6.1.f Value and volume in roundwood equivalents of exports and imports of wood products


The indicator provides information about the value and volume of a country’s exports and imports in wood products and their contribution to the domestic economy. International trade in wood products may be a significant factor in the management, commercial use and economic value of forests.

Current state

Roundwood removals (currently about 30 million cubic metres per year) far exceed New Zealand’s domestic consumption of wood products (see Indicator 6.1.d). At present, in excess of 56 percent of the annual harvest (over 17 million cubic metres) is exported as logs and, in total, over 80 percent (nearly 82 percent for the June 2014 year) of the harvest volume is exported either as logs or processed product. The 44 percent of harvest that is not directly exported as logs is currently processed into a range of products for both domestic and export markets. While for the processed products the split between domestic consumption and export varies depending on the specific product, across all processed products around half of the total volume (in roundwood equivalent terms) is exported.

New Zealand imports a little less than NZ$1.5 billion of wood products per year. The 2014 year has seen an increase in imports in volume and value terms. This increase is associated with imports of sawn timber and panels and is possibly associated with the ongoing rebuild of Christchurch following the earthquake damage in 2010/2011.

Despite the recent growth in the volume (roundwood equivalents) of sawn timber imports, sawn timber is not a big component of overall imports. Paper and panel products typically account for over 85 percent to 90 percent of the roundwood equivalent volume of imports, with paper and “other” products accounting for about 90 percent of the value. In roundwood terms, the volume of imports is only 14 percent to 20 percent of the volume of exports, while in value terms imports are 18 percent to 28 percent of the value of exports.


The main features of New Zealand’s international trade in forest products over the past 14 years are:

  • falling export volumes (as roundwood equivalents) and export returns between 2001 and 2008, principally because of reduced volumes of log exports
  • a period of dramatic growth in both the volume and per unit value of log exports between 2008 and 2014
  • increased export earnings from $3.2 billion to $5.2 billion between 208 and 2014. Virtually all of the change in forestry’s export fortunes is due to log exports
  • annual volumes and the values of processed product exports (sawn timber, wood pulp, paper, panel and other products) have been virtually constant throughout the 14-year period
  • an increase in the volume and value of imports from 2001 to 2004 associated with growth in paper imports, reflectinga static local paper industry
  • imports from 2004 to 2013 were relatively static in volume terms at about 2.5 million cubic metres of roundwood equivalent per annum. During this period, there was a small upward trend in the total value of imports, reflecting growth in the unit value of “other” forest products imports.

Trend Status

Data Quality H

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