Unchanged log prices in Central/West Africa

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ITTO
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Log prices were unchanged throughout May in Central/West Africa and show no signs of movement even though there are reports of some modest increases in demand. Over the past few months analysts note a developing trend towards demand for better quality wood products with both buyers and consumers, through their own choice, being prepared to pay a fair price for a good product rather than pursuing the lowest price.

There are reports of some demand for okoume logs in Equatorial Guinea and Congo Brazzaville and this is mainly from buyers for the Chinese market.

As will be seen in the price tables below there were some slight movements in sawnwood pricesduring the second half of the month. Producers are satisfied with the current (slight) upward trend in demand and expect this to continue into the third quarter of the year.

Expansion of peeling capacity in Gabon

The ban on log exports in Gabon is still in place and observers report that some Chinese companies, which were previously trading logs, are investing in milling capacity to produce peeled okoume veneers for export.

Log buyers say that Gabon okoume is of superior quality in terms of texture and appearance compared to okoume from neighbouring countries. If this is the case then the investment in peeling capacity in Gabon will yield high quality veneers.

No decision yet on kilning requirement or marketing board in Gabon

The proposal for mandatory kiln drying of export sawnwood is reported to be slowly moving through the government systems along with a proposal to establish a timber marketing board.

There is no information as to when or even if these policies will be adopted with or without the suggestions offered by the timber industry.

Customs inspection process even tighter – pushes up transaction costs

The ban on harvesting, processing and export of kevazingo remains in place while the government is continuing to assess and inspect stocks held by timber companies and traders.

There are ongoing discussion between the government and private sector on the high Customs Charges for container scanning. Analysts say the Gabon Customs Department seems determined to maintain the current rates and now require even more detailed documentation before exports are approved.

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 315 305 220
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 1020
Strips 680
Sapele FAS Spanish sizes 610
FAS scantlings 620
Iroko FAS GMS 630
Scantlings 700
Strips
440
Khaya FAS GMS
450
FAS fixed
460
Maobi FAS GMS
610
Scantlings
630
Movingui FAS GMS
420
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