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Current status of Australia’s forestry sector – harvests and exports

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Dry Bulk,

Australia’s forestry sector continues to go from strength to strength, based on a report released on 24 May by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).

ABARES Executive Director, Steve Hatfield-Dodds said that the Australian forest and wood products statistics – September and December quarters 2017 – shows the volume of logs harvested reached record levels in 2016 - 2017 exceeds 33 million m3, up 10% on the year.

“In 2016 - 2017, the value of total logs harvested was up 13 per cent to $2.6 billion, driven by a record hardwood and softwood commercial plantation harvest of 29 million m3,” Dr Hatfield-Dodds said.

“Commercial plantation logs now comprise 87% of Australia’s total log harvest, up 19% over the decade.

“The volume of logs harvested from the hardwood plantation estate more than doubled since 2012 - 2013, increasing to 11 million m3 in 2016 - 2017 from 5 million m3 in 2012 - 2013.

“Hardwood commercial plantations are grown predominantly for pulpwood to meet growing export demand for woodchip, which remain Australia’s largest wood product export by value.

“In 2016 - 2017 exports were also at record highs, up 11% on the back of strong volume growth in woodchip. Roundwood is up 17% and paper paperboard up 10%, with exports of both growing strongly since 2012 - 2013.

“The record 2016 - 2017 log harvest was also supported by Australia’s wood processing industries. Softwood sawnwood output increased by 3%, while production of wood-based panels and paper and paperboard grew more modestly.”

This report provides important updates on key data and trends, which provide indicators of the current status of Australia’s forestry sector.

ABARES data continues to assist policymakers and agriculture, forestry and fisheries industry to develop priorities and shape investments into the future.

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