As businesses in importing countries adapt to working with the coronavirus risk trade has started to revive and some FOB price movements have been reported.
Producers report a growing interest in ovangkol for the Chinese market suggesting this could be an alternative to kevazingo/bubinga. The Chinese demand for okan for flooring production is said to be stable as is demand for belli.
Over the past few months demand for okoume has waned but, fortunately, the market in the Philippines for okoume is firm and stable. Analysts write “If not for this market, okoume production in Congo and Gabon would slow down very fast”. The steady demand for okoume, andoung, gheombi and iroko in Middle East markets has been encouraging and as there are reports that stocks held in the Middle East are declining more orders are anticipated.
In contrast to Asian and Middle East demand some producers have seen easing FOB price from French importers for species such as douka and moabi easing. Similarly, importers in Belgium seem to have cooled to padouk and doussie while in Germany the market for sipo and sapelli is weak.
The only timber doing well in Europe at present is azobe but as mills switch from sawing okoume to azobe there is a risk of over-supply and a downward pressure on prices.