Central/West Africa: Demand from China dries-up

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ITTO/Fordaq
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There were no price changes in the second half of August and Central and West African producers report that while overall demand is holding up, what little demand there was from buyers for the Chinese market has now dried–up. In China demand for okoume logs and sawnwood has collapsed and even demand for the „redwood‟ timbers is extremely slow.

Buyers for China are pessimistic and say they do not know when business will improve suggesting the weak demand could stretch until year end or even into the first quarter of next year.

As a result of poor demand prospects Central and West African producers are cutting back on log harvests and reducing sawnwood production. For once the heavy rains which are affecting forest operations in Cameroon are not disrupting either milling or shipping schedules as demand is so low.

Purchases for Middle Eastern, Indian and EU markets balancing losses in China

In contrast to weak demand in China, business in Middle East markets remains positive with steady demand at current price levels in spite of strong competition from SE Asian suppliers.

Demand in Europe is proving better than expected given it is still the holiday season. Some producers are optimistic that there will be an increase in demand through to year end. In terms of individual species, shippers of sipo and sapele have seen moderate demand levels so prices remain holding firm.

Importers in India are actively buying their favoured species, belli and padauk. Analysts encourage West and Central African shippers to actively target this 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
300
280
-
Bibolo/Dibétou
150
145
 
Iroko 330
290
260
Okoume (60% CI, 40% CE, 20% CS) (China only) 235
235
160
Moabi 335 305 225
Movingui 210
210
160
Niove
160
160
-
Okan
250
250
-
Padouk
310
285
225
Sapele 320
320
240
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
370
Merchantable 225
Std/Btr GMS 280
Sipo FAS GMS
610
FAS fixed sizes 610
FAS scantlings 640
Padouk FAS GMS 930
FAS scantlings 980
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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