Algeria is an economically significant state in North Africa, with a population of more than 44 million inhabitants. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the country’s economic growth was 4.7 per cent in 2022.
Algeria is investing greatly in infrastructure such as motorways and railways, which boosts other building activity too. Construction needs wood products such as doors, windows and furnishings.
Cotim Bois has been importing sawn timber to Algeria for two decades. The company’s owner and manager, Azzedine Chebirdou, points out that the country is already one of the biggest markets for various kinds of sawn timber worldwide. He believes that the demand for sawn timber will grow with the country’s economy.
“Our aim is to sell more sawn timber at a competitive price, while ensuring high quality and regular deliveries.”
Finnish sawn timber meets the quality requirements
Cotim Bois imports Finnish pine sawn timber and aims to increase the volume over the next five years.
The company’s own investments are also raising the demand for wood. It is currently building a production unit for the manufacture of veneered MDF, and is planning a new production unit for pallets with a German company.
At first, the company mainly imported wood from Sweden.
“When we started importing Finnish wood, the customers took to it,” Chebirdou explains.
Cotim Bois imported its first Metsä Fibre products in 2008. Chebirdou says that today it is not just a business relationship between supplier and customer; over the years, the relationship with Metsä Fibre and its agent, Nizar Ben Khemis, has developed into a close and successful partnership.
“We have worked hard to make the Metsä brand known in Algeria. Metsä Fibre has a good reputation here for the quality of its sawn timber and the reliability of the services.”
Carpenters appreciate Nordic high-quality pine
Cotim Bois forwards imported sawn timber to its customers across Algeria. Its clientele includes wood retailers, carpentry shops and industrial operators.
“The wood used here is of the same kind as in Europe. However, there are differences in how the wood is worked into end products.”
Compared with Europe, production in Algeria is based on manual work. Most doors, windows, fixtures and furniture are manufactured in carpentry shops where craftsmanship is often passed down from father to son.
Chebirdou says the professional skills of carpenters are still highly valued, but as the country’s economy develops, industrial production is becoming increasingly common.
“Chinese and Turkish companies, among others, have started production plants for windows and doors in Algeria, and these companies require different sawn timber products.”
Pine sawn timber is traditionally used in Algeria for doors, windows and furniture.
Chebirdou emphasises that end-users in Algeria expect high-quality sawn timber and regular deliveries. His customers have come to value the quality of close-grained Nordic wood.
“The most important thing is that the quality doesn’t fluctuate but remains the same in every delivery. The customers are also interested in the origin of the wood because it plays an important role in the quality of the sawn timber.”