Global demand fuelling forestry export growth

Louise Upton

Wellington, June 15, 2017

Strong demand from key markets is driving up export growth in forestry products.

The latest Ministry for Primary Industries’ Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries (SOPI) shows strong growth in the forestry sector.

Forestry exports are expected to grow 6.4% to $5.5 billion in 2017, before increasing further to $6.3 billion by 2021 as increased volumes of wood become available for harvest.

Demand from China, America

Strong demand for logs and sawn timber from key markets such as China and the US are keeping prices high while favourable exchange rates are also contributing to strong returns for exporters, the SOPI shows.

Demand is expected to remain strong, as increased construction activity in China and the US, combined with China’s bans on harvesting native forest should ensure continued demand for New Zealand logs and sawn timber.

With a bright outlook for forestry production and exports, the Government continues to invest in improved harvesting techniques. This investment is primarily through the Steepland Harvesting Primary Growth Partnership programme, which also encourages afforestation by allowing previously unsuitable land to be planted with production forestry.

Funding Schemes

Planting is encouraged through other programmes such as the Afforestation Grants Scheme, the Erosion Control Funding Programme and the Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change research programme.

Louise Upston is Associate Primary Industries Minister of New Zealand.

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