According to the Ghana Forestry Commission, Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) for 2016 Ghana earned almost Euro 225 mil. from close to 397,000 cu.m of wood products, a significant improvement on 2015 exports.
Sawnwood, plywood, veneer, boules and kindling accounted for most of the 2016 exports earning close to Euro 208 mil. from a volume of 353,000 cubic metres.
In terms of the direction of trade, Asian markets accounted for around 73% of the volume of exports in 2016 with the top markets being China and India. These two markets favaoured rosewood, papao/apa, teak, wawa, koto/kyere, potrodum and gmelina. European imports from Ghana amounted to approx. Euro 26 million or 12% of all 2016 exports.
The growing importance of Asian markets can be judged from the graphic below showing the percentage change in the volume of shipments to various markets for 2015 and 2016 shipments.
Good 2017 starts for Ghana's exports
Ghana’s timber and wood product exports in January 2017 amounted to 30,758 cubic metres, a 5.76% year-on-year increase when compared to the January 2016.
During the period under review, air dried sawnwood, mouldings and peeled veneer exports grew sharply with the value of exports increasing by 26%, 17% and 5% respectively.
The leading export products in January were air-dried sawnwood (22,346 cu.m), kiln dried sawnwood (3,334 cu.m), plywood for regional markets (1,934 cu.m), roundwood billets (1,029 cu.m) and processed mouldings (717 cu.m).
Rosewood topped the list of wood species accounting for 44% of the total exported volume along with teak (18%), wawa (9%), papao/apa (9%) and ceiba (6%).
Asian markets were the largest importer of Ghana’s wood products in January 2017 accounting for 78% of all exports (China; 54%, India; 21% and Vietnam; 3%) The high volume of rosewood exports reflects the recent lifting of the export ban by the Forestry Commission.