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Supply side factors hit Ghana exports

In 2017, Ghana’s timber product export value fell 16% to €190 million while volume fell 15% to 397,000 m3. Exports fell to all regions except the Middle East. The decline in exports also affected nearly all product groups, the only exception being higher value tertiary products such as mouldings and flooring. Given that the fall in exports during 2017 affected nearly all markets and product groups and occurred at a time of generally rising global demand, it is likely that the trend was due more to supply-side than demand-side factors.

In 2017, Ghana exported 37,800 cubic meters of wood products to European countries, with a total value of €21.2 million. European countries accounted for 11% of Ghana’s wood products exports, both volume and value, in 2017. Export volume and value to Europe were down 14% and 19% respectively in 2017.

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Ghana’s exports of air dried lumber fell 12% to 218,000 m3 in 2017. Exports of this commodity were destined mainly for India (46% of 2017 export volume), China (42%) and Vietnam (6%). Of EU destinations, only very small volumes of air died lumber were destined for Belgium and Germany in 2017. Leading species exported as air dried lumber were rosewood, teak, papao/apa and senya.

Ghana’s exports of kiln dried lumber fell 25% to 37,900 m3 in 2017. Kiln dried lumber exports in 2017 comprised mainly wawa (53% of 2017 volume), mahogany (10%), and cedrela (8%), with smaller volumes of a wide range of species including odum, koto/kyere, sapele, edinam, and black ofram. Main export destinations for Ghana’s kiln dried lumber were the USA (17%), China (20%), Germany (18%), Belgium (5%), UK (4%), France (3%), South Africa (4%), UAE (4%), and Saudi Arabia (5%).

Ghana’s exports of plywood fell 47% in 2017 to 16,600 m3. Nearly all Ghana’s plywood exports in 2017 comprised ceiba and were transported overland to neighbouring African countries, notably Niger, Burkina Fasso, Nigeria, Benin and Togo. Only one Ghanaian company - Samartex – exported plywood to markets outside Africa in 2017, nearly all to South Korea.

Ghana’s exports of veneer were down 12% to 18,900 m3 in 2017. Around 70% of Ghana’s veneer exports comprised sliced products, in a variety of species including asanfina, koto/kyere, sapele, chenchen, and ceiba. A diverse range of export markets for Ghana’s was led in 2017 by Italy, taking around 34% of volume, followed some distance behind by Egypt (13%), Morocco (12%), UAE (7%), and China (7%).

The remaining veneer exports comprised rotary product, mainly ceiba, destined for Spain (40% of total rotary veneer exports in 2017), USA (26%), Egypt (11%), and Morocco (9%).

Ghana exported 10,800 m3 of tertiary wood products in 2017, with total value of €7.6 million. Last year, exports of these products increased 16% in volume and 34% in value. Tertiary products comprised mouldings (72% of total tertiary export volume in 2017), flooring (16%), furniture parts (11%), and dowels (1%).

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All the furniture parts exported by Ghana in 2017 were of rosewood and destined for China. EU countries were by far the largest export markets for other tertiary products. Mouldings exports in 2017, mainly wawa, were mostly destined for Germany (31%), Belgium (18%), Denmark (18%), Croatia (13%) and the UK (6%). All Ghana’s flooring exports in 2017, mainly of papao/apa, were destined for Italy. The small volume of dowels exported in 2017 was all destined for the UK, Belgium and Germany.

Small volumes of boules, nearly all niangon, were exported from Ghana in 2017, mainly to France and Italy. Ghana’s exports of billets were destined mainly for India and China and all comprised teak and gmelina.

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