Gabon - Country Commercial Guide
Wood Products

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-08-10

In 2009, the government prohibited the export of untreated wood and raw timber in support of local production of wood products to encourage a wood-based manufacturing sector.

Opportunities exist for timber processing companies.  Since the first annual Gabon Wood Show in 2018, Gabon promoted and maintains an ambitious vision to expand exports in the forest-wood products sector.  According to a Gabonese Ministry of Economy industry report Gabon’s 2021 wood processing output increased significantly compared with 2020.  For example, the total output of sawn timber jumped 34.5 percent to 1.57 million cubic meters.  This is related to the increase of new installations, the improvement of production efficiency, and the improvement of factory log supply, especially in the Enko region of Gabon.  For sawn timber, Gabon was the fourth largest producer in Africa and the 26th worldwide for all types of sawn wood combined.  Gabon’s Special Economic Zone (SEZ), with its tax-free incentives to attract new investors, is already producing steel rebar, furniture, veneer, plywood, and other wood products.  The expansive acreage near a modern port, tax breaks up to 25 years, and being co-located among multiple international businesses are attractive factors to U.S. investors.

The Owendo International Port, a $300 million multipurpose terminal, opened in October 2017.  The terminal is designed to receive container vessels and general and bulk cargo ships.  The Owendo container terminal meets international port standards based on its wharf length, draught, and equipment (two ship-to-shore gantry cranes and four container gantry cranes).  Vessels reaching 6,000 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) can be handled with high levels of efficiency.  In 2022, the Bolloré Group sold their transport and logistics activities in Africa to the MSC Group, including management of the port.

Table: Wood Production

 

2018

2019

2020

2021

Total Local Production

270,000 cubic meters of wood

435,766 cubic meters of wood

870,410 cubic meters of wood

1.5 million cubic meters of wood