In 2017, Gabon had emerged as the most promising destination for Face Veneer sourcing for Indian Plywood industry after a set back from Burma and Loas. The situation has attracted many Indian Plywood manufacturers and entrepreneurs to invest in setting up Veneer Peeling machines in Gabon and during short period of two years, there were approx 30 face veneer peeling units set up by Indian investors including the big Indian plywood companies like Greenply, Century Ply, Everest Group etc. But the situation is reported to turn to challenge for these units because the demand of Okoume Face Veneers is reported to drop drastically.
The reports from Gabon found that approximately half a dozen of face veneer manufacturing units in Gabon have shut their production till the demand improves. Besides, the units, which are operational, are unable to run their plant as per installed capacity and they are limited to 30- 40 percent. Face Veneer manufacturers says that the demand in India for Okoume face Veneer has dropped drastically because other hardwood face veneer from Indonesia and Burma are available in economical prices. The decreasing production of cheaper grade plywood in India is also a reason for the drop in demand of Okoume face Veneer. Face Veneer traders from India feel that at the present pricing it is difficult to sell Okoume Face Veneer because of oversupply of face veneer from Indonesia and Burma at affordable pricing.
It is noted that Myanmar has auctioned lots of Gurjan Timber at very economical pricing and it is reported that the prices of Gurjan logs have dropped as compared to last year, hence India’s plywood industry is very much optimistic to get consistent supply of Gurjan Face veneer. Gabon based Face Veneer Manufacturers are uncertain in present scenario but they are hopeful that the situation will improve because there is sustainable supply of Okoume timber but they are seeking to get timber at affordable prices compared to present scenario.