Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

 

Table 15 Estimates of sawmill labour and consumable costs (per m3 of sawnwood production)

Sawmill

Number of employees

Approximate total annual labour cost

Annual production of sawnwood

Unit labour cost

Total unit production cost

Number 1

50 FT

Sf 64,800,000

1,600 m3

Sf 40,500/m3

n.a.

Number 2

10 FT + 10 PT

Sf 19,680,000

750 m3

Sf 26,000/m3

n.a.

Number 4

18 FT

Sf 26,400,000

2,400 m3

Sf 11,000/m3

n.a.

Number 5

30 FT

Sf 40,800,000

1,275 m3

Sf 32,000/m3

n.a.

Number 6

n.a.

n.a.

275 m3

n.a.

US$ 45/m3 - US$ 70/m3

Number 7

31 FT

Sf 44,400,000

2,500 m3

Sf 17,760/m3

n.a.

Number 8

16 FT

Sf 24,000,000

1,010 m3

Sf 23,750/m3

n.a.

Number 9

n.a.

n.a.

1,740 m3

n.a.

Sf 25,000/m3 - Sf 30,000/m3

Proposal

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

US$ 41/m3

US$ 62/m3

Average

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Sf 25,000/m3

Sf 35,000/m3

Source: Interviews with sawmillers and a project proposal submitted to LBB

In the absence of any better information, the average presented at the bottom of this table could be used as a rough indication of unit labour and consumable costs in the sawmilling industry. This would indicate that labour costs might be around Sf 25,000/m3 and consumable costs a further Sf 10,000/m3 to give a total cost of Sf 35,000/m3. Costs would be higher than average if a sawmill is producing well below capacity or producing a higher value product (e.g. export sawnwood, mouldings or flooring) and less than average if the opposite were true.

Sawmill capital costs in Suriname

Sawmill capital can be roughly divided into three types of assets: the cost of buildings (including site preparation, engineering and connection to utilities); the cost of stationary equipment in the mill (e.g. gangsaws, planers, edgers, cranes and log carriages); and the cost of mobile equipment (e.g. loaders, fork-lift trucks, freight trucks and 4WD pick-up trucks). In addition to these major items, a sawmill will also usually carry a stock of spare parts, logs and unsold products, which can be considered as another capital asset (working capital).

The cost of mobile equipment has already been discussed above (most of these items are similar to those used in the forest and would thus, be expected to cost roughly the same). A little information about the cost of stationary equipment was collected during discussions with sawmill managers, but many had little information to offer because it has been a long time since most sawmills in Suriname last purchased any major pieces of equipment. The only indication of building costs was contained in the proposal to build a new sawmill submitted to LBB.

Based on the proposal submitted to LBB, the cost of building a fairly large sawmill in Suriname (say, around 30,000 m3 annual roundwood intake) would appear to be around US$ 45/m3 of roundwood input capacity. However, most sawmills in Suriname are generally smaller than this, so they may have cost more to construct (in terms of cost per m3 input capacity) when they were first built.

Four pieces of information were collected about the costs of stationary equipment. The first sawmiller visited said that he had just installed a sawdoctoring unit in his mill at a cost of around US$ 300,000. This included all the equipment necessary to maintain a wide range of bandsaws, gangsaws and edgers. He also said that he had just bought a one-year old vertical bandsaw at a cost of US$ 50,000 and expected to spend about the same amount again, installing it in his mill. The latter figure was confirmed in discussions with the last sawmiller visited, who stated that all of his major pieces of equipment would today cost between DM 60,000 and DM 100,000 (equal to around US$ 35,000 - US$ 55,000) to replace, depending on the type of equipment (e.g. less for planers and edgers but more for gangsaws and bandsaws). He also stated that it generally cost about as much to install the equipment as it did to purchase it. The last piece of information was taken from the proposal to build a new sawmill submitted to LBB, where it was stated that the complete installation of all stationary equipment for the whole mill, would cost around US$ 520,000.

As with all the capital equipment used in forest operations, the average age of sawmilling machinery in Suriname is very old. Thus, the depreciated replacement value of equipment should be used in any calculation of sawmill profitability. However, sawmilling equipment is likely to depreciate at a much slower rate than forest machinery, so a different depreciation rate should be used. These issues will be considered further in the calculation of the average sawmill's ability to pay for its roundwood input.

