New Zealand's exotic forest estate relatively unchanged for 2010 at about 1.79 million ha., down 0.2% from 2009; harvesting levels increased 7% to 20.7 million m3 on record Chinese demand for logs: MAF

WELLINGTON, New Zealand , April 15, 2011 (press release) – The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) today released the National Exotic Forest Description (NEFD) 2010 report, confirming the provisional figures as at 1 April 2010, released late last year.

The NEFD 2010 report provides a detailed description of New Zealand's planted forests and forest activities such as estimated planting and harvesting statistics.

MAF Information and Analysis Manager Alice Marfell-Jones says overall, New Zealand’s exotic forest estate area remains relatively unchanged with total forest area of approximately 1.793 million, down 4100 hectares (0.2 percent) on last year.

Afforestation, while up slightly on last year, remains at historically low levels with an estimated 6,000 hectares planted in the year ended December 2010. The level of deforestation was down 100 hectares to 1700 hectares in the year ended March 2010 compared to a year earlier.

Harvesting levels have increased significantly to 20.7 million cubic metres with record demand for logs from China. This is an increase of 1.4 million cubic metres (7 percent) harvested compared to the previous year.

Export volumes of logs to China have continued to grow to an unprecedented level throughout 2010, as reported by MAF in early April 2011.

While the demand for forestry exports is expected to continue, New Zealand’s ability to supply further increases in logs for export is somewhat constrained by the current wood availability which is approaching the maximum harvest availability.

There is however, a potential for larger increases in wood availability between 2015 and 2025 as substantially more forest area approaches harvesting age.

The NEFD is published annually to assist with infrastructure and policy planning, and is compiled from a survey of forest owners and forest managers. As such, information in the NEFD may differ slightly from other reports that use satellite mapping to gather data, or other surveys that use different frames, designs and reference periods.

It is produced by MAF in cooperation with the New Zealand Forest Owner's Association and the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association.

The report is now in its 27th edition and is available at

Hard copies are available by emailing , or by writing to Policy Publications, MAF Policy, PO Box 2526, Wellington.

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