Encouraging growth in Ghana’s sawnwood exports to Asian markets

Ghana’s wood product exports in the first five months of 2018 saw healthy growth year-on-year in both volume and value. According to globalwood.org, the data is derived from the Timber Inspection Development Division (TIDD) of the Forestry Commission.

 The most highly sought after types of wood from Ghana include plantation teak, rosewood, ceiba, papao/apa and wawa. (Photo credit: www.pulse.com.gh)

144,300 cu.m of wood products were exported between January and May 2018 with a 24 per cent growth when compared to 116,952 cum exported in the same period in 2017. Total export revenues for the first five months of 2018 saw good growth, increasing 38 per cent to Euro 86.32 million from Euro 62.65 million in 2017.

Secondary wood products made up close to 88 per cent of total export volume in 2018 followed by primary wood products at 10 per cent while tertiary wood products made up for the balance.

Primary wood product exports (poles and billets) increased 81 per cent from 8,045 cu.m in 2017 to 14,540cu.m in 2018. Secondary wood products export, mainly sawnwood, boules, veneer and plywood also climbed 22 per cent while exports of tertiary wood products fell.

The major markets were in Asia while neighbouring African countries’s demands are smaller in quantity. The most highly sought after types of wood include plantation teak, rosewood, ceiba, papao/apa and wawa.

Distressed banks merged – a move welcomed by the local wood industry

The Ghana Central Bank recently announced that the government has taken over control of and merged five distressed local banks into a single entity known as the Consolidated Bank.

Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Ernest Addison, said this is part of ongoing reforms aimed at strengthening the country’s financial sector. The Consolidated bank has received an injection of close to US$90 million in recapitalisation.

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) said it was hopeful the Central Bank would help the new financial institution establish itself to serve the needs of industry.

A press release from the AGI also said, “the Association notes with concern, related developments in the Ghanaian economy and reiterates that the influx of imports remains a major risk to the growth of industry and the country’s job creation prospects.

Instances of weak local currency and exchange rate volatilities as experienced in the second quarter reflect the import-oriented nature of our economy. Businesses came under intense pressure from cedi depreciation in Q2. Speculations about new taxes emerging in the mid-year budget review negatively impacted business confidence.”