Ghana’s exports of timber in terms of its value and volume declined in the first quarter 2019 as compared to first quarter 2018, data from the Research and Statistics Department of the Forestry Commission indicate.
Altogether Ghana secured €187,869 million from timber exports of 332,927 cubic metres in January to December 2018.
The value of exports of the commodity in first quarter of 2019 amounted to €41.7 million as against €51.47 million obtained during first quarter of 2018. With regards to the volume of exports, 80,081 cubic metres were recorded this year as against 85,820 cubic metres last year.
This indicates a seven percent reduction in the volume of timber exports, translating into a 19 percent decline in the earnings made out of the exports because of an accompanying fall in export prices.
The top five species exported by both volume and value comprise Teak, Rosewood, Wawa, Ceiba and Denya. Out of these species, Teak and Rosewood emerged at the top most exported species.
Whereas exports of Teak increased from 37,608 cubic metres during the first quarter of 2018, to 40,670 cubic metres for the corresponding period of 2019, exports of Rosewood however, decreased; accounting for 16,589 cubic metres in 2018’s first quarter as against 9,679 cubic metres in 2019’s first quarter.
Industry players have affirmed that the decrease in the export of Rosewood comparing both quarters could largely be attributed to the ban on all exports of the species while that of Teak saw a marginal increase because there is no ban on Teak export. Indeed, it is curious that the export of rosewood is still being captured in the Forestry Commission’s statistics despite the ban on place in it since 2016/17.
The volume of exports of Teak with regards to the two quarters under review stands at 37,608 cubic metres for 2018 as against 40,670 cubic metres for 2019, representing 43.8 percent and 50. 8 percent of total timber export volumes respectively for the periods under review.
With regards to exports destination, India and China emerged as the preferred choices for Ghana’s timber with total percentage volume being 73.47 percent for the two countries combined in 2018 first quarter as compared to 70.74 percent in 2019 first quarter. The remaining destinations in the top five, comprise Germany, Burkina Faso and the United States.