Takoradi, Feb. 13, GNA - Ghana earned Euro 184,011,323 from the Export of 466,155 cubic metres of wood products last year.
This was contained in a press release from the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD and signed by Mr Robert Benjamin Wilson, Assistant Public Relations Manager on Monday.
The release said this is against an amount of Euro 170,467,364 earned from 455,180 cubic metres of wood products exported in 2004. It said, "Comparatively, therefore, Ghana recorded increases of 7.93 per cent and 2.41 per cent in value and volume respectively in 2005". The release said Secondary Wood Products (SWP) topped the products mix for the period with export value of Euro 160,639,452 from 422,536 cubic metres of wood exports.
It said the products mainly Lumber, Veneer, Boules, Plywood and Sleepers have dominated the Ghana timber export front, since the ban on the export of round logs.
The release said this is in spite of national efforts, including the waiver of export levy aimed at enhancing the production of Tertiary Wood Products.
The release said tertiary wood products, mainly furniture parts, profile boards, mouldings, dowels, floorings and broomsticks contributed Euro 23,389,275 to the 2005 earnings, as against Euro 27,438,573 in 2004.
The release said the difficulty with production expertise; exacting international standards and obsolete machinery and equipment were some of the factors that were stalling national efforts at improving the performance of the tertiary sector of the Ghana timber trade and industry, especially on the overseas market.
It said sixty-seven countries imported wood products from Ghana in 2005 with Italy, the United States, India, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Belgium together imported wood products worth Euro 132,383,555.
The release said the European markets especially those in European Union (EU) maintained their consistency as the leading importer of wood products from Ghana.
"Europe imported 216,840 cubic metres of wood products worth Euro 92,850,000 in 2005", it said.
The release said India, whose economy has been growing at 9 per cent annually, was emerging as an important destination for Ghana's wood products.
The release said the sub-continent's wood imports from Ghana totalled Euro 25,105,327 representing 13.64 per cent of the country's wood exports in 2005.
"By contrast, Ghana's wood exports to African markets in 2005 were as usual, dismal, despite numerous comparative advantages including trade protocol, bi-lateral agreements and geographical nearness", it added. The nation, the release said, earned Euro 19,620,332 (10.66 per cent of total value for 2005) from wood exports on the continent with the ECOWAS sub-region principally Nigeria, Niger, Senegal and the Gambia contributing Euro 12,889,720 or 65.70 per cent of that value.
It said three hundred and four companies exported wood products from Ghana and ten of those companies exported 245,979 cubic metres worth Euro 106,075,223, which represented 54.70 per cent and 57.65 per cent of the total value and volume respectively for 2005.
The ten companies are Samartex Timber and Plywood Limited, Logs and Lumber Company Limited, Ayum Forest Products, John Bitar Company Limited, Naja David Veneer, Olam (Ghana) Limited, Mondial Veneer (Ghana Limited, Gye Nyame Exports Limited and Fabi Timbers Limited. 13 Feb. 06