NZ log exports forecast to rise

18 June 2013

Record log exports are expected to underpin an increase in export revenue for New Zealand in the coming year.

Forestry industry export earnings are expected to rise from NZ$4.3bn to NZ$5bn by 2016-17, according to the Ministry for Primary Industries.

However, while there's good demand for logs, the outlook for exports of sawn timber, woodchips and panels remains challenging.

In 2012 New Zealand exported 13.8 million m3 of logs as it increased market share in China when Canadian supply was diverted to the US and Russia's exports declined.

Panel product export volumes are expected to remain at the same level as a year ago, but increased competition has impacted prices, which are forecast to fall by 6.8%.

The report said the international plywood market had been significantly affected by the new EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) which came into effect in March. Following a surge of Chinese imports in late 2012, few orders had since been placed with Chinese suppliers because of difficulties in meeting the EUTR, it says.

The report says during the next decade the forest harvest is expected to rise by about 40% to 35 million m3 as small forests planted in the 1990s are harvested.

The Wood Council of New Zealand aims to double export values to NZ$12bn by 2022.

NZ's top 10 markets
China 36%
Australia 17%
Japan 12%
South-east Asia 10%
South Korea 9%
South Asia 4%
US 4%
Taiwan 2%
EU 1%

NZ export revenue (year to March 2013)
Logs and chips: NZ$1.8bn (40.9%)
Sawn timber: NZ$788m (17.9%)
Pulp: NZ$549m (12.5%)
Manufactured products: NZ$461m (10.5%)
Panels: NZ$459m (10.3%)
Paper and board: NZ$349m (7.9%)