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

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ITTO
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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.

Overall, producer are expecting current price levels to be maintained and are saying that, because of rising production costs, price discounts are unlikely. At the same time, few would expect any major upward movements in prices and will be content, for the time being, to see prices hold on to the better levels attained during the third quarter.

Douala Port log stock pile to move in September

The new contractors, reportedly a consortium of Chinese companies, are due to take over port operations at Douala during September so the huge stock pile of logs awaiting export shipment may soon begin to move.

Reports suggest that there could be as much as 400,000 cubic metres of timber at the port. Analysts are speculating on the impact in the market of a surge in log availability and suggest that, in the short-term, demand could ebb but note that demand for logs remains firm so the export of the large volumes from Douala may not have much impact.

Gabon millers holding back on investments

Companies in Gabon say there is still no sign of the government effecting repayment of the TVA tax . Exporters say it is becoming more and more difficult to do business and the economic out look is uncertain. The burden on company waiting for the tax refund is affecting investments and adding to the perceived risk in the sector such that commercial financing is becoming more expensive and difficult to secure. Most new private investment in the region is now concentrated in Congo Brazzaville where the government is pouring money into the renovation of road, rail and port facilities.

Weaker demand in Chinese market anticipated

International markets are said to be quiet at present and no price movements for either logs or sawnwood have been reported. Demand for China is said to be steady but some exporters have been told that domestic demand in China for tropical wood products is easing as the government cools the housing market.

Log Export Prices

West Africa logs, FOB € per m³
Asian market
LM
B
BC/C
Acajou/ Khaya/N'Gollon
220
220
155
Ayous/Obéché/Wawa
230
230
150
Azobe & Ekki
235
230
150
Belli
290
290
-
Bibolo/Dibétou
150
145
 
Iroko 330
290
260
Okoume (60% CI, 40% CE, 20% CS) (China only) 340 340 260
Moabi 320 300 -
Movingui 220
220
180
Niove
160
155
-
Okan
280
280
-
Padouk
300
275
210
Sapele 340 340 240
Sipo/Utile
360
360
220
Tali 315 315
-

                                                                                                                                              Sawnwood Export Prices

West Africa sawnwood, FOB
€ per m³
Ayous FAS GMS 350
Bilinga FAS GMS 520
Okoumé FAS GMS
480
Merchantable 275
Std/Btr GMS 350
Sipo FAS GMS
660
FAS fixed sizes 660
FAS scantlings 670
Padouk FAS GMS 820
FAS scantlings 870
Strips 500
Sapele FAS Spanish sizes 660
FAS scantlings 670
Iroko FAS GMS 620
Scantlings 695
Strips
440
Khaya FAS GMS
450
FAS fixed
470
Maobi FAS GMS
580
Scantlings
560
Movingui FAS GMS
420
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