NZ log exports down 6.3% in 2020

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New Zealand’s log exports declined 6.3% in 2020, falling to 20.080 million m3 in the tumultuous year. As the year drew to a close, exports in December totalled 1.845 million m3, down 4.4% on the prior month but a solid 8.6% higher than exports recorded in December 2019.

Over the course of 2020, log exports from New Zealand were disrupted significantly by the country’s pandemic-related lockdown in April, when exports fell to just 0.565 million m3, before rebounding over the remainder of the year.

As the chart below shows – created in IndustryEdge’s visualisation platform, Wood Market Edge online – after tracking down since the end of 1Q19, New Zealand’s exports bottomed in April 2020, since when they have grown steadily, as has the average export price.


In December 2020, the average export price had lifted to USDFob108.66/m3, in a sustained rally.

Notably, as with many commodities, the main importing country is China, whose appetite dictates the strength of the market over all time periods.

One area of interest in the trade right now is whether New Zealand’s log exporters are benefitting because of Chinese import bans on Australian logs. For those interested in that topic, IndustryEdge will have Australia’s log exports for December loaded to Wood Market Edge online on 5th February, literally hours after the formal data is first released. We will endeavour to share the headline information as soon as it becomes available.

Wood Market Edge online subscribers can click here to log in, interrogate the detailed data for all of New Zealand and Australia’s imports, exports and significant consumption of wood products, as well as keeping up to date with IndustryEdge’s leading analysis and ongoing market commentary.

To learn more about Wood Market Edge online, click here.

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