ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange (ZSE)-listed company, Border Timbers, anticipates improved performance in the exports of poles due to projected strong demand for the product in the Southern African region mainly for the rural electrification projects.
Mozambique, Botswana, and Zambia are the targeted regional markets.
In its 2022 annual report, the company said treated pole sales volume was 10 169m3, which is 7,4 percent improvement from the prior year.
Group chairman, Mr Elias Hwenga, said market development remains the key focus of the pole business, as the firm is actively pursuing new opportunities in the local market, as well as in the region and beyond.
He said the key fundamentals in the business remain intact, with healthy forests, a talented and experienced management team, and workforce to support the strategy.
“The company’s product quality remains highly regarded in the market and the current marketing efforts will increase demand for the company’s Kiln Dried Timber,” said Mr Hwenga.
“Improved performance is anticipated in the poles business due to increased demand for the product in the SADC region where rural electrification projects and infrastructure developmental projects are attracting financial support.”
He said recapitalisation remains a key priority with replanting program already on course to reduce the unplanted area to industry standard of five percent in the next three years.
During the period under review, 713 hectares (FY2021: 341 hectares) were planted, a significant improvement compared to the prior year.
The company is in the process of recapitalising its two sawmills with the latest milling technology and commissioning of the new machinery is expected by the end of this financial year.
The harvesting operations are said to have performed well with the plant optimisation broadly on plan.
The outsourcing strategy on harvesting continues to stabilise the sawmills’ log supply, which resulted in high plant capacity utilisation.
According to the report, all logs supplied to the processing plants were from the company’s own plantations with no external logs purchased.
“Lumber production volume was 43 930m3 m3 (FY 2021: 45 871m3), four percent lower than prior period driven by low customer demand during the period under review,” said the company.
“Lumber sales volume was 43 120m3 (FY2021: 49 047m3), the reduction was mainly because of lower aggregate demand, primarily in the local market.”