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Forestry Overview

Production levels were estimated to hit a six-year high in 2016-17, with most of the growth in the softwood sector. A growing population, expanding construction sector, and demand for dwellings are all contributing to increasing forestry production levels. Strong demand from China has meant this is now NSW’s most dominant market replacing a traditionally strong Japanese market.

10 % yoy GVP
2 % Contribution to
GVP growth
Export Icon Exports grew by 51 % yoy

NSW DPI developed the NSW Forestry Industry Roadmap in consultation with industry, to ensure an economically viable and ecologically sustainable sector into the future.


Industry growth is largely being driven by expansion of the softwood industry, with softwood plantation areas steadily increasing along with softwood log production.

Log production was expected to hit the highest level since 2010-11, with softwood production expected to reach record levels.

Hardwood production was estimated to decline by an annual rate of 1.8%. Specifically, native hardwood log production was estimated to fall 3.4%, while plantation hardwood was expected to increase by 32% year on year.

NSW Plantation Area and Establishment


Exports experienced significant annual growth up 51% in value on the year prior. However this is still down significantly on the peaks of 2010-11, where exports reached $192 million.

China has replaced Japan as NSW’s major export market, where wood in the rough is the predominant Chinese export. Japan had previously taken large amounts of fuel wood for power generation, however a recent push to increase domestic biomass power generation has reduced NSW exports to negligible levels in recent years.

NSW Forestry Export Value

Download The Publication

Download the full publication which profiles the key drivers and provides statistics across a number of key primary industry sectors. Analysis of key factors for each industry will detail the impact on the GVP performance for each industry.