European buyers showing more interest in African timbers – UW GROUP

European buyers showing more interest in African timbers

Producers in the region are reporting firm demand for
padouk, okoume, ovangkol and even gheombi, a timber
that was not common in the market until a year ago.
Gheombi is used for door manufacturing. The timber has
dark streaks but this is apparently appreciated in the
Chinese market.

As a result of the disruption to beech supplies due to the
Russian invasion of Ukraine buyers for the markets in
European buyers are showing more interest in African
timbers especially for timbers that could be alternatives for

The availability of hardwoods from traditionally suppliers
in Europe has become even more challenging since
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine encouraging importers to
look more to tropical products. Producers have noted that
demand from European buyers is more active than usual
for the beginning of the European holiday season.

In other news, in the first four months of 2022 Vietnam’s
imports of logs and sawnwood from Cameroon increased
compared to the same period in 2021 with imports of
sawnwood in particular reached 70,000 cu.m at a value of
US$31.92 million 72% up in volume and 74% in value.
(See page XX).

While Vietnam’s imports of tropical timber have been
rising there has been a slowing of demand for the Chinese
market where it is reported there has been an accumulation
of stocks. (See page XX)

National timber tracking system – a risk for the
Cameroon timber industry

Launched at the beginning of 2022 Cameroon’s second
generation ‘Computerised Forest Information
Management System’ (Sigif2 ) financed by the German
government and the European Union (EU) has failed to
deliver and it is now considered as putting Cameroon’s
international trade in wood products at risk.

Producers in Cameroon are struggling to comply with the
system requirements and are facing huge additional costs.
Because of this there have been suggestions that the
country’s export performance could suffer.

The development of Sigif2 has been the subject major
disagreements between the Ministry of Forestry in
Cameroon, the European Union, German authorities and
KfW. Efforts to overhaul the system were largely
unsuccessful to the point that the system could not meet
the requirements of the European Union Timber
Regulation (EUTR).

In a statement issued on 7 March the Minister of Forests
and Wildlife, Jules Doret Ndongo, revealed that Sigif2 has
serious problems updating the data due to access issues
and instability of the internet network upon which the
system depends.


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