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New Zealand Wood Exports On Pace to Set New Record

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New Zealand’s exports of pine logs and lumber increased substantially during the first months of 2010, the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ), Seattle, Wash., USA, reports. Unfortunately for the manufacturing sector, log exports have increased much faster than the exports of manufactured products, WRQ adds.

For the period January through May, the value of wood, pulp, and paper products reached almost $1.2 billion (NZ$1.7 billion), which was up 54% from last year. The increase in shipments the past few years is to a large extent due to the continued strong demand for most forest products and wood raw-material in China, WRQ continues. The big story from New Zealand continues to be the expanding exports of Radiata pine logs to Asia. In 2009, China was, for the first time, the number one destination for Radiata logs. The volume reached 4.8 million cubic meters last year, up from 2.1 million in 2008 and from only 680,000 cubic meters five years ago. So far this year, exports to China are up an additional 38% from the earlier record set last year.

The total log shipments in 2009 reached 8.7 million cubic metres and could very well be moré than 10 million cubic metres this year, WRQ says. An interesting development, it adds, is that India imported a record 810,000 cubic metres of Radiata pine in 2009, making it the third most important world market behind China and South Korea. During the first five months of 2010, shipments to India were up 54% compared with the same period in 2009. More information is available online.