Australia’s commercial log plantations yield less

THE Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) is forecasting a decrease in the  future log availability from Australia’s commercial plantations.

In its report, Australia’s plantation log supply 2015–2059, released recently by the acting executive director of ABARES, Peter Gooday, the volume of plantation logs harvested from Australia’s plantation estate has been shown to consistently grown over the past decade. It now accounts for 85 percent 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 found that the availability of softwood sawlogs was 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.

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