Central/West Africa: Log and sawnwood prices in October

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ITTO
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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.

Middle East importers and distributers report continued firm business although some importers are still inclined to limit the size of new contracts until they are more certain about how long current FOB prices can be maintained

Production of sapele for Chinese market scaled back

On the supply side, producers in Gabon continue to limit output and have indicated they will temporarily close sawmills if necessary to avoid building up stocks. Mills in Cameroon and the Central African Republic have limited production of sapele for China but there is ongoing demand from Europe and prices are stable.

Opportunities in India

India has become a major tropical log importer but shippers in Central and West Africa have not captured much of the market for logs in India except for plantation teak and some small quantities of gmelina.

The Indian government has ambitious plans to expand house building and this will result in increased demand for wood products and create opportunities for Central and West African producers.

Trade development between Africa and India was a feature of the Third India Africa Summit in New Delhi in late October. This summit was heralded as India’s most extensive interaction with African countries.

Africa's exports to India are smaller than to China but this could change as growth in China slows.

India’s bilateral trade with Africa has grown from a modest US$1 billion in 1995, to US$30 billion in 2008 and is now around US$60 billion.

African exports to India have been growing faster than Indian exports to Africa and six countries, Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco account for most Africa’s exports, mainly due to trade in oil, gas and minerals.

For other African countries India benefits from a trade surplus. Timber exporters in Africa would seem to have an opportunity beyond teak exports in the Indian market

Log Export Prices

West Africa logs, FOB € per m³
Asian market
LM
B
BC/C
Acajou/ Khaya/N'Gollon
230
230
160
Ayous/Obéché/Wawa
260
260
180
Azobe & Ekki
230
230
160
Belli
250
250
-
Bibolo/Dibétou
150
145
 
Iroko 330
290
260
Okoume (60% CI, 40% CE, 20% CS) (China only) 210
205
160
Moabi 335 305 225
Movingui 210
210
160
Niove
160
160
-
Okan
250
250
-
Padouk
310
285
225
Sapele 305
305
220
Sipo/Utile
345
340
265
Tali 320 320
-

                                                                                                                                               

Sawnwood Export Prices

West Africa sawnwood, FOB
€ per m³
Ayous FAS GMS 410
Bilinga FAS GMS 500
Okoumé FAS GMS
350
Merchantable 225
Std/Btr GMS 270
Sipo FAS GMS
610
FAS fixed sizes 610
FAS scantlings 640
Padouk FAS GMS 930
FAS scantlings 1000
Strips 680
Sapele FAS Spanish sizes 610
FAS scantlings 620
Iroko FAS GMS 610
Scantlings 690
Strips
440
Khaya FAS GMS
450
FAS fixed
460
Maobi FAS GMS
610
Scantlings
630
Movingui FAS GMS
420
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