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Forestry export demand weaker

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A developing oversupply of logs in China and continuing currency pressure has resulted in a small fall in New Zealand forestry export earnings for the latest quarter.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has this week released forestry production and trade figures for the December 2011 quarter.

The total value of New Zealand forestry exports for the quarter to 31 December 2011 was down $56.1 million on the previous December quarter, at NZ$1.1 billion.

But overall earnings were up for the 2011 calendar year (to 31 December), because China drove strong demand during the middle part of the year. The value of forestry exports increased by NZ$257.5 million to NZ$4.5 billion for the year.

Forestry still accounted for around 10 percent of New Zealand's total merchandise exports, at 9.8 percent for the 2011 calendar year (ending 31 December), compared with 10.2 percent the previous year.

Conditions were still challenging for the sawn timber industry, with total export earnings and volumes decreasing to NZ$751.0 million and 1.9 million cubic metres. MAF reports this is due to continuing weak housing sectors in the high-value United States and Australian markets, exacerbated by high exchange rates for key trading currencies.

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