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05.11.2004 Business & Finance

Export of wood products achieves modest gains

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Takoradi, Nov. 5, GNA - Export of wood products from Ghana between January and September 2004 went up to 341,853 cubic metres, amounting to 127,877,740 Euros, representing a 3.33 per cent increase over that of last year.

The country earned 123,755.606 Euros from the sector for the same period in 2003, Mr. Robert Ben Wilson of the Public Relations Department of the Ghana Timber Trade and Industry told the Ghana News Agency at Takoradi on Thursday.

Six top companies whose operations contributed significantly to this achievement are Samartex Timbers and Plywood Limited, Logs and Lumber Limited and Ayum Forest Products Company Limited. The rest are Naja David Veneer Limited, John Bita Company Limited and A.G. Timbers limited.

Mr. Wilson said export of secondary wood products such as lumber, veneer and plywood, were more than tertiary or valued-added wood products.

They fetched 106,937,243 Euros or 83.62 per cent of the period's earnings as against 20,940,497 Euros or 16.38 per cent by tertiary products.

Mr Wilson attributed low performance by tertiary or value-added products to lack of requisite production technology, inadequate finances and the exacting nature of the tertiary products market especially for furniture unlike the lumber market.

He said lumber export registered the single highest earning of 53,340,545 Euros or 42 per cent with curls veneer achieving the highest average unit price of 7,904 Euros.

The European market imported 75.52 million Euros worth of wood products which was 1.77 million Euros more than the previous year's figure to maintain its dominance as the leading destination for Ghana's wood exports.

Mr. Wilson said the United States was the second leading importer of the country's wood products for the period under review, lifting about 17.74 million Euros worth of wood.

India was the leading importer of air-dried lumber, lifting 5.5 million Euros worth of wood products from the country.

Senegal, Togo, the Gambia, Mali, Nigeria and Sierra Leone imported a total of 8.72 million Euros worth of wood products from the country.

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