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Softwood log exports reported at 64,031 m3 in August

Exports of softwood logs reported for July totalled 63,593 m3. In August, formal reporting of 64,031 m3 softwood logs were all exported to India.

Australian Softwood Log Exports by Country: Jan ’17 – Aug ‘23 (m3)

Source: ABS and IndustryEdge

m3

China (Mainland)

India

Korea

Vietnam

Other

Total

Jul-23

62,243

1,350

63,593

Aug-23

64,031

64,031

 

We have elected to show the monthly chart here, in this manner and timeframe, to underscore the differences in softwood log exports since China departed the scene.

Softwood log prices continue to stabilise

As befits a smaller than normal trade and one in which there are market and global economic challenges, Australian softwood log export prices have fluctuated over the last year.

The chart shows weighted average prices on a monthly basis (the black line), but also shows the country specific prices. For most months, the price to India is hidden by the weighted average price because India drives the price and volume.

In August 2023, the weighted average export price was AUDFob134.37/m3, up 0.6% on the prior month and 3.4% lower than August 2022.

Australian Softwood Log Prices by Country: Aug ’22 – Aug ‘23 (m3)

Source: ABS and IndustryEdge

Over the year-ended August 2023, Australia’s total exports of softwood logs were 17.4% lower than the prior year, totalling just 0.436 million m3. Reported exports totalled 64,031 m3 in August 2023, at a weighted average price of AUDFob134.37/m3.

For export, softwood logs are differentiated as larger or smaller than 15 cm diameter. The distinction between log sizes was previously more noteworthy, but analysis becomes challenging as monthly export volumes are increasingly erratic, as seen in the chart. If the chart retains validity in current markets, it is in part to show the contrast between what was once the case and what is now occurring.

Australian Softwood Log Exports by Size: Jan ’21 – Aug ‘23 (‘000 m3 and AUDFob/m3)

Source: ABS and IndustryEdge

Larger logs (diameter >15cm) dominate Australia’s exports, over most time periods. From 2021, the trend shifted away from favouring exports of the smaller diameter (<15 cm) logs. That appears to have changed over the last year, with larger dimension logs again dominating export data reports and growing strongly from some regions.

Over the year ended August 2023, exports of the smaller logs totalled 0.024 million m3 or 5.5% of the total, while shipments of larger logs totalled 0.412 million m3 (94.5%).

Differentiation of exports based on their diameter also allows for some price analysis. Export prices for the smaller sized logs have remained at a relatively stable price in recent months, moving through a narrow range, while the average price of the larger diameter logs has fluctuated.

In August, exports of the smaller logs were recorded at AUDFob130.28/m3, and the larger diameter logs were recorded at AUDFob136.32/m3.

Hardwood Log Exports to Malaysia significant – recent movement from Korea

Malaysia is the key recipient of Australian Hardwood log exports, having replaced China as the dominant market player. However, as the data shows, the last year, shipments to Malaysia have declined by almost two-thirds. Of recent note is the single large shipment to Korea, in June.

In July 2023, Australia’s hardwood log exports totalled a reported 3,299 m3 at an average price of just AUDFob405.01/m3. Moving on to August, hardwood log exports totalled 3,181 m3, nearly all exported from Queensland, (2,311 m3) followed by Victoria (801 m3).

Examined on a full-year basis, across the year-ended August 2023, hardwood log exports were down 45.7%, totalling 216,878 m3.

Australian Hardwood Log Exports by Country: Jan ’21 – Aug ’23 (‘000 m3)

Source: ABS and IndustryEdge

 

m3

China (Mainland)

Indonesia

Korea

Malaysia

Vietnam

Other

Total

YE Aug ’22

119

2,022

2,132

367,128

14,964

13,157

399,522

YE Aug ’23

5,137

47,200

128,072

19,017

17,451

216,878

% Change

4231.4%

-100.0%

2113.5%

-65.1%

27.1%

32.6%

-45.7%

 

The table below shows hardwood log exports by State for the last three months. Across the year-ended August 2023, exports from Tasmania dominated, accounting for 59% of all Australian exports. Inevitably, Tasmania ships significant volumes of hardwood logs to Malaysia.

Australian Hardwood Log Exports by State: Jun ‘23 – Aug ‘23 (m3)

m3

Jun-23

Jul-23

Aug-23

NSW

46,533.4

64.0

No State Details

NT

Qld

6,640.5

2,913.8

2,311.1

SA

Tas

38,279.7

Vic

243.7

384.9

800.6

WA

1.2

5.3

Total

91,507.5

3,298.7

3,181.0

Source: ABS and IndustryEdge

Posted Date: November 8, 2023

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