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ManufacturingFri, 4 Jun, 21

Timber markets in Ghana starving: Hamdan Karim.

Timber markets in Ghana starving: Hamdan Karim.

Hamdan Karim expressed his grievances on the current state of the timber market in Ghana and why the local market consumes low graded timber woods and export the high grade woods for foreign exchange.

Expressing his frustrations in an interview with Real Estate Africa Times (RET) Mr Hamidan said the situation is getting worse by the day.

According to Mr. Hamdan Karim, chairman of Newtown Timber Market, the wood market is declining due to the many branches dotted  in Accra and this he said   has  reduced the inflow of customers and also drastically affected daily quantity with the hikes in fuel prices has also having a toll on their work.
“timber dealing is not like dealing with any ordinary things they use to increase anytime. The increase of petrol affect transport but timber sellers do not increase their goods, prices are increased two to three years.”

He pointed out that Ghana consumes only the third graded timer due to cost, “we don’t get first grade because we don’t have the access and money to buy the first grade, even if we have the money they will not give you because the first grade are used for export but what we have been getting is third grades and off cuts.”    

He said collective efforts at buying high graded timber is not feasible because the high graded timber are targeted for foreign exchange. “Whether you go up or down you can get first grades, if I have my timber at the bush and they will export to get dollars what will I need your cedis for?” Mr. Karim said.

According to Mr. Karim wood sellers feel for people into constructions due to the long value chain its goes through to put up a building for this reason the halt in frequent price increase. Increase in the prices of wood usually deter people patronizing hence the care that is taken before prices go up he added.

Mr. Karim said, in the rainy season there are shortage of woods in the market. He associated the factor to harmful reptiles such as snakes and scorpions in the bush which avail itself around when it is raining making it dangerous for humans to go to the bush for timber. 

He also added that tractors are unable to transport in the bush because the road becomes muddy due to rain, these are the reasons there are shortage in the market, but he said most wood sellers prepare well for the raining season by hoarding some of the woods for sale.

He made it clear the wood shortage do not affect the selling price, it is still be sold at the same price.

Ghana earns a lot of foreign exchange through exportation timber, the country depends mostly on the forests located in the southwest region. While timber exports earn the country substantial foreign exchange. The export of timber and other forest products accounted for 11 percent of Ghana’s export earnings and 6 percent of the GDP in 2000.

However, according to the Timber Industry Development Division, while there was a decline in the export, the country still saw an increase in revenue for the same period. In 2010, Ghana earned 137.9 million Euros through timber export, when compared to 128.2 million Euros in 2009.

Ghana’s total export volume to the EU is around 45.04 percent, with the key markets being the UK, The Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Germany and France.     

The total export volume to the United States is 9.01 percent. The US is the biggest market for the exports of rotary veneers and lumber. The formal sector is responsible for providing livelihood to around 100,000 people, but many more earn some form of income from the forests.     

Furthermore, around 2 million people depend on Ghana’s forests for customary and traditional lifestyles, such as collecting wood for fuel, wood carving, producing rattan goods and carving canoes. 


Source: Nana Agyei Sikapa Ofosu-Manu (Real Estate Times Africa)

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