Exports decreased 8.0% in volume to nearly 15.8 million tonnes and imports decreased 7.8% to just over 9.0 million tonnes for the year ended 30 June 2020.
In the first half of the financial year, log volumes were hit by lower international prices and demand. By March positive signs were emerging in China, New Zealand’s major log export market, as business there returned to normal and demand increased.
However, forestry was deemed a non-essential industry during New Zealand’s Level 4 lockdown from late March. Log inventory stored at the Mount Maunganui wharves could be shipped to make way for essential cargoes, but cart-in did not resume through the port gates until early May.
Overall, log volumes decreased 21.5% compared with the previous year, to 5.5 million tonnes. Sawn timber exports decreased 10.4% in volume. Pulp and paper exports increased slightly over the full year.
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