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Feb 2016

Central/West Africa: Log prices remain stable but volumes are small

Producers in West and Central Africa report that international demand is generally dull but, for the small volumes traded, prices are still holding at late 2015 levels. Having said that, small volumes of okoume veneer logs have changed hands at prices previously seen for peeler logs. Producers also report some business in belli and okan log exports but volumes are small [Mais... ]

Central/West Africa: Slow rise in EU demand anticipated

For the first time this year minor sawnwood price movements have been reported in Central/West Africa, otherwise most markets are quiet and prices remain unchanged [Mais... ]

Jan 2016

Central/West Africa: Okoume log prices tumble from a good start in 2015

At year end it is of interest to review the way business has developed over the past 12 months in Central/West Africa. In 2015 the big loser in terms of FOB price has been okoume where log prices have fallen around euro 140 per cu.m since the start of this year. [Mais... ]

Central/West Africa: Little change in log and sawnwood prices expected in the first quarter

West Africa log and sawnwood prices remained unchanged through late December and into the first half of January. Producers in the region expect little, if any, change in price structures during the first quarter of the year [Mais... ]

Dec 2015

Central/West Africa: Low prices attract buyers to less popular timbers

Except for a few low volume ‘spot’ sales, buyers for China remain out of the market and there is no indication as to when major log buyers for this market will reurn. In response to the weak demand, West and Central African exporters have maintained solidarity by holding firm on prices and at the same time are trimming back production volumes [Mais... ]

Nov 2015

Central/West Africa: Log and sawnwood prices in October

In the two weeks to the end of October Central and West African FOB prices remain largely unchanged with just one or two minor adjustments reflecting the slow demand in China. While demand from European buyers is, at best, moderate it is sufficient to provide a firm base for the current price levels [Mais... ]

Oct 2015

Central/West Africa: Improving export volumes and prices in EU

African exporters find their European business has been improving in terms of both volume and price signaling a solid foundation to demand. For the past two or three years EU importers have very carefully managed stock levels of tropical timbers but as the economies in some EU member states improve there has been an increase in timber consumption for infrastructure projects, housing and renovation works which encouraged importers to expand stock levels [Mais... ]

Central/West Africa: EU markets underpinning price stability

Producers report that demand in European markets is firm and prices are stable and that this is assisting them in maintaining price levels in other markets. Demand for okoume logs and sawnwood for the Chinese market is slow and prices have not recovered. FOB prices for okan and sapele are also under pressure as demand slows but for most of the other timbers prices are stable. [Mais... ]

Sep 2015

Central/West Africa: Demand from China dries-up

There were no price changes in the second half of August and Central and West African producers report that while overall demand is holding up, what little demand there was from buyers for the Chinese market has now dried–up. In China demand for okoume logs and sawnwood has collapsed and even demand for the „redwood‟ timbers is extremely slow. [Mais... ]

Central/West Africa: Market prospects hinge on Chinese economy

Prices for the majority of West African timbers have been maintained for some time now but there are some signs of weakness in log prices. Trade with Chinese importers is still at a low level and whilst there are now some reassuring moves by the Chinese government to bring stability to the economy the impact of the current fall in demand will take time to trickle down to the timber trade. Currently, Chinese traders are trying to reduce landed stocks of log and sawnwood before [Mais... ]

Aug 2015

Central/West Africa: Log prices held up only by reduced availability

While West African markets for sawnwood have shown some life, the log market continues to be dull with no sign of any major resurgence in demand from China. What little business can be generated with China revolves around a few select species. There is still no interest from Chinese buyers for okoume logs [Mais... ]

Central/West Africa: Slow demand from China dominates market sentiment

Okume demand and hence prices continue to be very depressed in contrast to prices and demand for sapele and sipo which remain firm. Padauk is also in demand and prices have improved slightly. [Mais... ]

Jul 2015

Central/West Africa: Minor price changes but focus is on change in China

A few minor price movements were reported in the first week of July but most log and sawnwood prices remain unchanged because of only moderate demand in the main markets. Of major concern to West African exporters was the rapid collapse of stock values in China and the impact this could have on domestic consumption. A large volume of equities in China are in the hands of small investors many of whom have borrowed heavily to buy stocks. Coming on top of the recent weakening in property prices in China it is expected that this latest shock will undermine Chinese consumer confidence and that spending will decline [Mais... ]

