Packaging grade sales near record levels

Consistent with other grades of sawn softwood, sales of the packaging grades has grown steadily throughout 2013 and 2014, reaching near record levels. At year-end November 2014, total sales were recorded at 389,910 m3, less than 10,000 m3 below the record set year-end September 2008 (399,603 m3) just prior to the onset of the global financial crisis.

As the chart below shows, from virtual obscurity in 2000, packaging grade sales have enjoyed a stellar rise that was interrupted only by the GFC.

Fig. 12


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However, the packaging grade sales data is instructive because the drivers for it are related to the state of the general economy, including the agricultural/horticultural manufacturing sectors. In this respect, the packaging grade’s demand drivers are different to those for most other grades of sawn softwood which have a direct correlation to the health and prospects of the housing sector.