Forestry sector records another positive year

11 November 2015

Australia’s forestry sector is showing continuing signs of improvement, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).

The report, Australian forest and wood products statistics: March and June quarters 2015, highlights positive results for the forestry sector for the second consecutive year, with increases in the estimated volume and value of logs harvested, dwelling commencements and trade in most wood products.

ABARES Executive Director, Karen Schneider, said the latest data suggested that Australia’s forestry sector is showing signs of continued recovery.

“ABARES interim estimates indicate that the volume of logs harvested increased by around 8 per cent, to more than 27 million cubic metres in 2014–15,” Ms Schneider said.

“This follows a difficult period that saw the industry contract under adverse conditions, including low levels of residential construction, weak global demand for wood products and a high Australian dollar.”

Increases in log volumes coincided with an increase in housing activity and wood product exports, with house commencements approaching levels similar to those seen in 2009-10 and the value of exports reaching an all‑time high of $2.8 billion.

However, strong growth in imports meant that the trade deficit in wood products continued to increase in 2014-15, to around $2.3 billion.

Ms Schneider also said that production and consumption of selected wood-based panel products showed further signs of recovery, with an increase in production and consumption of plywood, medium density fibreboard and particleboard in 2014-15.

“This may be indicative of a turnaround for the forestry sector,” Ms Schneider said.  

“However, production and consumption statistics for other wood product categories, which will become available later in the year, will provide a clearer picture of how the sector is tracking.”

For a copy of the report visit ABARES Publications.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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