Jun 2015

Central/West Africa: Demand for high-end species lifts prices

In contrast to the rather unexceptional demand over the past month producers now report that market conditions have changed. On the one hand, stronger demand for highend species for which availability is limited has lifted prices, conversely there is a downward pressure on prices for other, mainly lower end species, driven by tough competition in the market [Mais... ]

Mills in West Africa lowering production to match slow demand

Log and sawnwood prices are unchanged in from those reported at the end of May as demand in western international markets is very slow. Sawmills in the region are reported to be either cutting back on production or temporarily ceasing operations in an effort to match output with current levels of demand [Mais... ]

May 2015

Central/West Africa: Tight supply underpins log prices

In contrast to the slight fluctuations in sawnwood prices log prices have hardly been affected in the first months of the year. While demand is soft in the Chinese market producers say buyers are not pressuring for price reductions in the realisation that availability is an issue. Forest authorities through-out West and Central African countries have strengthened control of harvest levels and this, along with news of the tight log supply situation in SE Asia, is serving to support log prices. Middle East markets continue to be very price conscious [Mais... ]

Log and sawnwood prices in Central/West Africa

West African producers report that demand levels remain only moderate with buyers concentrating on the most popular species. Sapele is back in demand and this has encouraged a rise in production but millers are careful to balance production with demand so as not to over produce and risk weakening prices [Mais... ]

Apr 2015

Central/West Africa: Sentiment improves as buyers slowly return

African producers report a slow but steady improvement in demand that has lifted sentiment and brought some stability back to the trade. With the exception of the continued weakness in prices for sapele and okoume, prices for other timbers which had eased in recent weeks are now holding firm such that it appears the downward trend in prices has come to a halt [Mais... ]

Mar 2015

Current log and sawnwood prices in Central/West Africa

West and Central African producers now depend on the market in China where, recently, there have been mixed signals on the strength of the construction and housing sectors [Mais... ]

Central/West Africa: Market prices close to a turning point

West African producers note the quiet market conditions and general absence of buyers but say this has not led to an across the board weakening of prices although the downward pressure on prices for sipo and sapele sawnwood continues [Mais... ]

Feb 2015

Central/West Africa: Latest log and sawnwood prices

With Chinese New Year falling on 19 February producers report the activity of buyers has slowed and markets are quiet. With so much of the trade being conducted with Asian countries the impact of the lunar holiday is very noticeable [Mais... ]

Oct 2014

Africa: EU demand unlikely to expand in final quarter

Producers are satisfied with the current order book positions and consider these as about normal levels for this time of year. They are now more confident about log supplies and have indicated they could meet any increase in demand from EU buyers should they begin to restock. However, producers are not expecting any significant change in the flow of orders from Europe. The Ukraine conflict and sanctions on Russia are beginning to weaken the economies of some EU member states, particularly Germany and France, compounding the impact of the depressed construction sector in many EU member states... [Mais... ]

Africa: EUTR might trigger negative attitudes towards tropical timber in EU

Producers report that demand from European buyers remains very quiet with not a hint of the usual autumn up-tick in purchases. Overall, exporters in West Africa are not at all optimistic on prospects for any growth in demand in EU markets. Current demand in northern Europe is heavily concentrated on ayous, sipo and sapele sawnwood. The slow response of some EU members to enforcement of the EUTR is attracting the attention of green activists who seem set to put pressure on authorities to ensure stricter adherence to the regulation. [Mais... ]

Sep 2014

Central/West Africa: Producers content with current prices in EU markets

European buyers have not yet resumed purchasing after the summer vacation period but, with the economies in the main markets in the EU looking more positive W. African producers are convinced they will see sustained business through to year end... [Mais... ]

Central/West Africa: European buyers stay on the side lines

Producers in West Africa report that the rather quiet but sustained demand continues with new orders flowing at a steady but unchanged pace. European buyers have not yet returned in any strength to negotiate contracts for the fourth quarter. This is a slower resumption of the autumn and winter round of purchases... [Mais... ]