According to Wood Resource Quarterly, a news brief from Wood Resources International LLC, the total value of logs New Zealand exported in the first quarter of the year was almost three times as high as the value of exported lumber.
More than half of New Zealand’s timber harvest was exported in log form, though some sawmills in the nation have taken advantage of the growing demand for softwood lumber in the United States (U.S.) over the past few years, with the total export value having risen by 37 per cent from 2012 to 2016.
However, China continues to be a major importer of Radiata pine wood, commanding 70 per cent of shipments during 2017’s first quarter, followed by South Korea, India, and Japan.
Although New Zealand’s market share in softwood have decreased over the past three years, the log export volume stood at 52 per cent in 2016, and lumber production increased by 10 per cent in the same three years though lumber export volumes fell 15 per cent between 2013 and 2016.
Although the export value of lumber have been fluctuating within a fairly narrow range over the past seven years between US$570 million and US$660 million, New Zealand’s total log exports were valued at US$1.6 billion in 2016.
Over the past few years, the biggest shift in market export sales has been the U.S. overtaking Australia in importing pine lumber produced in New Zealand, and New Zealand becoming the second-biggest overseas lumber supplier to the U.S., behind Chile, with shipments increasing by 37 per cent between 2012 and the first five months of 2017.
But with lumber demand in the U.S. slated to continue growing, opportunities for overseas lumber producers to expand their sales to the U.S. in the coming years are rife.
Source: Wood Resource Quarterly