Record log harvest for Australian forestry industry
The ABARES report for the March and June quarters 2017 shows growth in demand for Australia’s sustainably managed wood products resulted in an estimated record harvest of logs of up to 33 million m3, worth AU$2.5 billion. The report does highlight challenges for industry including a softening demand for new house construction and reliance on a few key domestic and international markets.
- Forestry industry value added, or contribution to GDP, increased for the third year in a row, growing by 9 per cent to $8.6 billion in 2015-16. Sales and service income for the forestry sector also grew strongly to AU$23.7 billion in 2015-16 (up 7 per cent from the previous year).
- ABARES estimates that Australia's forestry sector continued to grow strongly in 2016-17, with the total volume and value of logs harvested reaching record levels. Estimated total volume log harvest from native forests and commercial plantations increased by 9 per cent to 32.8 million cubic metres and estimated total value increased by 12 per cent to AU$2.5 billion.
- After four consecutive years of growth in residential construction activity in Australia, dwelling commencements fell by 6 per cent to 219,300 in 2016-17. The decrease in commencements of other residential buildings (including units and house conversions) was greater than the decrease in house commencements.
- Australia's trade in wood products has been growing since 2012-13 and reached a record level of AU$8.6 billion in 2016-17. The value of exports reached a record level of $3.4 billion (up 9 per cent from the previous year), while the value of imports fell to AU$5.3 billion (down 4 per cent from a record level in the previous year).
- China was our largest trading partner in 2016-17 for wood products, accounting for over a quarter of Australia's total wood product imports, nearly half of total wood product exports and the majority of total wood products export growth over the year.
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