Logs from Australia plantations set to grow
Log supply from Australia’s timber plantations is set to increase substantially according to a new report, released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).
Australia’s plantation log supply 2010-2054 forecasts the volume of plantation logs available for timber production will increase from nearly 26 million cubic metres per year in the 2010- 14 period to reach an annual peak at 33 million cubic metres in the 2030-34 period.
ABARES Executive Director, Paul Morris, said the forecast continues a recent trend in Australia, which has seen the volume of plantation logs harvested grow in recent years, now accounting for 74 per cent of all logs harvested in Australia.
“In order to understand likely future changes, this report provides forecasts of the future supply of logs from plantations nationally and by the major plantation regions,” Mr Morris said.
“The report also forecasts the volumes of broadleaved and coniferous logs produced in each region, as well as the volumes of sawlogs and pulp logs.”
Significant growth is forecast in the availability of sawlogs and pulp logs from broadleaved plantations, increasing to about 13 million cubic metres per year by the 2015-19 period.
“In the 2005-29 period, the total national supply of broadleaved plantation sawlogs is forecast to average 1.3 million cubic metres a year, up from 136 000 cubic metres in 2009- 10,” Mr Morris said. “By comparison, total broadleaved sawlog production from native forests in 2009-10 was around 2.5 million cubic metres.”
The National Plantation Inventory has been collecting data and reporting on plantations established primarily for timber production in Australia since 1993. “This report will help companies, governments, community groups, researchers and others assess issues and opportunities for the plantation timber industry,” Mr Morris said.