Guyana: Log prices ease

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In the period reviewed there were no exports of greenheart logs. Purpleheart logs were exported however, but FOB prices eased slightly. For Standard sawmill quality purpleheart logs the top end price fell from US$385 to US$235 per cubic metre FOB.

Similarly, there was a decline in price of Fair sawmill quality purpleheart logs from US$300 to US$200 per cubic metre FOB. However, for Small sawmill quality purpleheart logs prices held firm at US$150 per cubic metre FOB. Mora log prices have also eased in recent weeks. Standard sawmill quality mora FOB prices dipped from US$160 to US$120 per cubic metre.

Similarly for Fair sawmill quality the price fell from US$140 to US$115 per cubic metre FOB. Other logs, especially the lesser used but commercial, species were exported.

Sawnwood prices remain firm

Despite the easing of log prices, sawnwood prices remained firm. Undressed greenheart (Prime quality) saw a significant increase in FOB prices from US$1,058 to US$1,657 per cubic metre. However, Select quality greenheart sawn prices fell from a top end price of US$1,060 to US$848 per cubic metre FOB.

Sound quality greenheart sawnwood FOB prices were fair at US$784 per cubic metre. Undressed purpleheart sawnwood prices were largely steady but Select quality sawnwood recorded a slight increase in its top end price from US$1,000 to US$1,080 per cubic metre.

On the other hand, Undressed mora (Select quality) prices surged from US$785 to US$976 per cubic metre FOB but Merchantable quality mora sawnwood prices held firm at US$500 per cubic metre FOB. The main markets for sawn greenheart, purpleheart and mora were the Caribbean, Europe, Middle East Oceanic Region and North America.

Competition drives down dressed sawnwood prices

In contrast to the price movements of rough sawn timbers, export prices for dressed sawnwood fell in the period reviewed. Dressed greenheart export prices fell from US$1,272 to US$1,060 per cubic metre while Dressed purpleheart FOB prices slipped from US$1,160 to US$869 per cubic metre.

The Caribbean and the Middle East market of U.A.E absorbed most of these products. Many of Guyana's lesser known species made their way onto the international market at prices which were attractive for producers. Guyana's washiba (ipe) continued to rank high in terms of export market prices earning as much as US$2,450 per cubic metre FOB in the US market. Plywood prices remained firm at US$584 per cubic metre FOB in the Caribbean and South American markets. Greenheart pile prices were favourable.

Select quality piling earned as much as US$718 per cubic metre FOB and Sound quality piling attracted prices as high as US$388 per cubic metre. Europe and North America were the top buyers of this durable timber product from Guyana. Similarly, wallaba poles of Select quality also attracted favourable market prices as much as US$824 per cubic metre FOB with the Caribbean being the foundation of this market.

During this period Splitwood (shingles) maintained a strong presence in the Caribbean, Central American and North American markets earning as much as US$1,091 per cubic metre FOB. Guyana's value added products made their way onto export markets in the form of doors, indoor furniture, crafts and wooden ornaments and utensils.

Increased demand in the domestic utilities sector

Guyana is currently experiencing a building boom and this has resulted in increased domestic consumption of sawnwood, plywood, joinery as well as poles and posts.

Recently, the Guyana Power and Light Inc. has been expanding its electrification programme in areas not served by the existing power grid such as in the new housing schemes being established across Guyana. This expansion of the power grid has created an extra demand for transmission poles.

In addition, many large buildings are being constructed and this has led to increased demand for piles for foundations purposes. Wallaba is recognised both locally and internationally as a leading highly durable tropical timber suitable for transmission poles.

Similarly Greenheart is also known internationally as a leading species for construction piling. Apart from the commonly know timbers there are many species that can substitute for the establish species. For instance suya (Pouteria speciosa) can be used for poles and posts while black kakaralli (Eschweilera sagotiana) can be utilised for piles. These timbers however, require some form of preservative treatment.

The Forest Products Development and Marketing Council of the Guyana forestry Commission, in an effort to educate consumers on a wider range of timbers has embarked on a campaign to publicise consumers of the characteristics and properties of these lesser used species.

Export Log Prices

Logs, FOB Georgetown
 SQ - US$ Avg unit per m3
Std Fair Small
- - -
200-235 170-200/300 150
120 115 -
*Small SQ is used for piling in the USA and EU. Price depends on length. In the case of no price indication, there is no reported export during the period under review.
Export Sawnwood Prices
Logs, FOB Georgetown  $ Avg unit per m3
EU and US markets Undressed dressed
Greenheart Prime 954-1657 -
Standard - 600-1,060
Select 600-848  
Sound -  
Merchantable -  
Purpleheart Prime - -
Standard - 721-869
Select 650-1,000  
Sound 1008  
Merchantable  -  
Mora Prime -  
Select 500-967  
Sound -  
Merchantable -  

In the case of no price indication, there is no reported export during the period under review.

Export Plywood Prices

Plywood, FOB Georgetown Port $ Avg unit val. per m3
Baromalli BB/CC 5.5mm -
    12mm 450-584
  Utility 5.5mm No export
    12mm No export
      No export
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