New Zealand forestry export earnings fell in the latest quarter because of oversupply of logs in China and currency pressures, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
The total value of NZ forestry exports for the three months ended Dec. 31 fell $56 million from a year earlier to $1.1 billion, MAF said in its latest forestry production and trade figures.
Overall forestry earnings were up for the 2011 calendar year, because China drove strong demand during the middle part of the year. The value of forestry exports increased by NZ$257.5 million to NZ$4.5 billion in 2011.
Due to a continuing weak housing market in the US and Australian and a high kiwi dollar, conditions were challenging for the sawn timber industry in 2011.
Exports of sawn timber fell to $751 million, or 1.9 million cubic metres, MAF said.
Forestry accounted for 9.8 per cent of New Zealand's total merchandise exports in 2011, down from 10.2 per cent a year earlier, MAF said.By Sara Greig