Logging in Australia's plantation forests drives 3.6% overall timber harvest increase in 2010-2011, while volume of native broadleaved harvest declined by 4.0%: ABARES

CANBERRA CITY, Australia , May 22, 2012 (press release) – The volume of logs harvested in Australia increased by 3.6 per cent in 2010–11, the first increase in three years, taking the total value of logs harvested in 2010-11 to over $1.8 billion.

According to Australian forest and wood products statistics, released today by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, this growth was driven by logs harvested from plantation forests, while the volume of native broadleaved harvest declined by 4.0 per cent.

The volume of logs harvested from both broadleaved plantation and coniferous plantations remained strong in 2010–11.

Broadleaved plantation harvest increased by 12 per cent over the year to over 5 million cubic metres, with growth particularly strong in Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia.

While the plantation area increased only marginally during 2010–11, Australia is beginning to reap some of the benefits from the broadleaved plantations that have been established since the 1990s.

However, this positive story masks difficulty in other parts of the forest sector.

Reduced harvest from the native forest industry, ongoing weakness in Australia’s housing sector and international economic uncertainty contributed to lower imports and exports over the year.

Executive Director of ABARES, Paul Morris, said “As a sign of weakness in both domestic and international demand, the value of imports for the September and December quarters 2011 was down 5.7 per cent relative to the same period in 2010, while the value of forest product exports was down 8.5 per cent over the same period”.

The report, Australian forest and wood products statistics is available from ABARES publications[http://www.daff.gov.au/abares/publications].

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