The future of okoume log exports is now in doubt with countries scaling back exports or, as reported, because of the rumoured total log export ban in the Republic of Congo. This may be an early indication of the policy approach taken in the new forest code. While the code has not been made public producers say some new regulations are already being implemented.
Okoume log exports will continue from Equatorial Guinea, but traders say these logs tend to have a wild grain and are more brittle than from other sources which creates a challenge in milling.
The new Republic of Congo Forest Code could alter the timber sector in the country and impact international timber trade flows.
Analysts anticipate a huge social impact when the code is implemented as jobs are lost and log price structures in the domestic market undergo significant adjustment.
Producers in the region are urging the authorities in the Republic of Congo to publish the forest code as soon as possible so they can adjust their business plans.