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‘Stronger than expected…’ sales of most softwood grades: ABARES

Actual sales of most grades of sawn softwood were ‘stronger than expected’ according to ABARES’ latest forecasts of domestic softwood sales. Three of the four grades assessed – including the largest structural grades – experienced sales growth above the most recent forecasts, but largely within range. 

The only product for which sales were below forecast were Landscaping products. However, sales of this grade are forecast to grow, while sales of some of the other products are forecast to decline over the year to the end of September.

The details are set out below.

Treated Structural – 3.5% growth by September Quarter 2019

Actual sales of aggregate treated structural pine in the September 2018 quarter (214,489 m3) were stronger than expected, exceeding the August 2018 forecast (203,358 m3) by 5.5 per cent or 11,131 m3. Sales volumes for September 2018 were well within the 95 per cent prediction intervals for all previous forecasts.

fig23

Looking forward, the updated forecasts for the December 2018 quarter onwards have been revised upwards with sales forecast to fall in the December 2018 quarter by 3.2 per cent to 207,561 m3, in line with the seasonal construction cycle. 

Sales are expected to fall again in the March 2019 quarter by 0.4 per cent before increasing in the June 2019 quarter by 3.5 per cent and increasing again in the September 2019 quarter by 3.8 per cent. Sales are expected to be around 221,911 m3 (3.5 per cent higher than current sales) in September 2019.

Structural (untreated) < 120mm – 6.2% lower by September 2019

Actual sales of structural pine < 120mm in the September 2018 quarter (199,882 m3) were stronger than expected, exceeding the August 2018 forecast (193,008 m3) by 3.6 per cent or 6,874 m3.  The actual sales during September 2018 fell within the 95 per cent prediction interval for all previous forecasts.  

fig24

Looking forward, the forecasts for the December 2018 quarter onwards have been revised upwards, with sales expected to fall by 12.3 per cent to 175,341 m3 in the December 2018 quarter, in line with the seasonal construction cycle. 

Sales are expected to fall again in the March 2019 quarter by 4.8 per cent before increasing in the June 2019 quarter by 6.4 per cent and increasing again in the September 2019 quarter by 5.5 per cent. Sales are expected to be around 187,406 m3 (6.2 per cent lower than current sales) in September 2019.

Structural (untreated) > 120mm – forecast to fall 10.0% by September 2019

Actual sales of structural pine > 120mm in the September 2018 quarter (17,938m3) were stronger than expected, exceeding the August 2018 forecast (16,310 m3) by 10 per cent or 1,629 m3.  

fig25

Looking forward, the updated forecasts for the December 2018 quarter onwards have been revised upwards slightly with sales expected to fall by 15.2 per cent in the December 2018 quarter, in line with the seasonal construction cycle. 

Sales are expected to fall again in the March 2019 quarter by 5.0 per cent before increasing in the June 2019 quarter by 6.2 per cent and increasing again in the September 2019 quarter by 5.3 per cent. Sales are expected to be around 16,158 m3 (10.0 per cent lower than current sales) in September 2019.

Landscaping products

Actual sales of landscaping products in the September 2018 quarter (37,735 m3) were weaker than expected, falling below the August 2018 forecasts (47,829 m3) by 21.1 per cent, or 10,094 m3. Actual sales volumes for September 2018 were outside the 95 per cent prediction interval for the previous forecast.

fig26

Looking forward, the updated forecasts for the December 2018 quarter onwards have been revised downwards with sales expected to increase 14.8 per cent in the December 2018 quarter, in line with the historic seasonal cycle. 

Sales are expected to fall in the March 2019 quarter by 15.2 per cent before increasing in the June 2019 quarter by 4.9 per cent and increasing again in the September 2019 quarter by 18.9 per cent. Sales are expected to be around 45,845 m3 (21.0 per cent higher than current sales) in September 2019.

 

Posted Date: December 12, 2018

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