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Log Harvest up 25%

ABARES, Australia’s plantation log supply 2015–2059 report has just been released and the national plantation log harvest in 2014–15 was around 23.3 million cubic metres, which was 25.2 per cent higher than the log harvest in 2009–10. 

The potential log availability from Australia’s commercial plantation estate is forecast to increase to an annual average of 29.7 million cubic metres in the 2015–19 period, followed by a decline to an annual average of 27.0 million cubic metres a year for the 2020–24 period (Figure 1). The majority of the decline in total log availability is because the expected yield from hardwood plantations is forecast to decline, as a result of low commerciality plantations not being replanted and some lease agreements with landholders not being renewed.

ABARES estimates that the total commercial plantation estate may decrease by around 80 000 to 100 000 hectares over the next 10 to 15 years as new plantation establishment will not be sufficient to offset removals of low commerciality plantations unless there are new drivers to expand or maintain the current plantation estate. The log availability forecasts presented in this report are based predominately on 2014–15 plantation areas and only partially includes some future plantation removals as indicated by plantation growers and managers.

Figure 1 Actual and forecast annual average plantation log availability

fig11  

Hardwood plantation forecasts

Hardwood plantation log availability in the 2015–19 period is forecast to average around 12.9 million cubic metres a year, around 4.4 million cubic metres more than the actual volume harvested in 2014–15.

Hardwood pulplog production was around 8.2 million cubic metres in 2014–15. Average annual pulplog availability is forecast to fluctuate between 12.5 million cubic metres a year in the 2015–19 period to 7.7 million cubic metres in the 2045–49 period.

Hardwood sawlog production was around 269 000 cubic metres in 2014–15. Hardwood sawlog availability is forecast to increase to 408 000 cubic metres per year for the 2015–19 period, peaking at around 994 000 cubic metres a year in the 2055–59 period.

 

Softwood plantation forecasts

Softwood plantation log availability in the 2015–19 period is forecast to average around 16.8 million cubic metres a year, around 2.0 million cubic metres more than the actual volume harvested in 2014–15.

Production of softwood sawlogs was around 9.8 million cubic metres in 2014–15. Softwood sawlog availability is forecast to increase to around 12.1 million cubic metres a year for 2015–19, and peak at around 14.3 million cubic metres a year in the 2035–39 period.

Production of softwood pulplog was around 5.2 million cubic metres a year in 2014–15. Softwood pulplog availability is forecast to decline to around 4.7 million cubic metres per year for the 2015–19 period. Softwood pulplog availability is forecast to average around 4.4 million cubic metres per year over the remaining periods to 2054–59.

Figure 4 Forecast plantation log availability, Australia

fig12  

2016 forecast compared with 2012 forecast

The previous Australian plantation log availability forecast was based on plantation areas recorded by the National Plantation Inventory as at 2009–10. The present forecast is based on areas as at 2014–15.

The 2015 to 2059 average total plantation log availability forecast is 10 per cent lower in this report, compared with the 2012 report; the average hardwood log availability forecast is 21 per cent lower and the average softwood log availability forecast is 2 per cent lower.

To review the full report go to: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/display?url=http://143.188.17.20/anrdl/DAFFService/display.php?fid=pb_afplsd9aafe20161215.xml

Posted Date: January 25, 2017

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