China log exports still remain in limbo

Friday 30 Apr 2021

Australia's forestry sector claims there are no signs of any movement by Chinese officials to end the ongoing log trade deadlock.

China suspended imports of all timber logs late last year amid escalating trade tensions. While round logs are still being exported to some countries from deep-sea ports, the multi-million-dollar log trade to China remains in limbo.

Australian Forest Products Association chief executive Ross Hampton said there had been "no movement" since China banned imports of round logs from Australia. "The Chinese government has said that there wouldn't be any timber accepted, or round logs (as they call them in the trade) out of any part of Australia," Mr Hampton said.

"And they're not at the moment returning the minister's calls. So, we don't have to get any further update on that situation." While the industry was enjoying record demand for structural timber due to the housing construction boom, he said China's import log ban was impacting export markets for non-structural timber and wood fibre. Given the ongoing uncertainty, he said greater domestic processing was needed.

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Source: SMH

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