Asian demand drives up price for local timber

In the last two weeks, demand from Asia drove up the price of local timber according to the fortnightly report of the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO).

While during the period under review, there were no exports of greenheart logs; purpleheart logs achieved favourable prices for all qualities (standard, fair and small) with the major destination being the Asian market. Mora log prices remained relatively stable in this fortnight period but prices for small sawmill quality gained slightly, the bulletin said.

It noted that for sawnwood, undressed greenheart prices gained for the select quality.

Undressed mora prices continued to hold, as well as prices for dressed greenheart. Prices for dressed purpleheart gained slightly in the period under review.  In the period under review, Guyana’s Washiba attracted a higher price average at US$1800 per cubic metre with the main export destination being the US market, the bulletin said.

Roundwood, including both piles and posts, showed favourable prices in this fortnight period with the main destinations being Europe and the Caribbean. Average prices for splitwood inched up to US$1000 per cubic metre. Meanwhile, the report noted that for the period under review, value-added products made notable contributions to total export earnings.

The major exported products were handicraft, mouldings, wooden utensils and ornaments with the main destination being the Caribbean. Crabwood was one of the main species used for the production of these value-added products.

The bulletin also recalled that a second kiln drying facility was commissioned here. On November 29, the second $20M kiln drying complex was opened in Crabwood Creek, Berbice. The facility was commissioned under the ITTO funded project “Value adding and kiln drying of commercial timbers by small scale community sawmillers in Guyana” being implemented by the Guyana Forestry Commission. The first kiln drying facility was commissioned in the beginning of November on the Essequibo Coast.

The report noted that export markets for lumber can attract a market price of US$1000 per cubic metre compared to about US$600 per cubic metre currently received by exporters. Kiln drying prevent stains and degradation of wood. In addition, the weight of dried wood is lower. Kiln dried sawnwood is mostly utilised by the furniture manufacturing sector.

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