Local sales outperformed September quarter forecasts

Latest forecasts from ABARES point to a strong December quarter, after the undeniable – and surprising – local softwood sales lift in the September 2020 quarter. In fact, the September lift was so significant, the ABARES’ forecasts from July were outperformed by as much as 19.5%!

Before examining the four forecasts for the December quarter of 2020 and the March quarter of 2020, the table below shows how strong sales were in the September quarter.

Grade

ABARES

SQ’20 Forecast

SQ’20 Actual

% Difference

Treated Structural

169,004

191,092

-13.1%

Structural <120 mm

177,862

195,423

-9.9%

Structural >120 mm

13,585

16,238

-19.5%

Landscape

40,533

39,052

+3.7%


The data that follows, for each of the grades, shows December quarter sales being higher again, but softening – and by some quite large margins – in the March quarter of 2021.

Treated Structural

Actual sales in the September 2020 quarter (191,092 m3) were stronger than expected, exceeding the July 2020 forecast (169,004 m3) by 13.1% or 22,088 m3. Actual sales for the September 2020 quarter were outside the 95% prediction interval for the July 2020 forecast.

Looking forward, the updated forecasts for the December 2020 quarter onwards have been revised upwards. Sales are expected to fall in the December quarter of 2020 by 1.4% before rising in the first three quarters of 2021 by 0.9%, 2.9% and 3.5%, respectively. Sales in the September quarter of 2021 are expected to be 6.0% or 11,383 m3 higher than sales in the most recent quarter.



 

 

Structural less than 120mm

Actual sales in the September 2020 quarter (195,423 m3) were stronger than expected, exceeding the July 2020 forecast (177,862 m3) by 9.9% or 17,562 m3.  Actual sales for the September 2020 quarter were inside the 95% prediction intervals for all previous forecasts.

Looking forward, the updated forecasts for the December 2020 quarter onwards have been revised upwards. Sales are forecast to fall in the December quarter of 2020 by 7.5% and again in the March quarter of 2021 by 2.5%. Sales are then expected to rise in the June and September quarters of 2021 by 5.7% and 4.8%, respectively. Sales in the September quarter of 2021 are expected to be marginally lower than sales in the most recent quarter.



 

Structural greater than 120mm

Actual sales in the September 2020 quarter (16,238 m3) were stronger than expected, exceeding the July 2020 forecast (13,585 m3) by 19.5% or 2653 m3. 

Looking forward, the updated forecasts for the December 2020 quarter onwards have been revised upwards. Sales are forecast to fall in the December quarter of 2020 by 11.7% and again in the March quarter of 2021 by 2.9%. Sales are then expected to rise in the June and September quarters of 2021 by 5.4% and 4.5%, respectively. Sales in the September quarter of 2021 are expected to be 5.6% or 901 m3 lower than sales in the most recent quarter.



 

 

Landscaping products

Actual sales in the September 2020 quarter (39,052 m3) were weaker than expected, falling below the July 2020 forecast (40,533 m3) by 3.7%, or 1,481 m3. Actual sales for the September 2020 quarter were inside the 95% prediction interval for all previous forecasts.

Looking forward, the updated forecasts for the December 2020 quarter onwards have been revised upwards. Sales are expected to rise in the December quarter of 2020 by 11.8% before falling in the March quarter of 2021 by 21.2%. Sales are then expected to rise in the June and September quarters of 2021 by 7.6% and 19.0%, respectively. Sales in the September quarter of 2021 are expected to be 12.9% or 5,023 m3 higher than sales in the most recent quarter.