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  • There has been little change in prices in West Africa. Demand is stable, both in the West African countries themselves and in other markets – although there are some indications that demand may be rising in the Middle East.

Egyptian importers are looking for timber and have been doing so for a long time now; the Egyptian Timber Federation is inviting offers of sawn timber in the red species and soft species such as ayous and okoume.

Egypt is a large wood consumer in construction and furniture, but it imports little wood from West Africa. The country is importing timber from southern France and from eastern EU countries because delivery is fast and the product cheap.

Demand is steady from China in ovangkol, okan, belli and sapelli. It is also stable from Europe, with sufficient stocks and supply but buyers are cautious as winter approaches.

The South African market is still suffering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Imports of sawn, finger-joint timber are increasing slowly.

In Cameroon, some mills that had stopped operations are starting up, although log supply is still erratic. Exporters say a lack of sufficient customs officials is slowing dispatch of orders.

In the Congo, the government is still tightly controlling export quotas. Okoume prices are stable, but the export volume to China has dropped by 20%.

Strikes in Gabon

In Gabon, the Forestry Ministry was closed due to a labour dispute and it has been reported that labour issues have affected operations at SNBG. SNBG has been appointed as the only company that can pack containers but some veneer exporters have been authorised to stuff containers in their own yards.

Logs still disappearing in Gabon

The Forestry Ministry seized around 8,000 cu.m of illegal logs, which have been sold via tender. The tender has closed but the buyers have not been announced.

More illegal logs, mainly padouk, have been seized in the centre of the country and will be auctioned. It is reported that, in the lake regions, seized okoume logs are being stolen, mainly at night. One problem is that the number of vehicles and boats available to the ministry is limited making policing difficult.

Efforts to reopen VPA negotiations in Gabon ATIBT has reported on a study aimed at restarting VPA negotiations in Gabon. ATIBT says in its latest newsletter that the UFIGA (Union des forestiers et industriels du bois du Gabon) requested and directed a review of the situation of the VPA FLEGT process in Gabon in order to contribute to an effective resumption of negotiations of the VPA FLEGT process.

The study noted that “unfortunately, many private sector players in the forest-wood sector operate outside of unions (associations), which does not give them the necessary space to take an active part in VPA FLEGT negotiations and therefore to be heard.”
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
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

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