Ghana's total exports of timber and wood products for the first nine months of 2008 increased to 430,100m³, a 7.7% rise when compared to the same period in 2007. The corresponding total revenue for the first three quarters also increased 4.2% to EUR144.42 million in 2008, up from EUR135.55 million in 2007.
The gain resulted from higher volumes recorded for sliced veneer (13.6%), plywood (8.7%), rotary veneer (7.5%) and kiln-dried lumber (4.3%). Decreases in volume were recorded for furniture parts (82.6%), curl veneer (35.5%), boules (34.7%) and air-dried lumber (12.9%).
Plywood (24.4%), kiln-dried lumber (21.2%), air-dried lumber (13.3%), sliced veneer (7.4%) and rotary veneer (5.8%) altogether accounted for 72.2% of the total volume exports during the period, with twelve other products accounting for 27.8%.
Plywood exports, including overland exports, during the period recorded an 8.7% increase in volume over that of the previous year to reach 104,960 m³. The corresponding revenue was EUR30.35 million, showing a 16.3% rise in 2008 compared to the same period in 2007. The three leading exporters were Naja David Veneer & Plywood, John Bitar & Co. Ltd. and Asuo Bomosadu Timbers, which contributed 70.0% of total volume exported. The main species were ceiba, chenchen and mahogany, and the leading importing countries were Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger and Togo.
Kiln-dried lumber rose from 34,360 m³ in 2007 to 36,000 m³ in 2008 during the first three quarters registering increases of 4.3% and 4.8% in volume and value, respectively. Of the 96 exporters, the two leading companies were Ayum Forest Products Ltd. (12.0%) and Samartex Timber and Plywood (9.9%). When compared to 2007, air-dried lumber exports suffered a decline of 12.9% in volume with a corresponding 18.1% decrease in revenue for the period January – September 2008.
Sliced veneer export rose 13.6% to record 25,460 m³ for 2008 against 23.12% registered for 2007 during the same period. The main leading exporters were Logs and Lumber Co. Ltd. and John Bitar Co. Ltd., which together accounted for 49.2% of total export volume with revenues of EUR11.2 million.
Total rotary veneer exports for the first three quarters were EUR24,910 m³, a 7.5% gain over 2007 figures. The corresponding revenue for the same period also rose from EUR5.42 million in 2007 to EUR6.08 million in 2008. Tertiary products accounted for EUR10.86 million of the EUR144.42 million earned in 2008 as against Euro 12.27 million from the total revenue of EUR138.55 million of wood export for the same period in 2007. Secondary products for the January – September 2008 period were also EUR133.56 million as compared to EUR126.28 million in 2007.
Ghana's trade was notably directed to the European Union (EU), which accounted for 45.04% and 33.25% of the total export volume and value, respectively, for the period under consideration. The key markets in the EU included France, Germany, the UK, Belgium, Spain, Ireland and Holland.
The US accounted for 9.01% and 12.66% of the total export volume and value, respectively, in contrast to the period compared 10.23% and 13.33% in 2007. The US market maintained its dominance as the largest destination market for Ghana's lumber (KD) and rotary veneer exports.
The ECOWAS market (mainly Senegal, Nigeria, Niger, Gambia, Mali, Benin, Burkina Faso and Togo) also absorbed EUR30.35 million (96.54%) of Africa's EUR31.44 million wood imports from Ghana during the period. Plywood and lumber (air-dried) continued to interest the Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso and Senegalese markets.
The emerging markets in Asia and the Far East - India, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, Singapore and Thailand - altogether contributed EUR23.07 million (15.97%) to Ghana's total of wood export value during January – September 2008. India continues to be the leading importer of teak lumber (AD).
The Middle East countries, notably Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates and Israel, together represented EUR7.88 million (5.46%) of the total export value for the period.