The ABARE-BRS publication Australian Forest and Wood Products Statistics has found that domestic demand for structural timber products increased significantly due to housing demand across Australia, which grew by 25% in 2009-10.

ABARE-BRS executive director, Phillip Glyde said: “This provided support for the domestic sawnwood and wood based panel sectors, with consumption of wood based panels rising by 2.8% over the year.”

However, there were some signs of weakness in export markets for forest products.

The value of Australia’s forest product exports decreased by 3.6% in 2009-10, continuing the decline that began in the middle of the last financial year.

Much of this decline was led by continued weak demand for Australian woodchip exports, the value of which fell by 14% per cent in 2009-10.