New Zealand log exports have increased in volume and price since the beginning of 2016, and the country remains the world’s leading softwood log exporter, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly.
Together with the world’s second and third biggest softwood log exporters – Russia and the US – New Zealand accounts for almost half of the world’s globally traded logs in 2015, with China the major buyer.
New Zealand exports more than half of its total harvest in log form and the lion’s share of this trade goes to China; in 2015, China bought close to 10m square metres of radiata pine logs.
Radiata pine is a type of softwood tree which can grow up to ten times faster than eucalyptus and is used for furniture production, house frames and pulp.
So far in 2016, total shipments from New Zealand to Asia have increased 2% over the same period in 2015, with the biggest increases seen in shipments to India and South Korea, but exports to China were down 10%.
In other New Zealand log-export news, the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) recently announced the completion of an upgrade to its log-handling facilities, creating an all-weather log yard in front of Norwich Quay.
The upgrade increases the site’s overall storage capacity from 10,000 to 12,000 JAS (Japanese agricultural standard) and enables logs to be stored up to eight metres high.
LPC chief executive Peter Davie said the upgrade would benefit the port’s customers and the surrounding community, reducing dust from the 35 or more trucks that access the site on an average day.
“The upgrade offers significant environmental benefits due to the installation of a high quality storm water treatment system which ensures all water contaminates are captured and treated prior to discharge,” Mr Davie said.