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The State of Timber in Australia: an Overview

Whether you are building a home or adding timber decking to your current home, the state of the timber industry in Australia is important. At Narangba Timbers, we like you to know that you are getting the highest quality timber for the best prices, while helping the economy and the environment.

We would like to provide more information for you from the March 2015 report by the Forest Industry Advisory Council to the Minister of Agriculture.

In our last post, we provided an introduction to why this document is so important. We also provided some facts about the timber industry. Here is an overview of the industry and what we will be covering in subsequent posts.

The Numbers

Despite our seemingly limitless natural resources, we still import more timber products than we export. We import plywood, sawnwood and softwood. We exported $2.5 billion in timber products in 2013-14, but we imported $4.6 billion.

16% of Australia’s land, or 123 million hectares, consists of forests. Globally, the number is 4 billion hectares, giving us approximately 3% of the forest area in the world and making us the 7th largest forest area in the world.

36.6 million of those 123 million hectares are available or potentially available to be used for timber production. 7.5 million of those hectares are from public, multi-use forests and 29.1 million are on private or commercial properties. The private properties aren’t always the best for forestry. Factors such as remoteness, terrain and the landholder’s intent all combine to determine the sustainability for harvesting.

There are slightly over 1 million hectares of softwood plantation land, most of it radiata pine. This is turned into veneer and sawlog for sale in Australia. There are also slightly less than 1 million hectares of hardwood plantation land, most of it shining gum and southern blue gum, which is turned into pulpwood.

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