South African Forestry Co Ltd (Safcol) has warned that its supply of pine sawlogs will decline by 200,000m³ a year for the next 10-15 years.

The state-owned timber firm said that fires, which burnt 14% of Safcol’s planted timber at its Komatiland Forests in the summer, and higher demand had led to a shortage of softwood sawlogs. Chief executive officer Kobus Breed told the South African government’s Public Enterprises Committee that this is likely to lead to higher prices as demand outstrips supply.

Safcol, which supplies up to 1.7 million m³ a year to the country’s sawmills, said that the decline and price rise would have an adverse affect on the sawmilling industry.