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NZ log exports down 12.4% in September quarter

Despite New Zealand’s total log extractions remaining largely consistent with prior quarters, in the 2015 September Quarter, log exports declined to their lowest level since the September Quarter of 2012. At 3,640,000 m3 for the quarter, exports accounted for just 41.1% of total extractions, again, their lowest proportion of the total since the September Quarter of 2012.

Export log extractions declined 12.4% compared with the June Quarter, but were just 2.0% lower than for the September Quarter in 2014. At 8,854,000 m3 for the quarter, New Zealand’s total log extractions were just 1.6% lower than the year before, implying there is some seasonality to the decline in total log extractions. 

There is no particular surprise in winter seasons experiencing lower harvest levels, and the experience appears to be repeating each year, as the chart below shows. 

fig-11

To go straight to the dashboard and take a closer look at the data, click here.

The distinction with 2015’s September Quarter decline is the quite sharp fall in export log extractions. This is exemplified by Saw Log Removals, the second largest of the end-uses of New Zealand’s logs. They grew by 8.0% compared with the prior quarter, reaching their highest level since the September Quarter in 2014. 

Again, as the chart above displays, there is seasonality in Saw Log Removals, running almost the opposite to Export Log extractions.

Although not charted here, there will of course be an international flavour to any data that includes the largest proportion being destined to export. The simultaneous slowdown and change of direction in the Chinese economy and the continued strength of the New Zealand Dollar, will also have played some part in restraining exports of logs.

New Zealand’s harvest and export experience offers an intriguing contrast to the Australian situation and market.

 

Posted Date: January 25, 2016

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