This indicator provides information on the relative importance of international trade in wood and wood products to domestic production and consumption. Wood and wood product exports can be a significant source of revenue for domestic economies. Imports may supplement or substitute for production from domestic forest sources.
New Zealand has a well-managed sustainable planted forest estate of some 2.1 million hectares (gross) – the net figure is 1.7 million hectares. The extent of the commercial forest resource, the typical growth rates (cubic metres per hectare per annum) and the size of the New Zealand population (estimated to be 4.5 million as of May 2014), mean domestic demand accounts for less than 20 percent of total current production (see Indicator 6.1.d).
The country is highly dependent on international trade, and most of New Zealand’s wood harvest is destined for overseas markets. Wood and wood products are the third-largest export industry in New Zealand. Over the 2007–14 period, revenue from wood and wood product exports, which were worth $3.2 billion a year in 2007 and $5.2 billion a year in 2014, accounts for between 8 percent and 10 percent of the country’s merchandise exports.
For the 2014 (June) year, the total harvest was 30.6 million cubic metres of which 25.2 million cubic metres (in roundwood equivalents) were exported as logs, poles, lumber, panel products, joinery, furniture, pulp, paper and other miscellaneous forest products.
New Zealand imports wood and wood products to meet some of its domestic requirements. In 2014 there was an increase in the level (roundwood equivalents) from 2.4 million to 3.4 million, despite the fact that local harvest in 2014 was almost 50 percent higher than in 2007 and total domestic consumption 10 percent lower (with apparent consumption per capita 14 percent lower than in 2007). Furniture, paper and paperboard are the main imported items.
For 2014, New Zealand’s estimated domestic per capita consumption increased significantly to 1.975 cubic metres per capita per annum – which is almost back to the levels applying before the global financial crisis.
Imports currently account for 30 percent of the volume of total consumption. Since 2007, the values of paper and paperboard exports have been suppressed to comply with the confidentiality rules applied by Statistic New Zealand.
Over the 2007–14 period, revenue from wood and wood product exports were worth $3.2 billion a year in 2007 and $5.2 billion a year in 2014.
In 2007, the product imported represented nearly 2.5 million cubic metres (in roundwood equivalents). For 2008, imported product was equivalent to 2.8 million cubic metres (roundwood equivalents). With the global financial crisis, this dropped to 2.1 million cubic metres for 2009. Imports then stabilised at around 2.4 million cubic metres per annum for the next four years. However, 2014 saw an increase in the level (roundwood equivalents) from 2.4 million to 3.4 million
In 2007, New Zealand’s estimated domestic consumption was 8.4 million cubic metres. Per capita consumption was just over 2 cubic metres in that year and 2.1 cubic metres in 2008. With the global financial crisis, per capita consumption dropped to 70 percent of that previously applying, and, since 2010, per capita consumption has slowly inched up around 1.7 cubic metres to 1.8 cubic metres per annum in the 2011–13 period. For 2014, per capita consumption increased significantly to 1.975 cubic metres per capita per annum – which is almost back to the levels applying before the global financial crisis.