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Australian Softwood Log Exports Surged in June

August 10, 2020
Author: Tim Woods

Australia’s softwood log exports exploded to a new monthly record in June, with total exports reaching a massive 590,689 cubic meters (m3), up more than 83% on the prior month. To underscore the magnitude of the monthly record, this is more than 27% or 110,000 m3 higher than for any prior month.

Until May, exports had been softening for some months. As a result of the rise in May and the massive lift in June, exports for 2019-20 totaled 3.723 million m3. While that was 2.8% higher than a year earlier, the softening in late 2019 and early 2020 means annualized exports are still well below their 4.072 million m3 peak reached in September 2017.

Formal data, released just hours ago, confirmed vessel tracking data and industry anecdotes that indicated run away demand from Chinese plymill and sawmill customers, who are extremely active, acquiring all the resource they can.


Whether from Australia or New Zealand, buyers have been strong in the market, despite reportedly large inventories, over fears that pandemic induced close downs would short them of supply at some point in the second half of 2020. Given the situation in some parts of Australia, that concern does not seem entirely unfounded.

The following chart, extracted from our visualization platform, Wood Market Edge online, shows just the last year of softwood log exports from Australia, emphasizing the magnitude of the latest rise.


In other breaking news available on Wood Market Edge online, our implied sawn softwood consumption model shows that once again, demand for sawn softwood defied expectations in June. Instead of falling, consumption increased, led higher by sustained local sales, supported by stable imports of structural grades.


Wood Market Edge – Data & Analysis Service

Wood Market Edge provides the most comprehensive monthly trade and market analysis of wood products available in Australia. Covering all relevant products and trade and economic information, Wood Market Edge provides the market pulse for:

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  • Panel and Engineered Wood Products

Wood Market Edge Data & Analysis Subscription provides detailed data, the highest quality visualizations and crisp, insightful analysis, all on a single platform. Subscribers to Wood Market Edge online are able to create and export charts, customize and download data files and personalize their dashboards on the SilvaStat360 platform.

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