Hundreds of jobs are at risk across Northland's forestry sector as a sharp fall in the value of logs exported to China threatens to stop local harvest.

However, Minister of Forestry Shane Jones wants to see prices drop even further which he says will help the local housing market that requires more timber.

Plummeting prices stems from logs sitting on the wharves at ports in China, not being sent to construction projects inland.

It has brought a sharp correction to a trend of strong growth that saw export revenue for logs rise from $4.683 billion in 2015 to $6.382 bn