Forestry exports increased in dollar value in most markets

7 March 2000

Forestry product exports accounted for 12.2 percent of New Zealand's total exports for the year ending December 1999, according to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

The total value of the forestry products exported was NZ$2,751 million, an increase of 17.3 percent on the value exported the previous December (1998).

For the year ended December 1999, Australia was the leading market for New Zealand's forestry products export. The value of exports to Japan increased by 1.3 percent. Exports to Korea increased by 83.8 percent in value. Exports to the United States increased by 38.1 percent in value, while exports to China increased in value by 46.4 percent. The value of exports to Taiwan increased by 10.9 percent.

Logs and pole exports were valued at NZ$546 million, up 33.4 percent on the previous year ending in December. The main markets for logs and poles were Korea, Japan and India.

Wood chip exports decreased in volume by 27.6 percent and were valued at NZ$43 million, down 23.3 percent from the value of NZ$56 million for the previous year. The main market for woodchips was Japan.

Sawn timber exports increased in volume by 15.4 percent and were valued at $NZ$642 million, an increase of 22.5 percent from the year ended December 1998. The main market was the United States, then Australia, Japan, and Taiwan.

Wood pulp exports decreased in volume by 11.5 percent and were valued at NZ$376 million in December 1999. Chemical pulp exports were valued at NZ$296 million, an increase of 19.5 percent. New Zealand's main pulp markets were Japan, (NZ$82 million), followed by Australia (NZ$70 million), then Korea (NZ$55 million), Indonesia, Taiwan, China and the United States.

Newsprint exports decreased in value by 10.8 percent to NZ$231 million.

The Asian financial situation has had a dramatic impact since December 1997 on the New Zealand forestry sector, which is strongly exposed to Asian markets, particularly in logs and panel products.

The market has been recovering since the crises, with a 75.1 percent increase in log exports to the Republic of Korea from the year ended December 1998 to December 1999, and the return of China as a log export market in September 1999.

The decrease in Asian buying of our forestry products did provide alternative markets to Asia. A strong growth in lumber exports to the United Sates (prices and volume rises) and Australia (volume rise) was assisted by the depreciation of the New Zealand Dollar.

For further information contact:

Dorothy Jones or Judith Dennis, MAF Forestry Statistics Section, ph: 04 474 4100.

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33