• News

Local softwood sales down 5.6% YE January

Sales of locally produced sawn softwood products were 5.6% lower over the year-ending January 2023, slipping to 2.989 million m3. January sales totalled 199,185 m3, just 2.3% lower than for January in 2022, underscoring the very significant volume of housing demand that continues to operate in the domestic economy.

The latest total sales data can be seen in the chart below.

From a grade-by-grade perspective, there were few grades in positive territory over the course of the year. Notably, the big volume structural grades were down around 9.0%. Structural <120 mm saw sales fall 8.96% to 616,929 m3 year-ended January, while Treated Structural <120 mm sales declined 9.01% to 693,338 m3.

The experience of each of the grades is displayed below.

Just four grades experienced growth, but they tell an intriguing story.

Treated Structural >120 mm saw sales increase 0.25% to 71,717 m3, so nothing to see there on a relatively low volume. Same can be said for Poles, up 1.51% to 28,720 m3. Combined, those increases amount to less than 750 m3 for the year.

The 0.5% increase in Packaging grades to 672,202 m3 (the second largest grade) is more notable, as is the 4.54% increase in ‘Ungraded’ sales, which lifted to 276,105 m3.These are both important because just as they tell the market the moves were not so significant, these increases came as other grades fell.

There is every possibility that desperation for packaging materials – especially pallets – has made the marginal value of supply to the packaging sector more attractive than to some other end-uses. With hardwood supply for packaging and other purposes under perpetual stress and decline, it is possible the softwood market is experiencing a significant adjustment.

Posted Date: February 26, 2023

Related Resources

Economy is growing, but barely
  • FWPA
  • News

The economy dodged another bullet in the December quarter with GDP up 0…

Monthly CPI continues to show inflation easing
  • FWPA
  • News

Australia’s monthly inflation data – delivered through the Consumer…

Housing Approvals – Still searching for the positives
  • FWPA
  • News

Australia’s dwelling approvals data continues to underperform dema…