19 Apr 2011

Volume of log exports to China keeps rising

3:05 pm on 19 April 2011

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry says the volume of log exports to China continues to grow at an unprecedented level.

Its latest report on the forestry sector says the total volume of trees harvested for the year ended 31 March, 2010, was 20.7 million cubic metres from 43,500 hectares of planted forest.

That's an increase of 1700 hectares on the year before.

MAF says the significant lift in harvesting levels is due to a record demand for logs from China.

Analysis manager Alice Marfell-Jones says this demand is expected to continue at unprecedented levels. However, New Zealand's ability to supply further log increases is somewhat constrained by the current wood availability.

Overall, she says the exotic forest estate area remains relatively unchanged with total forest area of approximately 1.7 million hectares.

Afforestation, while up slightly on last year, remains at historically low levels with an estimated 6000 hectares planted in the year ended December 2010.