Africa’s Biggest Timber Exporter Countries

africa's biggest timber exporter countries

Africa is one of the world’s largest exporters of timber and wood logs. In 2020 alone, the continent exported $3.4 billion worth of timber. Gabon, Cameroon, etc. are some of the leading African wood exporter countries.

If you are here, you probably want to know about the top African countries that export the most timber to the world. But before that, let’s take a brief look into the history of the African Timber Export industry.

Timber Exports by Africa

The laws in most countries of Africa prevent the export of wood logs, which means only milled wood or timber is allowed to export.

Before 1990, Ivory Coast (country in West Africa) was the biggest exporter of tropical timber. However, the quantity of timber exported by the country gradually decreased over the years.

Ghana is also one of the largest African exporters of timber and has seen a rising trend in the export numbers in recent years. Other top exporters of African timber include Gambia, South Africa, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

However, if we talk about the best or leading exporters of timber in Africa during the modern period, Cameroon comes in the first place, closely followed by South Africa and Gabon.

Since the early 1990s, Gabon and Cameroon have been the biggest exporters of tropical timber in Africa and have substantially increased their timber export capacity over the years.

In 2020, Africa exported $3.4 billion worth of timber led by the following 10 countries:

1. Cameroon

In 2020, Cameroon became the top African exporter of processed wood, i.e. timber, with a record export worth $611.9 million in a year. It’s also one of the largest suppliers of timber in the Africa continent.

There are many leading timber suppliers & exporters in Cameroon, of which CameroonTimberExportSarl is the largest Cameroon-based timber supplier in terms of the quantity of timber it exports each year.

The company exports top-quality African round logs and African timber of a variety of African wood species to countries all over the world.

In addition, it also offers a range of woodworking related services, including brokerage, wood drying, wood processing, wood treatment, wood harvesting, wood transportation, and others.

2. South Africa

Besides being one of the largest countries in the African continent, South Africa is also one of the largest producers and exporters of African wood in the world.

In the last year, the country exported timber worth a total of $534.5 million, as per resources.

3. Gabon

Gabon has plenty of forest area, rich in high-quality timber with species ranging from Sipo to Tali, Tiama, Sapelli, Padouk, Okume and Okan.

The country is one of the largest exporters of valuable timber species in Africa. It exported a record $488.4 million worth of timber in the year 2020.

4. Congo

Congo is one of the biggest suppliers of timber. Most of the country’s timber is exported in the form of wood logs.

In 2018, Republic of the Congo produced approximately 1.849 million m³ of logs, while in 2020, the country-based timber companies exported timber worth $380.6 million.

5. Equatorial Guinea

With approx $283.3 million worth timber export in 2020, Equatorial Guinea stands at the fifth position in the list of the largest African exporters of timber in 2020.

Equatorial Guinea is a Central African country that is covered by dense tropical rainforest and produces a vast amount of timber.

6. Ghana

Ghana became the sixth largest exporter of timber in Africa by recording a total timber export worth over $203.9 million in 2020.

As of Jan 2016, Ghana has approximately 2.6 million hectares of forest reserve land, of which 715,000 hectares are used for natural timber production.

7. Côte d’Ivoire

Côte d’Ivoire is a West African country with plenty of rainforests. In 2020, the country created a record by exporting timber worth $116.8 million in just one year.

Teak is the main timber species produced and exported from Côte d’Ivoire.

8. The Gambia

The Gambia is a small West African country that is famous for its diverse ecosystems and abundant wildlife. It’s also one of the largest exporters of timber in the African continent.

In 2020, the country exported timber worth $98.9 million.

9. Swaziland

Swaziland, commonly called by its regional name eSwatini, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa.

The county exported timber worth $91.5 million in 2020, becoming the ninth largest timber exporter in Africa.

10. Democratic Rep. Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a country in Central Africa that houses the second-largest rainforest in the world.

The country reportedly exported timber worth $72.5 million in the last year.

For your trade enquiries and to place a timber order with CameroonTimberExportSarl, visit the website