Log availability from commercial plantations revised down

Future log availability from Australia’s commercial plantations is forecast to decrease, according to Australia’s plantation log supply 2015 – 2059, released today by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).

Acting Executive Director of ABARES, Peter Gooday, said the volume of plantation logs harvested from Australia’s plantation estate has consistently grown over the past decade and now account for 85 per cent of all logs harvested in Australia.

“The total potential log availability from Australia’s commercial plantation estate is forecast to increase to an annual average of 29.7 million cubic metres in the 2015 to 2019 period,” Mr Gooday said.

“This increase will be followed by a decline to an annual average of 27.0 million cubic metres per year for the 2020 to 2024 period.”

The report finds that the availability of softwood sawlogs is forecast to remain steady at around 11.9 million cubic metres per year for the next 15 to 20 years, followed by an increase up to around 13 million cubic metres per year from 2030 to 2045.

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Compared with the 2012 log supply report, Mr Gooday said that the average forecast of total plantation log availability is 10 per cent lower in this report, with the average forecast of hardwood log availability 21 per cent lower and softwood log availability 2 per cent lower.

“The majority of the decline in total log availability is because the expected yield from hardwood plantations is forecast to decline, as plantations of low commerciality are not replanted and some lease agreements with landholders are not renewed,” Mr Gooday said.

“It is estimated that the total commercial plantation estate may decrease by around 80 000 to 100 000 hectares over the next 10 to 15 years.”

The report, Australia’s plantation log supply 2015 – 2059, is available at ABARES Publications.

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