Decrease in Export of Forestry Products

19 August 1998

The dollar value of New Zealand exported forestry products was down 5.8 percent last financial year. Exported forestry products for the year ended June 30 1998 were worth NZ$2,242 million, compared with NZ$2,379 million exported during the same period last year, according to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Australia was the leading market for New Zealand’s forestry product exports for the year ended June. Exports of sawn timber, wood pulp, plywood and paper and paperboard all increased in dollar value and volume to Australia, with only fibreboard exports decreased.

Japan was our second largest forestry market (although it has been our leading market for the past three years), but the export value decreased 26.1 percent. Forestry exports to Korea also decreased, with a 29.5 percent drop in value to June. Exports to the United States, however, increased in earnings by 22.1 percent, as did exports to Taiwan increase by 16.0 percent.

Forestry exports include logs and poles, wood chip, sawn timber, wood pulp, fibreboard, newsprint, and other paper and paperboard.

New Zealand’s merchandise exports to June 30 1998 totalled NZ$20,922 million. Forestry exports accounted for 10.7 percent of that, down from a 11.7 percent share in the previous year.

Logs and lumber exports were badly affected by the Asian financial crises, with exports decreased by 28.8 percent to the year ending June. The export value decreased 30.6 percent to NZ$469 million in the year ending 30 June 1998 from NZ$675 million last year. The main log and timber markets were Korea (NZ$202 million), Japan (NZ$187 million), Philippines (NZ$23 million), and India (NZ$18 million). Asian markets have accounted for more than 99 percent of New Zealand’s log exports.

Export prices for logs are forecast to decline in the year ending March 1999, but are projected to rise thereafter as Asian economies recover from the financial crises. Export volumes are expected to follow the same pattern.

Wood chip exports increased by 48.5 percent in the June 1997 year with an export value this year of NZ$38 million, up 16.2 percent from the value of NZ$33 million in 1997. The main market for wood chips was Japan.

Sawn timber export values increased to NZ$465 million, a 14.2 percent increase from the value of NZ$407 million in 1997. The main markets were Australia (NZ$172 million), United States (NZ$117 million) and Japan (NZ$80 million).

Wood pulp export value increased from NZ$344 million to the year ending June 1997 to NZ$347 million in the June 1998 year.

Newsprint exports increased by 2.8 percent to 258 000 tonnes in the June 1998 year and were valued at NZ$234 million, an increase of 13.7 percent.

Other paper and paperboard exports were 170 000 tonnes in the June 1998 year, an increase of 39.3 percent, and were valued at NZ$155 million, up 29.3 percent on the value of NZ$120 million for the June 1997 year.

Fibreboard exports remained at 365 000 cubic metres in the June 1998 year and were valued at NZ$141 million, down by 10.2 percent from the value of NZ$157 million for the June 1997 year.

For further information contact:

Judith Dennis or James Barton, Forestry Statistics Section, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, phone: 04 474 4100

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33