Timber production in Central and West African countries continues to be adversely affected by Covid-19 control measures and restrictions. These have been particularly strict in Gabon where all business operations are closed from 06:00 to 18:00.

Demand for sawn tropical hardwood has been low in Europe. Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Demand for sawn tropical hardwood has been low in Europe. Photo by Wikimedia Commons

In a joint press release, the Ministers of the Interior and of Defence provided details concerning the issuance of laissez-passer (pass for travel outside Greater Libreville) and special permits for movement in Greater Libreville during curfew hours.

According to reports, demand for sawn tropical hardwoods are low in the main European markets and this, it is hoped, will spur demand as the European winter ends. Demand from buyers for the Chinese market has not yet picked up after the holidays but orders for Azobe and the Redwood species are steady, and there has been a revival in demand for sawn Okoume which has been welcomed by exporters.

There has been recent enthusiasm among producers as there is firming demand for Aamazakoue. This is one of the common names of Guibourtia ehie. Other names for this timber are Amazique, Amazoue, Ovangkol, Hyedua, Black Hyedua, Mozambique and Shedua. Producers report stable demand for Okumu and Andoung in Middle Easters markets.

Analysts are fearful that the delay in resolving the Kevazingo export issue in Gabon may cause prices for this timber to decline. There are still large stocks of Kevazingo in the country but there is no indications that export licenses will be issued. Factories in Gabon’s Special Zone are said to be running low on log raw materials. This is the result of strict control of truck movements. Each truck on public roads must be authorised and carry a permit.