More log exports despite falling price

Despite falling log prices, new figures show New Zealand exported more logs and wood in June 2019 than in the same month last year.

Stats NZ said in June 2019, the value of all goods exported rose $136 million (2.8 percent) from June 2018 to reach $5.0 billion.

Exports of logs and wood led the rise in exports, up $65 million (16 percent) from June 2018 to $472 million in June 2019. 

Logs and woods are the third-largest goods export group, behind milk powder, butter, and cheese ($1.1 billion) and meat and edible offal ($678 million).

The rise in logs and wood was led by untreated logs, up $55 million (20 percent) on a year earlier. 

The quantity rose 26 percent and unit values fell 4.6 percent.

"The average value of untreated log exports fell to $163 a cubic metre in June, down from a recent high of $177 in February," said international statistics manager Geraldine Duoba.

New Zealand exports of untreated logs to China were worth about $3.0 billion in the past year, or 80 percent of the $3.8 billion in total untreated log exports.

Of New Zealand's main export markets, China had the largest increase in exports, up $297 million (27 percent) from June 2018 to $1.4 billion in June 2019.  

The rise was led by beef, milk powder, and untreated logs.

"Strong growth in exports to China continues to offset a slowdown in the value of sales to other key markets such as Australia and the EU," she said.

"China is New Zealand's largest goods export market, making up 28 percent of all goods exports, and the fastest-growing of our main export markets."

Meanwhile, imports of fuel (down $328 million) led a fall in goods imports of $515 million (10 percent) to $4.6 billion in June 2019 compared with June 2018. 

This was the lowest level for imports since the $4.3 billion recorded in February 2018.