ABARE figures suggest forest products industry bouncing back

medium_Image, Young Eucalpypts reaching for the sky, 18 Feb, 2014.jpgThe 200 000 regional Australians reliant on income from the forest products industries can breathe a little easier after the release of the latest set of industry statistics from ABARES.
While highlighting the continuing challenges to some quarters of the industry, the Australian Forest and Wood Products Statistics (AFWPS) show clear green-shoots including a healthy 51% increase in woodchip exports and an all-time high for paper products exports of 1.13 million tonnes.
Australian Forest Products Association CEO, Mr Ross Hampton said, ‘When looked at with the State of the Forests Report 2013 (SOFR 2013), issued in March, these represent a ringing endorsement of Australia’s world leading sustainable forest management practices and the value of forest products to the economy’.
It should be noted that SOFR 2013 reports, “ … no reduction in the areas of rainforest, multiple-use public forest, or forest in any of the Regional Forest Agreement regions compared with SOFR 2008”.
Mr Hampton said, ‘We must remember that the ABARES statistics are a ‘lag indicator’ showing us how things were in the industry over the past two years. The significant upturn in the latter part of the reporting period is something to celebrate coupled with increased growth in key production indicators over the current financial year.
‘The future looks bright for the forest products industry and we are pleased with the recent upturn in
woodchip exports and other domestic production indicators along with the Australian Newspaper’s
editorial today which clearly states the value of traditional newsprint.
‘We are confident that the Federal Government recognises the importance of the forest products industry, not only in trade terms, but also to regional Australia and the industry’s role in lowering reliance on carbon intensive building materials.
‘These latest statistics reinforce how important it is that the Federal Government listens to the States who have unanimously endorsed AFPA’s proposal for a better coordinated approach to industry R&D through a National Institute for Forest Products Innovation,‘ said Mr Hampton.
ABARES Report - http://goo.gl/fFdujf