By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
In first quarter of 2016 Ghana earned €50,514,982.89 from wood products export representing an increase of 12.8%, according to the first quarter report from the Forestry Commission. The volume of the wood products was 92,313.824 cubic meters.
Primary products which were made up of Poles and Billets contributed 10.37% and 5.91% in volume and value respectively from the first quarter 2016.
However, the secondary products (most exported products) comprising of Lumber (AD & KD), Plywood, Veneer and Kindling contributed 87.18% and 91.31% in volume and value respectively from the first quarter figures.
Tertiary products which (least exported products) consist of Processed Lumber or Mouldings and Dowels on the other hand contributed 2.45% and 2.78% in volume and value from the first quarter of 2016.
The commission said that the production of primary products could be improved by a partial lifting of the ban on round logs of some high density species like Ekki, Denya, Danta; which has the potential to improve volumes, revenues and new products development. It said this may possibly improve technological transfer and probably expand the tertiary products market significantly.
The specific species exported were Rosewood, Teak, Papao, Wawa and Ceiba contributing 75,066.135 cubic meters and it earned Ghana €38,606,709.74, representing 81.32% and 78.41% of total volume and value for the first quarter 2016.
The report said Rosewood contributed 25.66% and 31.02% in volume and value respectively whiles Teak contributed 29.82% and 23.35% in volume and value respectively.
Among the exported wood products, top five were lumber AD, lumber KD, plywood (overland), sliced veneer and billet contributing 82,604.036 cubic meters (92.73%) yielding €47,735,087.53 (94.50) for the first quarter 2016.
Meanwhile, Lumber AD contributed 58.61% and 63.97% in volume and value respectively whiles Lumber KD contributed 12.02% and 12.16% in volume and value respectively.
China, India, Vietnam, Germany and Italy were the favourate trade destinations contributing 68,205.137 cubic meters and yielding €38,739,136.82 representing. China imported 33.28% and 40.94% in volume and value respectively whiles India imported 32.27% and 24.06% in volume and value respectively.
The report said the general market performance was declining (Africa being the worst affected) with the exception of the Asia and Far East market which improved by 8.80% in volume and 12.87% in value.
The commission noted that the declining market for Ghanaian wood products export was worst in Africa, recording a decline of 4.20% in volume and 7.30% in value comparing it to the same period in 2015.
“Ecowas countries which represent about 60% of Africa’s market share; trading mainly in plywood (overland) has seen some major fluctuations in the Ghanaian wood products trade,” the report mentioned.
The commission said this decline in Ghanaian plywood trade could be as a result of the stain pattern in some main species used in plywood production.
The report mentioned that the growth in the wood products export during the first quarter 2016 was achieved by fewer firms compared to the number of firms for last quarter 2015.
The report said this (fewer firms achieving growth) could be attributed to the trends in the stumpage for some species from different reserves or could also be attributed to inadequate raw materials but the wood products trade (from the producers’ view point) is achieving operational excellence.