Ghana timber exports up

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGHANA exported a total of 249,846 cubic metres of timber and wood products worth €98.50 million in the first three quarters in 2014, the  Interna-tional Tropical Timber Organisa-tion (ITTO), has reported.

This represented increases  of 21 per cent in volume and 7.8 per cent in value compared to same period in 2013, the ITTO latest market report said.

The ITTO is an intergovernmental organisation that promotes conservation of tropical forest resources and their sustainable management, use and trade.

According to the ITTO, products for which increases were recorded included kiln and air dry sawnwood, poles and billets.

In addition, the ITTO said a large volume of gmelina poles were exported from Ghana to India.

The major markets for Ghana’s wood product exports in the first three quarters of 2014 were Asia/Far East 44 per cent, Africa 26 per cent with the balance going to Europe.

Other markets, according to the ITTO, included the US (5 per cent), Middle East (3 per cent) and  Oceania.

The average unit price for 2014 exports to the ECOWAS market was in the range of €229 and €434 per cubic metre, up slightly on the € 223-392 per cubic metres in the same period in 2013.

Exports to Niger were the lowest priced while export prices in the Togo and Gambia markets were the highest, the ITTO said.

The main export species included wawa, mahogany, gmelina, teak, papao, koto, odum, ceiba, walnut, ofram.

Ghana’s forest sector is a major contributor to the national economy. The sector accounts for about 11 per cent of the total export earnings of the country.

The timber industry contributes about 6 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs a labour force of over 75,000 people, whilst providing direct livelihood to about two million people.

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