Japan reconstruction draws NZ wood panels
New Zealand wood panels are being used for reconstruction in Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has just released forestry production and trade figures for the April to June 2011 quarter.
The statistics show that roundwood removals reached an estimated 6.9 million cubic metres during the quarter. This is the ninth consecutive quarter of growth underpinned by the large volume of log exports, says Andrew Doube, MAF’s Acting Manager of Sector Infrastructure.
Demand from China continues to dominate New Zealand’s log market, accounting for 59.6 percent of total log export volumes this quarter - compared with 53.7 percent in the same quarter last year. Sawn timber production, meanwhile, continues to be impacted by high domestic log prices and weak domestic and international demand. It fell by 7.8 percent to 990,000 cubic metres during the quarter.
A pickup in demand from Japan, where wood is traditionally used for housing construction, has helped push up total panel production by 9.9 percent this quarter to 516,000 cubic metres. Wood panel exports to Japan accounted for 48.2 percent of total panel export volumes this quarter, up from 40 percent in the June 2010 quarter. Exports to Japan of fibreboard, plywood and particleboard were also up.
“Demand from Japan is expected to be strong over the year, as the rebuild of affected areas gathers momentum,” says Doube. For further information, see the full June 2011 quarter report at