The export value of timber produced in Mozambique in 2018 totalled US$31.5 million, a 46.8% contraction from US$59.2 million in 2017, according to figures released by the National Statistics Institute (INE).
INE, which did not give reasons for this drop in wood exports, said that in that year the country imported wood worth US$35.5 million, an increase of 37.3% in annual terms.
Mozambican newspaper O País noted that in 2018 the government of Mozambique introduced new rules for the exploration and export of wood species in greater demand, thus prohibiting the sale abroad of chamfer, umbila and jambirre wood.
An order from the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development determined that the three wood species would be licensed only to supply the domestic market, while prohibiting the exploration and felling of nkula, ironwood and mondzo trees.
In line with the ministerial decision, the Mozambican Tax Authority decided to increase the base price for the exportation of processed wood by about 300%, with the aim of “discouraging the uncontrolled exploration of this strategic forest resource.”
Despite these restrictive measures, wood is one of the products with the highest value in foreign sales, with the Asian market as the major buyer in Mozambique. (Macauhub)