Sawmill product recovery rates in Suriname

The last major factor, which should be considered in estimating a sawmill's ability to pay for its roundwood input, is the product recovery rate in the sawmill. Obviously, if a sawmill can produce 1 m3 of product from 2 m3 of roundwood, it can afford to pay more for its roundwood than if it needs 3 m3 of roundwood.

A full description of the current state of the sawmilling industry in Suriname is given in: Section 3.5.2 Sawmills and traders in forest products in Suriname. The information collected about sawmills in Suriname suggested that the current average product recovery rate is about 43%. However, there is considerable variation within the sector and this estimate is far from certain. Indeed, many observers felt that it was probably too high and that a recovery rate of 33% might be closer to what is achieved in reality.

Price information

Price information was collected during the study, for a range of product types. Domestic roundwood price information was collected entirely from interviews with sawmillers, loggers and forest managers. Suriname does not currently have any public auctions of roundwood, LBB do not sell any roundwood, nor are there any mandatory requirements for companies in the forest industry to provide price information (except for exported roundwood and wood products). Thus, this was the only way to collect this information. Domestic wood product prices were collected from published list prices and advertisements produced by one medium-sized sawmill, one large sawmill and a timber trader operating in Paramaribo. Export roundwood and wood product prices were collected from LBB statistics.

The value of different timber species

Most of the people interviewed stated that the prices obtained for roundwood and wood products varied considerably with species, quality and local market conditions. So, before presenting the price data collected as part of this study, it is useful to present a short description of the relative value of the different timber species present in Suriname.

The last major forest inventory of Suriname (FAO, 1975) lists 52 commercial species, 48 potentially commercial species, 24 possibly commercial species and 68 other species. Of these, at least six of the potentially commercial species and one of the possibly commercial species are now harvested in significant volumes. By using local or trade names, the number of commercial species groups(including the newly commercial species) can be reduced to around 40. Some of these species are quite rare and most loggers reported taking around 20-25 species, which they considered to be commercial.

Table 16 shows four different measures of the relative value of the various currently commercial species in Suriname. The first two columns show the classes LBB use to assess export levies. The third shows the consultants own estimate of relative value in the domestic market, based on current domestic market product prices (presented later) of similar products (e.g. sawnwood of the same dimensions and quality). The species ranked second in this list currently sell at around 90% of the price of the most valued species and those ranked third sell at around 80% of this price. The third column is incomplete because some commercial species are uncommon and others (e.g. Groenhart) are so highly valued that they are rarely used for the domestic market. The last column indicates whether the species is currently exported (either as roundwood or wood product) in significant volumes. Unfortunately, LBB do not currently collect production or export information by species, so this information was obtained during interviews with sawmillers and LBB staff.

 

Table 16 The relative value of different timber species in Suriname

Species

LBB royalty group

Domestic product

Currently exported in

Roundwood

Sawnwood

price

significant volumes?

Wana

A

1

1

Bruinhart

A

1

1

Ceder

A

1

1

maybe

Rode Lokus

A

1

1

yes

Zwarte Kabbes

A

1

1

Baboen

A

3

2

Ingi Pipa

A

2

1

Bolletrie

B

3

2

Walaba

A

3

2

Pisie

A

3

2

Basralocus

A

1

2

yes

Kopie

A

1

2

yes

Slangenhout

A

1

3

Meri

A

3

3

Riemhout

A

3

3

Soemaroeba

A

3

3

Wanakwarie

B

3

3

Moksie

B

3

3

Gronfolo

A

2

3

Krappa

A

3

3

yes

Bostamarinde

A

1

?

Pritijari

A

3

?

Purperhart

A

2

?

maybe

Rozenhout

A

3

?

Groenhart

A

2

?

maybe

Goebaja

A

3

?

Kwari kwari

A

3

?

Manbarklak

A

3

?

Sali

A

3

?

Tingimoni

A

3

?

Okerhout

A

3

?

Agrobigi

A

3

?

Rode Kabbes

A

3

?

Pakuli

A

3

?

Mora

B

3

?

Kaneelhart

B

3

?

Koenatepi

B

3

?

Manletter

B

3

?

Letterhout

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Satijnhout

B

1

?

Softwoods

B

2

3

Source: LBB and author's own analysis of domestic product prices

In broad terms, nearly all of the currently commercial species are in the first category for assessing roundwood export levies. However, some species appear to be missing from the first category (e.g. Bolletrie). There are also a few discrepancies between the export levy cla sses for sawnwood and roundwood (e.g. Krappa is in the A category for logs, but the 3rd category for sawnwood exports and Satijnhout is in the 1st category for sawnwood, but the B category for log exports). In very general terms, the relative value of the most well known commercial species might be ranked as follows:

1st - species that are mostly exported or account for a large proportion of exports: Groenhart; Purperhart; Letterhout; Basralocus; Rode Lokus; Krappa; and Kopie. Cedar and Wana are also both highly valued in the export and domestic markets.

