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Value of Exports Rises Thanks to Chips

The year-on-year value of Australia’s wood products exports rose to their highest level in more than seven years in February, rising to AUD1,370.2 million. After twenty-one consecutive months of growth, the value of Australia’s wood products exports is certain to continue to rise for at least the next few months. Although other products have contributed, the lift is almost exclusively attributable to the value of woodchip exports.

Displayed in the chart below are Australia’s total wood products exports, by value, since June 2009.


The total value of exports hit a high in December 2015 at AUD140.2 million. Although there was a decline, in line with seasonal expectation, in January, the value of February exports was AUD134.6 million, the second highest month in the series and the highest value of February exports on record.

The role of woodchips (4401) – particularly hardwoods – cannot be over-estimated. As the chart below shows, for the year to the end of February, as with the year to the end of every other month, woodchip exports dominate the value of total exports. Their only potential competitor is logs (4403), especially softwoods, but increasingly hardwoods also. 


To put the data into some context, for the year to end of February 2015, woodchip exports accounted for 65.5% of the total and logs a fast growing 23.6%. To some extent, the rising value of log exports is detracting from woodchip exports, at least on the assumption that a reasonable proportion of logs (or proportion of the wood in them anyway) are destined for Asian chip piles. 

Despite global prices being suppressed due to weak demand for paper, the depreciation of the Australian Dollar is assisting Australian hardwood chip producers to at least ensure their volumes are high. This is driving up the value of total exports.

For further details, go to the FWPA Data Dashboard. 


Posted Date: April 29, 2015

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