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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:
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: