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Commercial forestry plantation harvests at record levels

forestry logs stock image

Australia’s forestry sector continues to go from strength to strength, based on a report released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).

ABARES Executive Director, Steve Hatfield-Dodds said, the Australian forest and wood products statistics: September and December quarters 2017, shows the volume of logs harvested reached record levels in 2016–17, exceeding 33 million cubic metres, up 10 per cent on the year.

“In 2016–17, the value of total logs harvested was up 13 per cent to $2.6 billion, driven by a record hardwood and softwood commercial plantation harvest of 29 million cubic metres,” Dr Hatfield-Dodds said.

“Commercial plantation logs now comprise 87 per cent of Australia’s total log harvest, up 19 per cent over the decade.

“The volume of logs harvested from the hardwood plantation estate more than doubled since 2012-13, increasing to 11 million cubic metres in 2016–17 from 5 million cubic metres in 2012–13.

“Hardwood commercial plantations are grown predominantly for pulpwood to meet growing export demand for woodchip, which remain Australia’s largest wood product export by value.

“In 2016–17 exports were also at record highs, up 11 per cent on the back of strong volume growth in woodchip. Roundwood is up 17 per cent and paper paperboard up 10 per cent, with exports of both growing strongly since 2012–13.

“The record 2016–17 log harvest was also supported by Australia’s wood processing industries. Softwood sawnwood output increased by 3 per cent, while production of wood-based panels and paper and paperboard grew more modestly.”

This report provides important updates on key data and trends which provide indicators of the current status of Australia’s forestry sector.

ABARES data continues to assist policymakers and agriculture, forestry and fisheries industry to develop priorities and shape investments into the future.

Source: ABARES

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