ABARES Executive Director, Steve Hatfield-Dodds, said the report, Australian forest and wood products statistics: March and June quarters 2017, showed the industry is now in its fourth consecutive year of growth.
“In 2016−17, the volume of logs harvested is estimated to have reached record levels, increasing 9 per cent on the year prior, to nearly 33 million cubic metres,” Dr Hatfield-Dodds said.
“The value of total logs harvested was up nearly 12 per cent to $2.5 billion, reflecting increased estimated softwood log prices and softer hardwood log prices. The report also revealed a softening domestic demand for wood products, with a 6.1 per cent decrease in dwelling commencements compared to the previous year.
“Exports of Australia’s wood products are higher than ever, reaching a record $3.4 billion on the back of strong demand for roundwood, newsprint and miscellaneous forest products exports.
“This means Australia’s trade deficit in wood products is now under $2 billion – its lowest level in six years.
“The report finds the Chinese market accounted for the majority of total wood product export growth in 2016−17. In fact, nearly half of Australia’s wood product exports in 2016−17 went to China, a market worth over $1.6 billion.
“This report highlights that forestry activities remain dependent on key markets, and particularly housing and international trade.
For a copy of the report visit Latest Publications.