Timber exports from Cameroon have fallen sharply by as much as 45% and reports indicate some 60% of sawmills in the country have stopped operations.
The government is preparing a package of support for industries in the country but support will only be provided once companies can show their licenses and arrangements with the government are in order.
The industry is looking forward to the government assistance so they can begin the process of rehiring workers.
Even if mills wish to resume operations they will face logs shortages, especially for timbers that are now in demand as markets are beginning to revive.
There are reports of a large volume of, mainly secondary, peeler logs for the Chinese market held up in the port and they are deteriorating fast.
Timber exports from the Congo have also fallen, the result of the combined impact of the pandemic and tough implementation of the export quota system. Control on exports is very tight in the Port of Pointe Noire. There are reports of several Chinese mills ceasing operations.
Most mills cut okoume for the Chinese and other Asian markets. There are reports of some timber shippers taking advantage of deals offered by conventional vessels looking for return cargos after delivering cement.