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18 December 2002
Exports of pulp and paper products look set for steady but unspectacular growth over the next four years according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s latest forecasting report. Exports of wood panels, however, are expected to continue the good growth seen over the last couple of years.
The Situation and Outlook for Agriculture and Forestry (SONZAF) December 2002 report says export volumes of all three products are projected to remain steady over the medium term, with prices expected to be softened by a strengthening New Zealand dollar.
The report looks at the current 2001/02 season and reports:
Looking out to 2005/06, the report projects:
In the longer term, the report notes a number of new factors that could influence developments.
As the volume of harvestable wood increases, and production of lumber and logs rises, the increase in residuals (pulp logs and sawmill residues) could prompt further investment in reconstituted wood products. New Zealand radiata pine makes good MDF and there could be further development around these products in the future.
International developments in creating environmentally friendly mills could greatly assist new mills in meeting New Zealand’s stringent environmental requirements.
The feedstock that the pulp, paper and panel industries use could, however, also be sought for a burgeoning bio-fuels industry, encouraged by the implementation of the Kyoto protocol processes. This may negatively impact on expansions in the reconstituted wood products sectors of pulp, paper and panels (principally MDF and particleboard). On the other hand, development of a viable and sustainable bio-fuels industry could give wood producers an alternative market for their residual product in times of low prices for pulp, paper and panels.
For further information, please contact:
John Eyre, Senior Policy Analyst, MAF Policy