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

Fonte:
ITTO/Fordaq
Vizualizações:
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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.

Prices for okoume logs have fallen again and producers have come to accept that a recovery in export volumes and FOB prices is unlikely in the medium term. Interest in Beli has waned and prices are under pressure say producers.

The general view is that most buyers seem to be looking for a wider range of the less popular species taking advantage of the lower prices. This is good news for exporters but volumes ordered tend to be small.

FOB prices for sawnwood are underpinned by the steady sales into EU markets but remain unchanged from the beginning of November. Sapele prices for EU markets are currently stable but producers are concerned that there will be growing competition from meranti as Malaysian exporters take advantage of the weaker ringgit to squeeze out sapele.

As mentioned in previous reports this redwood/meranti competition also extends to markets in the Middle East. Analysts are concerned that this is a risk to market price stability at a time when overall purchase volumes are low and not likely to be stimulated by price cuts.

Supply side news

On the supply side, forest authorities in Congo Brazzaville are very strictly enforcing the log export quota system under which log export volumes are determined by the volume of sawnwood sales. Producers in Congo Brazzaville are finding the sawnwood market hard going in the current market slowdown.

On 1 January 2016 Cameroon will fully implement restrictions on prime species log exports. This has been welcomed by domestic sawmillers which have struggled to source enough high grade logs for their growing and successful sawnwood export markets.

Crackdown on illegal Kevazingo felling

The newly appointed Minister for Forests in Gabon, is reported to have initiated a crackdown due to allegations of corruption by officials in some areas of the country related to illegal logging and export of kevazingo. International media reports say some officials have been taken into custody and that an investigation is underway into the felling and trade in Kevazingo, more commonly known in international markets as Bubinga, a rare hardwood sought after in Asia.

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) 200
200
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 1010
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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