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Roundwood & Chip Exports – Full Steam Ahead

Australia’s raw wood exports (logs and woodchips) continue to steam ahead, fuelled by strong demand, quality supply and the sector’s ‘price is right’ moment thanks to the depreciation in the Australian Dollar. For the year-ended September 2015, exports were valued at AUD1.349 billion, up a large 20.7% compared with the year-ended September 2014. Over the same period, log exports totalled 2.933 million m3 and the volume of woodchips exported from Australia was a very strong 5.782 million bdmt.

Exports for the year-ended September 2015, by the main grades, are displayed in the following chart, which also details the prior corresponding period.

fig16

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

The tall blue line is the value of woodchip exports, the gold colour is the value of log exports and the only other notable export is the green line, which is sawn softwood.

It is plain to see that the value of exports of both woodchips and logs has grown quite sharply over the last year.

The chart below displays the rise in value of Australia’s woodchip exports since 2011.

fig17

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

Woodchip exports were 12.2% higher in volume terms for the year-ended September 2015 than for the prior corresponding period. This was lower than the 22.9% increase in the value of those exports, indicating that average prices have risen.

In its monthly Wood Market Edge, market analysts IndustryEdge forecast total Australian woodchip exports will exceed 6.0 million bdmt in 2015-16. The forecast is based on a comparison of woodchip shipping movements over the last three years. Expectations are also that the value of those exports will rise further, leading to a modestly higher average price, at least in Australian Dollar terms.

The chart below displays the rise in value of Australian log exports over the last four years.

fig18

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

Log exports were 15.9% higher in volume terms for the year-ended September 2015 than for the prior corresponding period. This was moderately higher than the 14.5% increase in the value of those exports, indicating that average prices declined modestly over the year.

In the case of log exports, continued records must be anticipated, based on the strong trend growth in the value of monthly exports over the last year. At AUD35.719 million in September 2015, the export value was the second highest ever recorded and appears to be building off a strong base over prior months.

The potential dilemma with the log exports is that at least some appear to be very price sensitive. 

There is little doubt that in both these raw goods trades, the softer Australian Dollar is having an important impact and is assisting exporters to hit what appear to be near continuous new export records.

 

Posted Date: November 23, 2015

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