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Solid growth predicted in wood product demand to 2050::

The consumption and import of major wood products in Australia is forecast to increase solidly out to 2050, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).

Executive Director of ABARES, Paul Morris, said the models and forecasts developed in Preliminary long-term forecasts of wood product demand in Australia provided a timely outlook for long-term demand of major wood products in Australia.

“The report forecasts sawnwood consumption to increase from about 5 million cubic metres in 2010–11 to 6.5 million cubic metres in 2049–50,” Mr Morris said.

“These trends in demand for sawnwood are influenced by housing activity – particularly by the number of dwelling commencements which is driven principally by population increases.”

Wood-based panel consumption is forecast to increase from about 2 million cubic metres in 2010–11 to 4.3 million cubic metres in 2049–50. The demand for wood-based panels shows a strong relationship with the value of renovations and the number of new multi-dwellings commenced in Australia.

Paper and paperboard consumption is forecast to increase from around 4 million tonnes in 2010–11 to 7.1 million tonnes in 2049–50. This forecast is influenced, in part, by increased demand by the manufacturing sector as well as some growth in demand for other uses, such as printing and writing paper.  Increased use of electronic information sources may have some moderating effect on demand for paper in some uses, such as newsprint.

“The models and forecasts developed in this report will also provide key inputs for ABARES’ Forest Resource Use Model (FORUM),” Mr Morris said.

“This will enable the use of FORUM to investigate future production and investment scenarios.”

ABARES also released today its latest statistics on Australia’s current plantation areas.

The Australian plantation statistics 2013 update report finds that the plantation estate remained virtually unchanged between 2011 and 2012, with increases or no change recorded in each of the National Plantation Inventory regions, except Western Australia and Central Gippsland.

Both reports, Preliminary long-term forecasts of wood product demand in Australia and Australian plantation statistics 2013 update, are available on the ABARES website.

01 June 2013