Select Page

As businesses in importing countries adapt to working with the coronavirus risk trade has started to revive and some FOB price movements have been reported.

Producers report a growing interest in ovangkol for the Chinese market suggesting this could be an alternative to kevazingo/bubinga. The Chinese demand for okan for flooring production is said to be stable as is demand for belli.

Over the past few months demand for okoume has waned but, fortunately, the market in the Philippines for okoume is firm and stable. Analysts write “If not for this market, okoume production in Congo and Gabon would slow down very fast”. The steady demand for okoume, andoung, gheombi and iroko in Middle East markets has been encouraging and as there are reports that stocks held in the Middle East are declining more orders are anticipated.

In contrast to Asian and Middle East demand some producers have seen easing FOB price from French importers for species such as douka and moabi easing. Similarly, importers in Belgium seem to have cooled to padouk and doussie while in Germany the market for sipo and sapelli is weak.

The only timber doing well in Europe at present is azobe but as mills switch from sawing okoume to azobe there is a risk of over-supply and a downward pressure on prices.

Cameroon under the spot light

Reports from Cameroon say more Chinese mills are closing, apparently in response to a crackdown by the authorities on mills that ignore regulations from the forest authorities. It is rumoured that as many as 50 operators in Cameroon have ceased operation.

In related news, the domestic press in Cameroon has reported on allegations from two international NGOs that Vietnamese operators in the country are suspected of smuggling timber out of the country between 2014-17.

This, it is reported, is based on discrepancies in trade data whereby the value of exports from Cameroon does not match the value of imports into Vietnam.

Exporters facing delays in Gabon

Exporters in Gabon say there has been no improvement in either the speed at which export documents are processed or in shipping. There have been suggestions that the slowdown in work and in implementing instructions from the Minister is related to the non-payment of forestry staff bonuses.

It has been reported that the first parcels of barcoded kevazingo sawnwood has been trucked from one of the major millers to Gabon Wood Industries in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for further processing.

The decision to require container stuffing be undertaken by SNBG/GSEZ and by the Operator of the SEZ NKOK has resulted in delays in shipments and many complaints have been lodged. It has been reported that the Minister invited tender bids for a second stuffing facility in the Owendo Port. Apparently five companies tendered, three are Chinese along with Bollore and Sotrasgab.

In other news from Gabon, it has been reported that the police in Moyen Ogooué Province are questioning several forestry officials in relation to the ‘disappearance’ of some 4,000 cubic metres of seized illegally harvested logs.

 

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
280
280
Bibolo/Dibétou
215
215
Bilinga
275
275
Iroko 300
280
225
Okoume (60% CI, 40% CE, 20% CS) (China only) 220 220 200
Moabi 350 350 275
Movingui 180
180
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 320
Sipo FAS GMS
420↓
FAS fixed sizes
FAS scantlings 520
Padouk FAS GMS 640
FAS scantlings 675
Strips 320
Sapele FAS Spanish sizes 420↓
FAS scantlings 450↓
Iroko FAS GMS 575↓
Scantlings 620↓
Strips
350
Khaya FAS GMS
450↓
FAS fixed
500↓
Maobi FAS GMS
620
Scantlings
640
Movingui FAS GMS
420

 

The post African tropical timber in rising demand but prices easing appeared first on Timber Industry News.