What is Charcoal? It is that a black, hard substance derived as an end product of wood burning. Some people call it pure carbon or simply, char. Good quality charcoal is made by burning wood in a low oxygen setting.
The above process usually takes times to burn off volatile compounds such as water, methane, hydrogen, as well as tar.
In any case, charcoal exportation business simply entails the exportation of charcoal from Nigeria to other countries of the world. How to go about this is what this article is about.
How is Charcoal Made?
Charcoal is made from tropical woods. There are, however, variations of Charcoal such as Charcoal Briquettes which are produced from coconut shells. But generally, wood is burnt at really high temperatures in the absence of air. This process is known as carbonization. The end product is a hard, black substance which has multifarious domestic and industrial uses: cooking, heating, additives, etc.
Places To Get Charcoal In Nigeria
Some of the states in Nigeria where charcoal can be gotten in large quantities are Kaduna, Jos, Minna, Egbe, Jebba, Oyo, Nasarawa, and several others. Charcoal business thrives very well in these states due to the availability of abundant trees, and hardwood.
Charcoal Exportation Business Proper
Within the Charcoal niche, Charcoal exportation and distribution as compared to the production and other aspects of the business is more lucrative. With tens of thousands of metric tons of Charcoal exported yearly from Nigeria, so much revenue is derived. This is one thing that makes the sector lucrative – the making of foreign exchange. Sales can be done by local traders in the market, or by large players exporting the charcoal products outside the country.
There are certain criteria and standards one must observe. For Instance, the moisture, carbon, and ash contents respectively and several others need to be right based on the buyer’s specifications. If they do not accept the specification it could lead to a rejection of the full shipment. So, endeavor to keep to the buyer’s Standards/specifications.
It costs between N360, 000 to N1, 000, 000 start charcoal exportation business in Nigeria. Where you do not have the finance, you can simply approach the Nigeria Bank of Industry (BOI) for a loan to start the business with. If you have an existing order or market where people are ready to buy from you, then it will be easier to get loans.
Types of Charcoal Grades/Brands Commonly Exported From Nigeria:
- Shisha Charcoal
- Hardwood Charcoal
- Charcoal Briquettes
- BBQ Charcoal
Basic Steps To Charcoal Exportation Business In Nigeria
1). Register Your Export Business:
Before starting out this business, you must first register it with the Cooperate Affairs Commission of Nigeria (CAC) and other related and recommended agencies of government. This will give you the license to operate legally, else you could face the law for breaching the rules governing this business.
2). Setup A Proper Business Structure, Trade Process, and Branding:
After registering your business with the appropriate organization it is time to brand your business. Some of the ways to go about this include creating and managing a standard, functional website, with your business address, the profile about your company, a customize email address like firstname.lastname@example.org etc.
This website could be a merchant’s websites where people could click buttons and order Charcoal directly from it. Brand the company name on your Charcoal packing bags, especially for charcoal exports.
Apart from having your own website, you could also make quick sales by using already existing exportation websites such as www.exportersindia.com, www.alibaba.com, and even www.linkedin.com, etc. There, you can source for buyers who need the product exported to their countries.
3). Find the Direct Sources & Producers For Export:
We recommend you to do business directly with Charcoal manufacturers. Visit the factories, approach the producers and buy from them directly. This, of course, will be cheaper compared because you have bypassed the middlemen.
You may want to go to Nasarawa, Kaduna, Jos, Minna, Egbe, Jebba, Oyo and a few other states in Nigeria where Charcoal business thrives and buy there. These produce in large quantities and sell for a relatively cheap price as compared to other parts of the country.
4). Now, Export Your Products:
It is time to start exporting your products to where it is needed and the process of shipment could be done on either Free On board (FOB) or Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) basis. FOB here means you cover the cost of the products and all other needed things until its arrival at shipping point. CIF, on the other hand, means that you cover the cost of insurance and transportation of the product till it reaches its final export destination.
Other Charcoal Business Opportunities You Can Do
There are many other ways you can make money from charcoal business in Nigeria, asides Charcoal exportation. Two (2) of them are highlighted below:
(1) Going Into Charcoal Production Itself:
To produce charcoal, you must understand that the process is a delicate one, and requires that you are skilled in the craft. The production of charcoal is a bit cumbersome. Trees must first be ethically felled, cut into the required pieces and/or sizes, and burnt at relatively-high, controlled temperatures. Since a good number of exporters find this aspect of the business stressful, they have relinquished this aspect of the business to charcoal producers. The odds of this aspect of the business is that the later would sell to the former in large quantities but at very low rates.
(1) Selling Of Charcoal Equipment:
The Charcoal stove is one very popular Charcoal equipment on high demand today. This is used to produce heat by burning the charcoal in it and subsequently used for cooking. If you are able to produce the charcoal stoves you could be selling them for at least $30 (approx. N11, 000).
There are several other Charcoal equipment and appliances which used for producing charcoal such as saws of different kinds, axes, and spindles, machetes etc. All these are additional sources of income.
OTHER EXPORTATION BUSINESS THAT YOU CAN START HERE IN NIGERIA (HELPFUL LINKS)
Take Home Point:
In this Charcoal exportation business, some hurdles exist. Some you may avert, and some you may not. For instance, lack of experience will make you export to purchase and export the wrong specifications of charcoal which may hurt your business. The aftermath is sales at lower market rates since the quality has been compromised. So, be vigilant and choose who you work with carefully.