Forest economics and statistics

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ABARES Forest Economics section produces research which provides a comprehensive account of historical trends in, and the outlook for, the Australian forestry sector. Information and analysis contained in these reports are accessed by policy makers, managers, researchers and industry.

Latest releases

A framework for developing medium term projections of traded wood products

Forest and Wood Products Australia commissioned ABARES to develop a quantitative framework for projecting future exports and imports of selected wood.

Published: 4 August 2020

Productivity and efficiency of the Australian sawmilling industry

This study, commissioned by Forest and Wood Products Australia, is the first comprehensive productivity and efficiency analysis of the Australian sawmilling industry at the mill level.

Published: 10 July 2020

Australian forest and wood products statistics: September and December quarters 2019

This report is now being released as a data visualisation, based on a comprehensive dataset that can be used to inform policy makers and industry representatives on the current state of the industry. It shows that Australia’s forest harvesting sector showed strong signs in 2018−19, while wood processing output and housing activity remained weaker.

Published: 2 July 2020

Bushfires and pandemic spell tough road ahead for forestry and wood processing sectors

Major challenges for forestry and wood processors loom in the wake of summer’s bushfires and COVID-19, according to analysis in our latest ABARES Insights report.

Published: 30 June 2020

Australian plantation statistics 2020 update

This update presents information on Australia’s commercial timber plantations, reporting on total plantation area, new plantings and ownership. These statistics support policy development and forest industry planning and decision-making.

Published: 23 June 2020

Forest industry’s key contribution to Australia’s economy detailed in new ABARES Insight

This Insights snapshot looks at the key aspects of Australia’s forest and sawmilling industries: forest area, log harvest, production, consumption, trade and industry structure.

Published: 18 November 2019

Forest industry’s key contribution to Australia’s economy detailed in new ABARES Insight

This Insights snapshot looks at the key aspects of Australia’s forest and sawmilling industries: forest area, log harvest, production, consumption, trade and industry structure.

Published: 18 November 2019

Forests At A Glance promotional booklet released

This is a compendium of data and information about Australia’s native forests and commercial plantations. Much of the data is current to 2017–18 and has been published in detailed reports.

Published: 18 November 2019

Value of commercial plantation harvests at record high

Conditions in Australia’s forestry sector remain favourable, according to the Australian forest and wood products statistics: September and December quarters 2018 report.

Published: 20 June 2019

National wood processing survey 2016-17

Between October 2017 and March 2019, ABARES surveyed Australian wood processors to obtain up-to-date mill-specific data, including mill inputs, production and employment. This survey updates the ABARES 2012–13 survey.

Published: 13 June 2019

Australian plantation statistics 2019 update

This report supports strategic forest industry planning and decision-making by presenting information on total plantation area, new planting and ownership.

Published: 3 May 2019

Upscaling the Australian softwood sawmill industry: Feasibility and implications for future plantation investment

This report was jointly commissioned by Forest and Wood Products Australia and the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) to estimate the area of new softwood plantations required to support a world-scale softwood sawmill in selected National Plantation Inventory (NPI) regions.

Published: 26 February 2019

Economic potential for new plantation establishment in Australia: Outlook to 2050 report

This report explores the economic potential of establishing new commercial timber plantations in Australia, between 2020 and 2050, under current and alternative market conditions. The findings of the report are intended to assist industry and policymakers anticipate and adapt to expected changes in the industry.

Published: 26 February 2019

Future opportunities for using forest and sawmill residues in Australia

This report presents estimates of the potential production and use of harvest and sawmill residues in Australia in 2050. It provides insights into what the production and use of wood residues may look like in decades to come, once any required investment in infrastructure has taken place.

Published: 6 November 2018.

Responsiveness of demand for structural pine to changes in timber and steel prices: A study using the FWPA softwood data series

This technical report estimates the responsiveness of demand for structural pine to changes in timber and steel prices. Measures of demand responsiveness can provide valuable insights into the potential implications of changes in policy or market settings on volumes and prices received by producers. The analysis focuses on estimating short-term price elasticities of demand--a formal measure of the sensitivity of demand--to changes in prices in the same quarter or recent past.

Published: 12 July 2018

Statistical report series

  • The Australian forest and wood products statistics report series presents detailed analysis of the economic performance of key indicators of domestic forestry sector activity, including sales and service income and industry value added. This series also presents socio-economic indicators and trends.
  • The Australian plantation statistics report series supports strategic forest industry planning and decision-making by presenting information on total plantation area, new planting and ownership. It is prepared under the auspices of the National Plantation Inventory.
  • The Australia's plantation log supply report series presents forecasts of sawlog and pulplog volumes available from softwood and hardwood plantations. Comprehensive plantation log availability forecast reports are published every five years and Australia's plantation log supply 2015-2059 is the fifth log supply report.

In addition to regular publications, ABARES Forest Economics section publishes economic research on specific issues within the Australian forest industry sector.

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Last reviewed: 31 July 2020
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