South Africa’s Thriving Timber Exporting Industry: Sustainable Growth, Economic Impact, and African Market Influence.

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Timber exporting industry in South Africa

South Africa has been involved in timber exporting for many years. Large commercial plantations were started back then. The goal at the time was to make the country self-sufficient when it comes to our timber requirements.  

South Africa is still well-known for our thriving exporting industry. While some of our largest exports include minerals, diamonds, corn, fruit and sugar our timber exports also play a significant role in stimulating the country’s economy.  In fact, exports of wood have increased recently. It has grown from 338.63 ZAR million in the December of 2020 to 367 million ZAR in the January of 2021. But just why does this industry continue to grow and thrive? 

It is true that the initial government involvement played a part in setting the local wood export industry up for success. However, that is certainly not the only reason it is still thriving many decades later. Sabie Poles, a prominent timber exporter in South Africa, firmly believes that the superior quality of locally sourced timber is what continuously attracts numerous buyers to return for more.

South Africa’s land policy, agricultural and botanist expertise, and ideal weather conditions set the scene for perfect growing conditions thus delivering extraordinary quality timber. 

Which countries rely on us for timber?

South African timber exports are highly sought after in numerous countries, including our neighboring African nations. The South African Development Community (SADC) countries are among our most valued customers. Countries such as Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, and Angola heavily depend on South African timber exporters for their material needs.

The exported wood serves various purposes, ranging from agricultural and housing projects to electrical pylons, communication lines, and road signs. Additionally, it is extensively used in constructing log homes that boast impressive outdoor areas like decks, verandas, pergolas, and walkways. Buyers place great importance on the durability of the purchased timber, requiring it to withstand harsh weather conditions and remain long-lasting.

We firmly believe that as long as our land and timber policies remain steadfast, these SADC countries will continue to rely on us well into the future, consistently selecting South African suppliers to fulfill their construction timber requirements.

Yes, We Export Timber To: Europe, Middle East and all the SADC countries

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Why do so many countries choose SA to provide their export timber?

The local forestry industry takes great pride in achieving one of the highest degrees of forest certification worldwide. Remarkably, about 80% of our timber plantations are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This certification provides importers with the assurance that the exported wood has been responsibly sourced from well-managed forests.

In the past, not everyone may have been concerned about obtaining materials from socially and environmentally responsible suppliers. However, in today’s world, with climate change being a pressing issue, conducting business in a sustainable manner has become increasingly crucial. South African timber manufacturers have embraced this responsibility wholeheartedly.

Our CCA tantalized pressure-treated poles, laths, and droppers are highly suitable for agriculture, construction, and fencing purposes. We take pride in delivering some of the finest timber available on the market.

What role does timber exporting play in the local economy?

The forestry sector is widely considered to be an important provider of jobs within South Africa. According to SA Forestry this sector is credited with providing the most employment opportunities per investment of R1 million! In a country filled with unemployed people, the wholesale timber business is doing something incredible. 

Many plantations are not situated directly outside larger cities or towns but rather located further afield, which makes this industry instrumental in helping to develop rural SA. Sabie Poles and other major stakeholders, together with “She is Forestry” are involved in various projects such as motivating women to also become largely part of the sector. Other projects include planting nuts and vegetables, ferns, etc whilst planting eucalyptus saplings for commercial use. This is all made possible since timber exporting plays an important role in our country’s GDP, and that it remains a large foreign exchange earner. Should you want to know more about our ‘She is forestry’ campaign, please feel free to WhatsApp Marina on 0716098373

Those vast and impressive forestry plantations located in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Eastern and Western parts of Africa often turn heads just because of their sheer volume. However, they become even more impressed when you consider the enormous role they play in stimulating the local economy. 

Can South Africa compete with other timber exporting countries?

Although we may not feature on the top ten list of leaders in the global wood exporting industry, we are not doing badly at all! China may currently sit at the top of the list, but their largest wood export product is panels. The US, Canada, Indonesia, and various European countries also make the list. But their ranking is based on their high number of lumber, panels and joinery exports. 

So yes, South Africa may not be one of the largest exporters of timber in the world at this stage. In fact, we may never be counted among the top ten timber producers on the global market. However, when you consider our focus on being and remaining, one of the top timber suppliers to SADC countries we are proud of the fact that we are achieving that goal. 

Our role in the African market

Being recognized as one of the leading timber exporting countries in Africa holds significant value. The continent’s abundant natural resources provide tremendous potential. Over recent years, Africa’s economy has witnessed impressive growth, leading to a remarkable rate of urbanization. This, in turn, has fueled continuous construction of homes and businesses across African nations. As a result, the demand for construction timber on the continent shows no sign of diminishing.

South African timber manufacturers deserve serious consideration for their achievements. They have demonstrated unwavering commitment and innovation, allowing them to compete on par with even the most renowned timber exporting nations. Their dedication to conducting sound business practices is evident through the extensive FSC certification of many South African plantations. Furthermore, the industry has made a significant impact on reducing unemployment figures in the country.

In conclusion, the South African timber industry is driven and well-positioned for success, contributing to both economic growth and sustainable practices.

Sabie Poles: widely considered as reputable timber exporter in South Africa

Based in Mpumalanga, we are passionate about the forestry industry. We are also fully committed to providing our suppliers with a fantastic product, as well as exceptional personal service. In practice, this means that we work closely with every single customer to establish their particular and unique needs. This is followed by a custom profile specifically designed for them. We believe that this is a large contributor to our success.

We also pride ourselves in exporting only top quality CCA tanalised pressure-treated timber products. Naturally, our wood exports meet all international certification standards.  In keeping with our values, we, manufacture products that last for a minimum of 25 years. This provides value for our customers. It also helps to combat the problem of deforestation that we face in our country and all around the world.

Thanks to our efficient personal service we have remained a firm favourite with our suppliers. If you are looking for a new timber exporter based in South Africa, we would be thrilled to carve out some time and discuss your specific needs. We believe that we are uniquely positioned to understand the timber exporting demands of the African market.

The Sabie Poles team is also equipped to handle large orders. That is because we know that demand for our products can be high. Customers often require large quantities of timber, so we always make sure that we stock enough of our high quality timber to satisfy that demand!

At Sabie Poles we are confident in the future of timber exporting in South Africa!

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