(Business in Cameroon) - The difficulties experienced by operators in Douala port constitute a roadblock to wood exports in Congo, Gabon, and Cameroon. This is revealed by the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) in its sectoral report on the international wood market covering the period from July 1 to 15, 2018.
“Much of the efforts of producers and exporters is focused on trying to overcome shipping problems caused by congestion, limited access for vessels (Ed. Note: due to the congestion of the channel which is yet to be dredged) and loading difficulties at the port of Douala”, the ITTO informs in its report. It also adds that “the knock-on effect of the port congestion has been a temporary decline in shipments of some products notably okoume sawnwood from Gabon and logs from Republic of Congo”.
This situation coincides with an increase in the demand for Okoumé and tropical sawn wood on the international market. Therefore, to cash in this situation and benefit from the price increase projected by the ITTO, the exporters are striving to send their products. For instance, according to credible sources, some exporters sent their woods via Kribi deepwater port commissioned in March 2018 in South Cameroon.
Our source also reveals that Société d’exploitation des parcs à bois du Cameroun (SEPBC), the concessionaire of Douala port’s log yard was granted about 23,000 metric cube storage area in Kribi port. According to the ITTO, from there, SEPBC will intensify its containerized exports with the support of a Chinese ship-owner.
Brice R. Mbodiam