New National Wood Availability Forecasts Released

24 March 2010

Wood availability from New Zealand's forests is forecast to increase over the next 15 years. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has recently released new national forecasts showing the potential wood availability out to 2040.

There are two clear phases to the increase:

  • From 2010 to 2015 where wood availability is forecast to increase by 4 million cubic metres/year from the current level of around 20 million m3/year to 24 million m3/year. Most of this increase comes from large-scale forest owners, particularly in the Central North Island, Northland and Gisborne.
  • From 2015 to 2025 there are larger increases expected with potential wood availability reaching an annual level of up to 35 million m3/year. Most of this increase will come from smaller-scale forest owners who established forests during the 1990's. The actual timing of the harvest from these forests will depend on market conditions and the decisions of a large number of smaller-scale owners.

While the forecasts show potential wood availability, harvest levels at any point in time will be driven by log prices, harvesting costs, transports costs and other prevailing market conditions.

Separate forecasts have been produced for large-scale owners (owners with 1000 hectares of forest or more) and smaller-scale owners. For the next 15 years the large-scale owners' forests are able to sustain an annual supply of between 20-22 million cubic metres of radiata pine.

Between 2010 and 2015, the smaller-scale owners' forests have the capacity to supply an additional 3 to 4 million cubic metres per year. After 2015 and leading into the 2020's, the potential wood available from the smaller-scale owners forests increases up to 15 million cubic metres per annum.

Most of this increase in wood availability will need to be exported as New Zealand's domestic demand is expected to grow slowly relative to future wood availability. On-going work to expand international markets is a key priority for New Zealand.

The increase in wood availability offers good potential for the forest industry to expand New Zealand's forest products exports. Radiata pine is a versatile softwood which can be used in a wide range of products. New Zealand also has high standards of sustainable forest management compared to many counties in the Asia-Pacific Region with more than 50 percent of the forest resource certified under the Forestry Stewardship Certification scheme.

These new national forecasts along with previously published regional forecasts are available from:

Media contact:

  • Deborah Gray, Senior Communications Advisor, MAF Policy
    Phone: 64-4-894 0715, Mobile: 029 894 0715, Email:


Last Updated: 22 September 2010

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