SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – The Australian sawn timber industry is experiencing a temporary threat from imports as a result of a strong dollar and a global surplus of timber following the Global Financial Crisis, according to BIS Shrapnel, an independent economic forecaster.
In the two years to 2011, imports have increased by 30%. However, imports are not a significant long- term threat, as they are still well below the historical levels of 20 years ago.
BIS Shrapnelsaid it believes that 2013 will continue to present challenges for the Aussie lumber industry from imports. However, by 2014, international and domestic conditions are expected to be more favorable to producers as the dollar declines. Global demand for timber will also improve in response to a stronger housing market in the U.S. and strong demand in Asian markets.
The report projects that the demand for sawn timber in Australia during the next decade will be driven by sharp growth in the building and construction sector. Due to the current undersupply of residential dwellings in Australia, Shrapnel forecasts the residential construction sector, which uses more than 70% of the sawn timber produced locally, will grow particularly strongly during 2014 and 2015.
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