The Australian forest industry has continued its growth of recent years, with plantations, exports and the volume of logs harvested all increasing over the past financial year, according to a new ABARE report. The report, Australian Forest and Wood Products Statistics, was released today by the Executive Director of ABARE, Mr Phillip Glyde.Also the total area of plantation in Australia grew by 5 per cent in 2007, having been driven by continued investment in short rotation eucalyptus plantations. The significant investment in the plantation sector over the past 10 years is beginning to show benefits according to the study, with a 10 per cent increase in total forest product exports over the financial year. "This represents an addition of $215 million to Australia's export earnings," Mr Glyde said. "This includes a 42 per cent increase in the volume of sawnwood exports and a 13 per cent increase in the value of woodchips exported." "The performance in 2006-07 underlines the strong position of Australia's forest industry. "During the previous 10 year period, the volume of logs harvested from our broadleaved plantations increased 25-fold and forest product exports almost doubled," Mr Glyde said. Other highlights noted in the report include the recovery of wood-based panel production in the first two quarters of 2007-08, and in excess of 3 million tonnes of paper collected for recycling for the second consecutive year. Mr Glyde acknowledged the support of Forest and Wood Products Australia for providing funding for the survey of the industry.
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