​Media release

Unprecedented growth in Australia’s forestry sector

3 November 2016

The Australian forestry sector is experiencing unprecedented growth according to the latest Australian forest and wood products statistics - March and June quarters 2016 report by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, today welcomed the report and said it showed very positive trends for the sector.

"The volume and value of logs harvested in Australia are estimated to have reached record levels in 2015-16 through strong demand both at home and overseas, and optimal international trading conditions," Minister Ruston said.

"This is the third year of consecutive growth for the industry with the value of logs harvested in Australia approaching $2.3 billion in 2015–16.

"Much of the growth at home has been linked to a record rise in residential construction. We've seen a 5.1 per cent increase in dwelling commencements, bringing the total to a record 229,600 units. This is major driver for the strong domestic demand for wood products.

"Internationally, the report shows that China is by far our largest export destination, accounting for 43 per cent of Australia's total wood product exports, with Japan and New Zealand also major markets for our wood product exports.

"Exports of wood products are now valued at over $3 billion dollars, with exports to China exceeding $1.3 billion.

"This is fantastic news for the estimated 64,300 Australians employed in forestry, logging and wood manufacturing, and their families.

"We have a strong, sustainable forestry industry that operates at the highest ecological, social and ethical standards and is an important contributor to the Australian economy. It is a pleasure to see it performing more strongly than ever."

​For a copy of the report visit agriculture.gov.au/abares/publications.