NZ logging ramps up to record levels

New forecasts published by the Ministry for Primary Industries’ reveal forestry export revenues are set to spiral over the next two financial years.

The Ministry for Primary Industries’ first quarterly update of its Situation Outlook for Primary Industries shows forestry export revenue is forecast to rise 5.8 per cent to $5.4 billion for the year ending June 2017, and a further 8.8 per cent to $5.9 billion in the year to June 2018.

The majority of demand originates China’s expanding housing market. Sawn timber prices have been further stoked by a 7% hike in domestic demand arising from construction activity in Auckland and Christchurch, coupled with low shipping costs.

These factors are set to push NZ timber harvesting to new record levels over coming years. The annual harvest reached a new record in 2016, pushed up by higher log prices, with the supply of harvestable wood set to increase over the next five years.

Forestry is New Zealand’s third-highest export earner. The National Party Government is encouraging more planting through the Afforestation Grants Scheme which has $19.5 million to establish 15,000ha of new forests between 2015 and 2020.


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