18 Nov 2013

Soaring log prices outshine 2011 export year

6:14 pm on 18 November 2013

Primary industry analyst NZX Agrifax says the forestry sector is performing strongly, and exports this year have been setting high marks for both volume and value.

China's demand for wood has led to massive shipments of New Zealand logs.

During the third financial quarter, New Zealand's log sendings to China were over three million cubic metres, a 40% year-on-year increase, and made up 71% of New Zealand's total log exports.

Over the past month, prices have reached their highest levels yet, with A-grade logs fetching $114 a tonne, delivered to the wharf gate.

This 23% year-on-year rise is the driver for most other rises in export log prices, says Agrifax analyst Ivan Luketina .

Though the export prices this year have not spiked to the same height as in 2011, the consistent performance means export values have been higher for longer.

The average A-grade price delivered to the wharf this year has been an average of $109/tonne, compared to an average price of $96/tonne for the whole of 2011, and $86/tonne in 2012.

The value of log exports in the first three quarters of this year have reached just under $1.7 billion - greater than the previous record of $1.65 billion of log exports during the whole of 2011.