2nd - species that are highly valued in the domestic market: Bruinhart; Zwarte Kabbes; and Ingi Pipa

3rd - species of medium value in the domestic market: Baboen; Bolletrie; Walaba; and Pisie.

4th - other species sold in the domestic market: Slangenhout; Meri; Riemhout; Soemaroeba; Wanakwari; Moksie; and Gronfolo.

The species not ranked above are not commonly encountered in the forest, so it is difficult to say what their relative value might really be.

Domestic roundwood prices

Domestic roundwood prices obtained during interviews with stakeholders were mostly quoted in Sf/m3, although some also quoted figures in US$/m3 for roundwood which they had exported or sold to a trader (for export). The following prices were quoted for standing, felled at stump, roadside and delivered roundwood.

Standing value. Currently, the purchase of standing roundwood mostly occurs in HKV's, where village leaders (captains) sell the rights to harvest timber from their HKV's in return for a fee. The price quoted by all respondents was in the range Sf 2,500/m3 - Sf 3,000/m3.

Felled at stump value. Some village captains and small concession holders fell their own timber and sell it to independent loggers and sawmillers, felled at stump. The price paid for roundwood felled at stump is around Sf 5,000/m3.

Felled at roadside. A little information was collected about roadside sale prices, which seem to be around Sf 13,000/m3.

Delivered roundwood prices. Traders are currently paying about US$ 45/m3 - US$ 60m3 for export quality roundwood delivered to Paramaribo (of course, loggers can get much higher prices if they can export them themselves). Species that are highly valued in the domestic market sell for around Sf 22,000/m3 - Sf 25,000/m3, medium value logs sell for Sf 18,000/m3 - Sf 22,000/m3 and low value logs sell for Sf 15,000/m3 - Sf 18,000/m3.

There was a reasonable degree of consistency between the price figures collected and the contract cost information collected (which indicates the difference that would be expected between values of timber standing, at stump, at roadside and delivered).

Domestic product prices

Detailed domestic product price information was collected from two sawmillers and a timber trader in Paramaribo and two sawmillers in another town. This information is presented in Table 17 to Table 38. This information provides a useful indication of the prices charged for different species and grades of timber. Because some of the information is for 1997 and some for 1998, it also gives an indication of the decline in domestic product prices which has been experienced over the last year.

 

 

Table 17 List prices (August 1997) of various dimensions of 1st grade sawnwood made from: Bruinhart; Zwarte Kabbes; Wana; Rode Lokus; and Ceder

Dimension

Price per m length (in Sf)

Price per m3 (in Sf)

(in inches)

