Aus­tralia's forestry sec­tor con­tin­ues to break records

Australian Forests and Timber - - Abares Report -

AUS­TRALIA’S FORESTRY sec­tor is con­tin­u­ing to en­joy some of the best con­di­tions in its his­tory, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by the Aus­tralian Bureau of Agri­cul­tural and Re­source Eco­nom­ics and Sciences (ABARES).

The re­port, Aus­tralian for­est and wood prod­ucts sta­tis­tics: Septem­ber and De­cem­ber quar­ters 2016, showed that the vol­ume and value of logs har­vested reached record lev­els in 2015–16.

ABARES act­ing Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Peter Goo­day, said the fig­ures show that Aus­tralia’s log har­vest ex­ceeded 30 mil­lion cu­bic me­tres for the first time in 2015–16, val­ued at over $2.3 bil­lion. This growth was driven by higher har­vest of hard­wood plan­ta­tion pulplogs and a new record har­vest of soft­wood plan­ta­tion logs, reach­ing 16.3 mil­lion cu­bic me­tres in 2015–16.

“This growth has been un­der­pinned by con­tin­ued strong ex­port de­mand for our prod­ucts, es­pe­cially hard­wood and soft­wood wood­chips and round­wood logs,” Mr Goo­day said.

Ex­port de­mand has con­tin­ued its strong per­for­mance into the first half of 2016–17, with higher round­wood and wood­chip ex­ports con­tribut­ing to an over­all rise of 7.8%, com­pared to the first six months of 2015–16.

The higher log har­vest was backed up by pro­duc­tion in­creases across most of Aus­tralia’s wood pro­cess­ing in­dus­tries. Hard­wood sawn­wood out­put in­creased for the first time since 2012–13, and wood-based pan­els in­creased by over 7% in 2015–16. Pa­per and pa­per­board pro­duc­tion was also strong over the year, with growth in out­put of all pa­per cat­e­gories ex­cept for newsprint, which fell to its low­est level since 1981–82.

“Con­sump­tion of wood prod­ucts was also higher across most cat­e­gories in 2015–16, with hard­wood sawn­wood con­sump­tion up 37% over the year, wood-based pan­els up 5.3% and ag­gre­gate pa­per con­sump­tion up 1.8%,” added Mr Goo­day.

How­ever, in con­trast to these pos­i­tive trends, ABARES es­ti­mated soft­wood sawn­wood pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion have slightly de­clined in 2015–16, driven by a mod­est de­cline in the num­ber of de­tached dwellings com­menced dur­ing the year. In the first half of 2016–17, over­all im­port val­ues have de­clined by 6.4% com­pared to the first six months of 2015–16, sug­gest­ing a po­ten­tial soft­en­ing of do­mes­tic de­mand for some prod­ucts.

This growth has been un­der­pinned by con­tin­ued strong ex­port de­mand for our prod­ucts, es­pe­cially hard­wood and soft­wood wood­chips and round­wood logs.

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