CENTRAL AND WEST AFRICA
Demand in China slows
The economic slowdown in China is impacting trade and
producers report a noticeable drop in orders for okoume
and some redwoods. It is reported that interest in
ovangkol, belli and okan is steady but species such as
dabema are not attracting interest at present.
With fewer shipments to China the container availability
has improved and it is no longer necessary to pay
premiums to obtain containers.
The container shortage appears to be easing and prices
have been dropping. Drewry. an independent maritime
research consultancy firm, has said “In the first eight
months of the year manufacturers based in China, which
account for over 96% of global container output, produced
close to half a million teu, which was up almost 64% year
on year and 35% up on the corresponding period in 2020.
Drewry expects output for the full year to total at least
900,000 teu, up from just below 560,000 teu in 2021.
As mills cut back on milling for the Chinese market and
even the Middle East markets demand in the Philippines is
said to be holding up. Demand in the EU and UK is also
reported as steady so far. News is circulating that stocks of
azobe are high in the Netherlands and that some timber
shipments were diverted from Antwerp to Amsterdam.
Police commader warns on unauthorised road checks
Lenouveaugabon recently carried a story on
‘unauthorised’ road blocks in Gabon. Following numerous
complaints of cases of corruption the Commander-in-
Chief of the National Police Force, Serge Hervé Ngoma,
issued a warning to police officers saying "all police
officers are reminded that untimely roadside checks are
prohibited throughout the national territory ".
He added, any police officer ignoring this instruction will
be immediately presented before an extraordinary council
which will rule on his dismissal.
October and November brings heavy rain to the CAR but
there are reports that the weather has deteriorated already.
In Cameroon operators are preparing for the bad wether
expected towards year end. When the weather allows
forest managers undertake marking trees and taking GPS
readings to input information into their operation maps.
Under the headline ‘Harvesting and trucking conditions good’ in
the previous report export species from the DRC were
mentioned. The text should have said the Central African
Republic not the DRC.
Added value product exports register growth
According to export data from the Timber Industry
Development Division (TIDD) of the Forestry
Commission 10 products totalling 165,630 cu.m were
exported during the period January to June 2022. Of this
volume Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Products
accounted for 12% (20,535cu.m), 85% (140,540cu.m) and
3% (4,555cu.m) respectively.The export volume for the
first half of 2021 was 145,441 cu.m.
The following tables show product volumes and values for
2022 compared to 2021.
Secondary Wood Product (SWP) amounted to 140,540
cu.m in the first half of 2022 as against 113,304 cu.m in
2021, a growth of 24% while primary and trtiary export
volumes declined (-24% and -12%).
The table beow shows export earnings for primary,
secondary and tertiary products. Exports of SWP
registered a 9% growth while the others dipped.
For the period under review primary product exports,
mainly billets, accounted for 12% (20,535cu.m) and
earned Euro 6.37 million, around 9% of total exports.
Earnings for primary products dropped compared to a year
Exports of SWPs for the period comprised sawnwood,
plywood, veneer, boules and briquettes. These, altogether,
contributed 140,540 cu.m, representing 85% of total
exports during the first half of 2022. The corresponding
earnings were Euro 61.80 million or 86% of total export
These figures also showed increases of 9% and 244% in
value and volume respectively, compared to the SWP
export contribution of Euro 56.58 mllion (80%) and
113,304 cu.m (78%) registered from the period of January
to June 2021.
Ghana to boost country’s teak industry
Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister of Lands and Natural
Resources (MLNR), has said Ghana is seeking to explore
and develop new strategies and initiatives to boost its teak
production so as to become a leading teak producing
The Minister made the statement when Ghana hosted the
4th World Teak Conference (WTC) which called on
participating countries to facilitate the availability of
superior planting materials to private companies and local
communities to improve the planted teak forest.
The meeting also called on governments to commit more
resources to research and development to advance the
sustainable management of the planted teak forest.
A total 273 delegates attended the conference from 28
countries across five continents on the theme: 'Global
Teak Market: Challenges and Opportunities for Emerging
Markets and Developing Economies'. The biennial event
was organised by the International Teak Network
(TEAKNET), in collaboration with Forestry Commission
of Ghana with support from the International Tropical
Timber Organisation (ITTO) and other international
Ghana has an estimated 200,000 ha. of teak plantations.
Approximate 5.2 million out of 26 million tree seedlings
distributed during the 2022 ‘Green Ghana Day’ initiative
were teak seedlings. Plantations are developed to enhance
transparency, efficiency and legality in timber traded from
Teak is a leading species for the production of air- and
kiln-dried sawnwood, billets, sliced veneer and plywood
for the country’s major markets.
Bank and Chamber of Commerce to support SMEs
The new Development Bank Ghana (DBG), in partnership
with the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (GNCCI), is undertaking the first phase of a
capacity-building workshop targeting 1,000 SMEs
throughout the country. This initiative forms part of
DBG’s commitment to foster strong partnerships to build
capacity for SMEs, with 100 workers or less which
struggle to secure finance.
The initiative is designed to build knowledge on the
various business areas that will enhance SMEs ability to
access funding from DBG’s partner financial institutions
(PFIs) as well as build sustainable businesses. The Bank
aims to lend US$600 million to small businesses over the
next one to two years.
The DBG partnership is timely as most woodcraft artisans
need funding to boost their businesses and begin
DG optimistic on prospects for furniture industry
Malaysia’s wood product exports rose year on year around
14% in the first six months of this year helped by the
reopening of the economy post-pandemic. MTIB Director
General, Kamaruzaman Othman, said he is cautiously
optimistic on prospects for the furniture industry this year
but he remains cautious of challenges such as raw material
availability and the worker shortage faced by the industry.
Third consecutive interest rate increase
Bank Negara Malaysia (the central bank) has raised the
overnight policy rate to 2.5% in line with expectations for
further normalisation of monetary policy as the country’s
economic growth and inflation gain momentum. This is
the third consecutive increase this year and was in line