Latest stats positive for Australian forest products industry


The latest issue of the Australian forest and wood products statistics (AFWPS) includes 2016-17 data for key domestic indicators of forestry sector activity, including Australia's commercial plantation estate, volume and value of logs harvested, wood products production and trade. This issue also presents updated quarterly data for dwelling unit commencements for the September and December quarters of 2017.

Key findings

Business conditions strengthened for Australia's forestry sector in 2016-17, with the fourth consecutive year of strong growth in log harvest volumes supported by higher wood processing industry output.

The total volume of logs harvested from commercial plantations and native production forests reached record levels in 2016-17, exceeding 33 million cubic metres, a 10 per cent increase from the 2015-16 log harvest and 45 per cent higher since 2012-13. The gross value of logs harvested also reached a record level, up 13 per cent from the previous year to $2.6 billion (mill door prices).

Australia's production of sawnwood has been growing since 2011-12 and reached 5.2 million cubic metres in 2016-17, up 3 per cent from the previous year. The strong export performance of Australia's wood products industries in recent years continued in 2016-17, with the total value of wood product exports increasing to $3.5 billion (up 11 per cent from the previous year).

Following three years of consecutive growth, the total value of wood product imports decreased in 2016-17 to $5.3 billion (down 4 per cent from the previous year). Dwelling commencements decreased to 220,900 dwellings in 2016-17, down 5 per cent from the previous year, which was primarily driven by a 10 per cent decrease in the number of new residential buildings other than houses, such as units and apartments.

The full report can be viewed here

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