Sapele ,Padouk, Okoume and Okan are not perhaps the first woods you would think of using for a project but they are amongst the staple timbers of both Central and West African forest economies.
In Europe the demand for these woods has fallen. Much like last week’s report European buyers are reluctant to import more stock as they find that their current reserve is as they say static, even with the carrot of price incentives.
Meanwhile in Asia the market for these timbers remains lively with both China and India leading the way. As a result export prices for Sapele and Padouk in to Asia are firm.
The government of Gabon has tried to encourage more investment into downstream industries such as furniture production. Two major problems have been pointed out by the timber companies: Very small demand domestically and high export taxes. Taxes impeding business growth, who would have considered that!

Madeleine

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