planed

unplaned

planed

unplaned

x

84

221

231,467

608,979

x 1

119

235

196,747

388,534

x 1

140

246

192,889

338,934

x 2

185

259

191,167

267,634

x 3

278

390

191,511

268,667

x 4

368

514

190,134

265,567

x 5

459

640

189,720

264,534

x 6

554

784

190,823

270,045

x 8

733

1,026

189,359

265,051

x 10

916

1,277

189,307

263,914

x 12

1,098

1,530

189,100

263,501

1 x 2

256

322

198,400

249,550

1 x 3

385

481

198,917

248,517

1 x 4

511

640

198,013

248,000

1 x 5

638

797

197,780

247,070

1 x 6

765

964

197,625

249,034

1 x 8

1,014

1,284

196,463

248,775

1 x 10

1,271

1,595

197,005

247,225

1 x 12

1,528

1,916

197,367

247,484

1 x 1

201

283

199,392

280,737

1 x 1

243

311

200,880

257,094

1 x 2

321

414

199,020

256,681

1 x 3

479

619

197,987

255,854

1 x 4

638

824

197,780

255,441

1 x 5

795

1,028

197,160

254,945

1 x 6

956

1,363

197,574

281,687

1 x 8

1,273

1,645

197,315

254,976

1 x 10

1,589

2,056

197,036

254,945

1 x 12

1,913

2,473

197,677

255,544

1 x 1

288

403

198,400

277,623

1 x 2

385

494

198,917

255,234

1 x 3

575

743

198,056

255,923

1 x 4

765

990

197,625

255,751

1 x 5

954

1,025

197,160

211,834

1 x 6

1,148

1,481

197,712

255,062

1 x 8

1,524

1,974

196,850

254,976

1 x 10

1,920

2,588

198,400

267,427

1 x 12

2,290

3,084

197,195

265,567

2 x 2

533

688

206,538

266,601

2 x 3

831

1,033

214,675

266,859

2 x 4

1,069

1,369

207,119

265,244

2 x 5

1,328

1,714

205,840

265,671

2 x 6

1,596

2,056

206,150

265,567

2 x 8

2,125

2,763

205,860

267,666

2 x 10

2,643

3,408

204,833

264,121

2 x 12

3,160

4,098

204,084

264,663

3 x 3

1,251

1,543

215,450

265,739

3 x 4

1,661

2,056

214,546

265,567

3 x 5

2,078

2,576

214,727

266,187

3 x 6

2,495

3,084

214,848

265,567

3 x 8

3,290

4,080

212,480

263,501

3 x 10

4,119

5,100

212,815

263,501

3 x 12

4,971

6,168

214,030

265,567

4 x 4

2,211

2,763

214,191

267,666

4 x 6

3,290

4,080

212,480

263,501

4 x 8

4,456

5,525

215,838

267,618

Source: A large sawmill in Paramaribo

 

 

Table 18 List prices (August 1997) of various dimensions of 1st grade sawnwood made from: Basralocus; Kopie; Pisie; Bolletrie; Walaba; and Ingi Pipa

Dimension

Price per m length (in Sf)

Price per m3 (in Sf)

(in inches)

planed

unplaned

planed

unplaned

x

67

184

184,623

507,023

x 1

95

197

157,067

325,707

x 1

110

205

151,556

282,445

x 2

148

215

152,934

222,167

x 3

221

324

152,245

223,200

x 4

194

427

100,234

220,617

x 5

366

532

151,280

219,894

x 6

440

640

151,556

220,445

x 8

586

854

151,384

220,617

x 10

732

1,063

151,280

219,687

x 12

877

1,274

151,039

219,412

1 x 2

205

269

158,875

208,475

1 x 3

307

400

158,617

206,667

1 x 4

408

532

158,100

206,150

1 x 5

510

662

158,100

205,220

1 x 6

612

804

158,100

207,700

1 x 8

812

1,070

157,325

207,313

1 x 10

1,018

1,330

157,790

206,150

1 x 12

1,220

1,597

157,584

206,280

1 x 1

162

235

160,704

233,120

1 x 1

192

260

158,720

214,934

1 x 2

256

346

158,720

214,520

1 x 3

383

515

158,307

212,867

1 x 4

510

686

158,100

212,660

1 x 5

635

856

157,480

212,288

1 x 6

766

1,032

158,307

213,280

1 x 8

1,019

1,370

157,945

212,350

1 x 10

1,271

1,711

157,604

212,164

1 x 12

1,530

2,060

158,100

212,867

1 x 1

232

336

159,823

231,467

1 x 2

307

412

158,617

212,867

1 x 3

460

619

158,445

213,212

1 x 4

612

824

158,100

212,867

1 x 5

762

853

157,480

176,287

1 x 6

917

1,235

157,928

212,695

1 x 8

1,220

1,645

157,584

212,480

1 x 10

1,600

2,156

165,334

222,787

1 x 12

1,909

2,571

164,386

221,392

2 x 2

444

573

172,050

222,038

2 x 3

694

859

179,284

221,909

2 x 4

890

1,140

172,438

220,875

2 x 5

1,106

1,428

171,430

221,340

2 x 6

1,330

1,714

171,792

221,392

2 x 8

1,771

2,279

171,566

220,779

2 x 10

2,203

2,840

170,733

220,100

2 x 12

2,634

3,415

170,113

220,553

3 x 3

1,043

1,286

179,628

221,478

3 x 4

1,385

1,714

178,896

221,392

3 x 5

1,731

2,146

178,870

221,754

3 x 6

2,076

2,571

178,767

221,392

3 x 8

2,743

3,399

177,152

219,519

3 x 10

3,434

4,249

177,424

219,532

3 x 12

4,144

5,140

178,423

221,306

4 x 4

1,844

2,279

178,638

220,779

4 x 6

2,743

3,399

177,152

219,519

4 x 8

3,714

4,604

179,897

223,007

Source: A large sawmill in Paramaribo

 

 

 

Previous PageTop Of PageNext Page