No joy for woodchippers in forestry statistics: comment on ABARES Australian forest and wood products statistics: March and June quarters 2016

Eden woodchippers can take no joy from these figures.

The national increase in the woodchip export value reflects the increasing dominance of higher quality plantation sourced woodchips in the market and the premium prices they attract.

ANWE is the last native forest woodchipper in NSW and, unlike the former owner SEFE, must sink or swim without a parent company in Japan to protect it from market forces.

Unlike Japanese paper manufacturing companies, Chinese paper manufacturers are still willing to buy native forest woodchips, but only for prices at which ANWE would struggle to break even.

Pacific rim countries such as Chile and New Zealand have given up native forest logging and virtually all reputable paper manufacturers in Japan now use only plantation souced woodchips.

While ANWE continues to process native forest trees, it will find itself in a race to the bottom in the Chinese market, where lower quality, lower environmental standards and lower prices will be the order of the day.

For copy of the ABARES report in question see


7 November 2016