The volume of wood products exported by Ghana during the first quarter of 2020 totalled 54,022 cu.m earning Euro 26.58 million.
Compared to the 2019 figure of 80,139 cu.m (Euro 41.76 million), the volume and value of exports were down by a third in the first quarter of 2020. Which suggests that, despite the impact of the pandemic around the world, trade was rather resilient.
According to the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) even in the tough trading conditions in the first quarter of 2020 export volumes of rotary veneer, mouldings and boules significantly increased.
The leading Ghanaian export products in the first quarter 2020 were air and kiln dry sawnwood, plywood to regional markets and billets, which altogether accounted for over 85% of exports. The leading species were teak, wawa, ceiba, denya and rosewood for the Indian, Chinese, German, Vietnam and USA markets.
The decline in export earnings is attributed to the coronavirus pandemic which disrupted global supply chains with lockdown and movement restrictions. Since March this year Ghana closed its land, sea and air borders.
Market Performance Comparisons of first quarter wood product exports to regular markets for the 4 years beginning 2016 showed that the worst 33% drop in volume and the 36% drop in value was this year.
The main impact of the pandemic control measures was that contracts could not be shipped which drove first quarter shipments to an average of 68 in 2020 from 90 in 2019.