Congolese buyers shun timber

Zambia’s commercial timber stocks equal 340,1 million cubic meters, more than half of which grows in the three provinces targeted by the CIFOR-led research, according to Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates
Zambia’s commercial timber

CONGOLESE timber importers have deserted the Zambian market due to upward adjustments in the price of round soft wood on the local market.
Zambia National Association of Sawmillers (ZNAS) chairperson William Bwalya said new prices for round wood effected in January this year, has discouraged buyers from the Democratic Republic of Congo which is the main export market due to proximity.
The Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (Zaffico) set a new price for round wood which is now pegged at K255 from K204 per cubic metre.
This prompted local retailers to also adjust the price of timber by about K10 as the commodity is now being sold at K70 per cuprous from the previous K60.
The new wholesale price per cuprous of timber is now K65 from K55.
“Congolese buyers have failed to cope with new prices and have now shunned the market forcing retailers to reduce the retail price of the commodity to below K50 per cuprous,” Mr Bwalya said.
As a measure, Mr Bwalya suggested that Government should lift the ban on the export of timber products because the exercise is depriving the local market of value addition.
He said local timber will continue to lose value if there are no measures implemented to curb the export of the commodity.
Surveys indicates a decline in yield from plantations and current standing stock of 6.5 million cubic metres of timber which will only last less than 15 years if no remedial steps are taken to grow more trees.
Zambia produces 430,000 cubic metres of round soft wood per annum.


  1. The government should discourage exportation oftimber to ballance the price at local markets