Prices for New Zealand log exports have been showing signs of improvement, albeit slowly. However, a forestry consultant has emphasized the need for the sector to diversify its international markets in order to reduce its dependence on China. Despite the construction slowdown in China due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, export prices have strengthened this month. Notably, sales to China, which is New Zealand’s largest customer, have picked up. In November, prices increased by $9 compared to October, reaching approximately NZ$110 per Japanese Agricultural Standard metre-squared at the wharf gate of South Island ports. North Island exporters have also seen an increase of $5-10. Overall, the sales performance for log exporters has remained solid.
It is worth noting that New Zealand’s exports to China have been experiencing a decline. This decline has been observed in the log and wood sector, highlighting the need for the forestry industry to explore new international markets. While China has been a significant buyer of New Zealand logs, the sector must seek opportunities elsewhere to reduce its reliance on a single market. This diversification would not only help mitigate risks associated with over-reliance on one country but also open up new avenues for growth and expansion.
The forestry consultant stressed that finding alternative markets is crucial for the long-term sustainability of the New Zealand log export industry. While China’s demand for logs has been substantial, the recent decline in exports indicates a potential shift in market dynamics. Therefore, it is imperative for the sector to proactively identify and tap into emerging markets to secure its future. By expanding its customer base, the industry can mitigate the impact of any fluctuations or disruptions in a single market.
Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the New Zealand log export industry has shown resilience. The increase in export prices this month demonstrates the sector’s ability to adapt and find opportunities amidst a changing global landscape. However, it is crucial to maintain this momentum and continue seeking new markets to sustain growth.
Furthermore, the forestry consultant highlighted the importance of government support in facilitating market diversification. The government can play a crucial role in establishing trade agreements, providing market intelligence, and supporting industry initiatives to explore new markets. By working together, the government and the forestry sector can create a favorable environment for expanding exports and reducing reliance on any single market.
In conclusion, while New Zealand’s log export prices have shown signs of improvement, the forestry industry must actively seek new international markets to reduce its dependence on China. Diversifying the customer base will not only mitigate risks but also foster long-term sustainability and growth. The government’s support in this endeavor is crucial, and collaboration between the public and private sectors is key to unlocking new opportunities for the New Zealand log export industry.