Central/West Africa: slow but stable market

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Producers are expecting a somewhat quieter period for new sales in the first quarter so are concentrating on shipping current contracts. There were no major price movements in the period from mid December to the present and market conditions are said to be slow but stable.

Producers in Cameroon are slowly getting production back to normal after the very heavy rains. There is news of increased log exports due, say analysts, to a relaxation in the quota system.

Chinese buyers active in advance of Lunar New Year holidays

The western New Year holidays are over but Chinese New Year falls on 31 January. Even though the holidays in China are drawing near Chinese buyers are still particularly active. Producers expect that the current market conditions will prevail through the first quarter.

European businesses are back to normal after the long holiday but it is too early to anticipate market direction. Building activity across Europe slows during the winter months and although housing starts had begun to pick up during the last quarter of 2013 the prospects for further expansion look slim despite the optimism in the private sector.

Log Export Prices

West Africa logs, FOB € per m³
Asian market
LM
B
BC/C
Acajou/ Khaya/N'Gollon
220
220
155
Ayous/Obéché/Wawa
225
210
150
Azobe & Ekki
235
230
150
Belli
230
230
-
Bibolo/Dibétou
150
145
 
Iroko 250
225
210
Okoume (60% CI, 40% CE, 20% CS) (China only) 330 320
245
Moabi 300
300
-
Movingui 220
200
175
Niove
165
165-
-
Okan
250
250
-
Padouk
310
280
210
Sapele
280
270
180
Sipo/Utile
310
285
190
Tali
295
295
-

                                                                                                                                         Sawnwood Export Prices

West Africa sawnwood, FOB
€ per m³
Ayous FAS GMS
335
Bilinga FAS GMS 520
Okoumé FAS GMS
480
FAS. fixed sizes
270
Std/Btr GMS
350
Sipo FAS GMS
550
FAS fixed sizes -
FAS scantlings 550
Padouk FAS GMS
800
FAS scantlings 800
Strips 400
Sapele FAS Spanish sizes 535
FAS scantlings
555
Iroko FAS GMS 565
Scantlings 590
Strips
440
Khaya FAS GMS
450
FAS fixed
470
Maobi FAS GMS
550
Scantlings
550
Movingui FAS GMS
415

                                                                                                                                          Timber companies in Gabon concerned over slow pace tax refund

Trading conditions are said to be becoming more difficult in Gabon with some timber companies reporting tough financial constraints because of the slow repayments of the value added tax (TVA) from the government agencies.

There are unconfirmed reports that around CFA 20 billion in TVA refunds are due to the exporters. The recent strike by dock workers added to the woes of exporters. The media in Congo Brazzaville reports that investors are very active building new mills which should begin operations during January.

VPA Updates

VPA between Liberia and EU comes into force

The VPA between Liberia and the EU came into force on 1 December following its ratification by the two countries. The EU Delegation marked this achievement with an event in Monrovia on 2 December, attended by Pierre Amilhat, EuropeAid's Director for Western and Central Africa.During the event EU officials finalised projects for civil society organisations for environmental protection in Liberia.

Support for VPAs in West and Central Africa

Three new FLEGT facilitators took up their positions in African VPA partner countries in November and December. The UK Department for International Development is providing support for these positions as part of its Forest Governance, Markets and Climate programme. The facilitators will assist stakeholders in their negotiations and with VPA implementation. 

VPA awareness campaign in Côte d’Ivoire

The Ivorian NGO, SOS-Forêt, is building a civil society platform to create an inclusive and comprehensive forum to represent civil society in VPA negotiations. The NGO has been working to spread information on the VPA and build understanding of good forest governance.

Cameroon and the EU report on VPA progress

Cameroon and the EU have released two joint reports on progress in implementing the Cameroon-EU VPA. One report summarises activities and progress during 2010 and 2011, the second covers activities and progress in 2012.

This document reports progress made in the timber legality assurance system, legislative reform, domestic timber market policy, FLEGT licensing, institutional improvements, stakeholder engagement, communication, transparency and monitoring.

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