Ghana's Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) has released its Timber Export Report for the first 10 months of 2015. During the period January to October 2015 a total of 229,207 cubic metres of wood products were exported from Ghana at a value of Euro 151.91 million.
Sawnwood, comprising kiln dried (approx. 40%) and airdried (17%) accounted for the bulk of Ghana's exports to international and regional markets. Exports of sawnwood (57%), plywood (14%), billets (8%) and sliced veneer (5%) together accounted for over 80% of total exports. The balance was distributed over a further ten wood products.
Between January and October Ghana's export of poles and billets accounted for 16% of the total export volume compared to 14% in 2014, earning Euro 13.64 million.
Secondary wood products comprising sawnwood, plywood, veneer, boules, briquettes and kindling accounted for 80% of the total export volume (compared to 82% in 2014) and earned Euro 133.63million.
Finally, tertiary products comprising moulding, dowels, furniture parts and flooring contributed around 4% of the total export volumes, slightly up on 2014 and earned Euro 4.63million.
The top species utilized were teak, rosewood, ceiba, wawa and gmelina.
In the period of the TIDD review Ghana’s primary products were shipped mainly to Asian markets (58%), regional African markets (19%), Europe (14%) and America (4%).
Short-term prospects for increasing production in Ghana are not bright. Many producers are operating well below capacity because of a shortage of raw materials and power outages.
Ghana's manufacturers complain of rising production costs due to high utility prices, tax increases and high interest rates. Over the past 12 months there have been several mill closures which is adding to the unemployment situation.