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Forest products exports holding Up



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Media release ABARE

GPO Box 1563 Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone (06) 272 2000 Facsimile (06) 272 2001 International code 616 http://www.abare.gov.au

14 July 1998

Forest products exports holding u p

‘The value of forest products exported by Australia in the first three quarters of 1997-98 was $933 million, 16 per cent above the $803 million exported in the corresponding period of 1996-97’, Tom Waring, manager of ABARF.’s Minerals, Energy and Resources Branch, said today when releasing the Australian Forest Products Statistics for the March quarter 1998.

‘Higher levels of woodchip, and paper and paperboard exports have offset the effect on export earnings of recent-falls in log and sawnwood exports to Asia’, Mr Waring said. Both Australia and New Zealand have experienced a sharp downturn in log exports to South Korea. Australian woodchip exports to Japan, however, were over a million tonnes (dry basis) for the third quarter in a row. Overall, the value of forest products exports is forecast to rise to $1.2 billion in 1997-98.

The value of forest products imports in the first three quarters of 1997-98 was $2016 million, 4.7 per cent more than imports in the corresponding period of 1996-97. Imports of sawnwood and wood based panels fell in the March quarter, despite the increased attractiveness of the Australian market for New Zealand producers in the wake of the fall in sawnwood demand in Asia. Imports of paper and paperboard rose, notably newsprint, and printing and writing paper. ‘The value of forest products imports is forecast to rise to $2.6 billion in 1997-98’, Mr Waring said.

Locally, the continuing recovery in dwelling construction is increasing demand for structural sawnwood, with consumption of sawnwood and wood based panels in the March quarter 1998 being 12 per cent and 18 per cent higher respectively than in the March quarter 1997. Consumption

eased seasonally in the March quarter 1998 from the December quarter 1997, but the fall was lower in percentage terms than the equivalent seasonal fall in the previous year.

‘Production of sawnwood and wood based panels in the March quarter 1998 was significantly higher than in the March quarter 1997, with millers having increased production in response to slightly firmer prices and higher domestic demand’, Mr Waring said.

For further information, contact Graham Love on (02) 6272 2055. For copies of Australian Forest Products Statistics,

contact Denise Flamia on (02) 6272 2211. For general media enquiries, contact Margaret Day on (02) 6272 3347 or on 018 487 825.

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