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New Zealand’s softwood log exports

Reflecting on New Zealand’s softwood log exports to China in 2023, ResourceWise data indicates a 5% increase compared with 2022. However, a closer look at the numbers reveals a 4% decrease from 2021, highlighting exporters’ challenges in adapting to a weakened Chinese economy. Source: ResourceWise

China has consistently been a significant player in New Zealand’s softwood log exports. Therefore, the nation’s changing economy has impacted New Zealand’s log export volume. While China still maintains a robust import relationship with New Zealand, recent figures indicate a slight dip in volume.

The decrease in China’s imports of logs from New Zealand since 2021 aligns with the overall trend of declining log and lumber imports in China. The majority of the trend has been driven by a decrease in demand for forest products.

According to a report from Wood Market Prices from ResourceWise in January, China’s combined annual imports of logs and lumber in 2023 were at their lowest in 12 years, with log imports experiencing the most significant drop.

The current state of China’s forest products sector plays a pivotal role in understanding the dynamics of New Zealand’s softwood log exports. In recent years, China has experienced a shift in its economic activities, with a particular impact on its construction and manufacturing industries.

These industries are significant consumers of forest products such as softwood logs for construction and furniture manufacturing, among others. Economic slowdowns and policy changes have led to fluctuations in demand within China’s forest product sector.

Further exacerbating these trends are global environmental policies and China’s own reforestation e!orts aimed at achieving sustainability and reducing reliance on imports.

This complex interplay of economic shifts and policy initiatives directly influences the demand for imported softwood logs, reflecting on trade relations with countries like New Zealand.

ResourceWise’s latest Market Insights report takes a close look at historical and current figures relating to New Zealand’s softwood log export market. This includes pine sawlog export prices, import numbers from China and South Korea, and New Zealand’s export figures to diverse regions. Readers can also gain valuable insight into the future projections for the trajectory of New Zealand’s softwood log exports.