Europe demand for African timbers down, Asian markets vibrant

Europe is quiet and any timber purchases are only to replace stocks and tend to be only for the faster moving timbers. The weak demand has led to price falls for species which are susceptible to even the smallest shifts in demand.

Some of the larger European buyers are reportedly overstocked with sapele and padouk and are therefore holding off buying, slackening prices.

Padouk prices are generally volatile and tend to fluctuate more compared to other timbers. Demand for okan has also fallen as Dutch buyers switch azobe.

Asia on the other hand is bustling with activity, especially Chinese buyers who are actively buying, lifting okoume prices, especially peeler logs for face veneer. Chinese mills generally use cheaper species for plywood core veneers and okoume for face and back veneers. India, like European importers, are not interested in padouk.

Both China and India have a continued interest in larger-sized sawn flitches for sliced veneers and for flooring and this has helped slow the slide in FOB prices for padouk and okan despite the poor demand in Europe.

 

Source: ITTO