25 Sep 2009

Boom in log exports to China

7:56 am on 25 September 2009

Logging contractors say the forestry industry needs to find a way out of boom and bust cycles.

Log exports to China have risen fivefold in 18 months to $150 million in the last quarter.

Forest company leaders say the boom has been caused by China's consumption of millions of logs to feed a massive reconstruction effort in earthquake areas, and a drop in competing material from Russia.

Forest Industry Contractors Association John Stulen says while companies are happy with the current level of sales, the industry would like to see stability over the long term, rather than boom and bust.

Timberlands, which manages the Kaingaroa forest, has sent more than one million logs to China in the past year.

Pan Pac Forest Products managing director Doug Ducker says his company's exports to the country have jumped 50% since December.

Mr Ducker says China has become the backstop, after sales to Japan and Korea slumped.