Softwoods dominate log exports

Although well below its peak, the value of roundwood exports continues to trend upwards on a month-by-month basis, with the annual value about to commence a significant rise. In April 2015, total sales were valued at AUD28.5 million. The monthly average of the last year was AUD25.2 million, with total exports for the year to end of April 2015 totalling AUD302.0 million.

11 - Roundwood

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The chart above displays the value of roundwood exports on a monthly and year end basis since May 2011. The value of exports reached a record AUD311.4 million for the year to the end of November 2014. It has hovered at that level since and will continue to rise in coming months.

It is an interesting curiosity that just as woodchip exports are dominated by hardwoods, log exports are dominated by softwood exports, as the chart below shows.

For the year to the end of April 2015, softwood log exports were valued at AUD269.4 million, up 9.4% for the year to the end of April 2014. That value has been aided by the depreciation of the Australian Dollar, as much as by increasing export volumes.

12 - Roundwood by type

Note: 4403.10.00 is rough wood treated, 4403.20.00 is softwood, 4403.49.01 is tropical, 4403.91.00 is oak, 4403.92.00 is beech, 4403.99.00 is hardwood

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The growing value of softwood log exports is a significant development, with volumes shipped in containers and in bulk loaders of different types. Hardwood log exports continue to be slow, but are growing, with new development opportunities emerging.

What was once a trade destined for woodchipping and pulp and paper manufacture is now a trade in logs that have widely varied uses, including rotary peeling for veneers and evn slicing for use in container floors.