapele 260 260 200
Sipo/Utile
260
260
230
Tali 300 300

 

Sawnwood Export Prices

West Africa sawnwood, FOB
€ per m³
Ayous FAS GMS 440
Bilinga FAS GMS 540
Okoumé FAS GMS
460
Merchantable 310
Std/Btr GMS 310
Sipo FAS GMS
500
FAS fixed sizes
FAS scantlings 520
Padouk FAS GMS 640
FAS scantlings 675
Strips 320
Sapele FAS Spanish sizes 450
FAS scantlings 480
Iroko FAS GMS 600
Scantlings 660
Strips
350
Khaya FAS GMS
480
FAS fixed
540
Maobi FAS GMS
620
Scantlings
640
Movingui FAS GMS
420

 

The post African tropical timber exports driven down by pandemic appeared first on Timber Industry News.