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Timber industry to lift with housing demand

The Australian timber industry expects a better housing market, both here and in the US, will boost global demand for timber. Source: ABC Rural

Timber exports have slumped by 10% in value last year and Australia has had a trade deficit of wood products of around $2 billion a year for the last 10 years.

The turnover of the sector was about $22 billion in 2010.

The industry has suffered from a weak housing market in the US, the strong Australian dollar, and a collapse in the woodchip market for paper products, after the tsunami in Japan.

Ric Sinclair, managing director of the industry’s research body Forest and Wood Products Australia, said that’s turning around.

“You’re starting to see in the last couple of months, some green shoots starting to occur, if people’s predictions are that the housing market will pick up later this financial year, and into the next one.

“This last 12 months have been the lowest for the last 15 years, and that’s obviously pulled away a lot of demand.”