The following is a 1999 attempt at some state and national statistics. Logging rates, export rates, prices etc are sure to have changed. The Sustainability Review for State Forests in Victoria, and the RFAs occurred after this document was written. Sawlog harvesting figures have probably gone down, while pulplog harvesting figures have probably gone up.
VICTORIA: FOREST USE AND WOOD CONSUMPTION
22.7 million hectares - about 3% of Australia's land mass
In 1869, 88% of Victoria was forested (around 20 million ha.)
In 1987, 35% of Victoria was forested (around 8 million ha.)
8.4 million ha. (over one third ) is public land. 85% of whichis forested ( 7.2m. ha.)
14.3 million hectares is private land, which has 5% forest cover ( 700,000 ha.)
3.97 million hectares is parks and reserves
3.3 million hectares is State Forest
1 million hectares is other public land
ANNUAL LOGGING IN PUBLIC NATIVE FOREST
1.3 million hectares is State Forest available for logging, (2), of which 12,000 hectares of public native forest is clearfelled annually, (3), to produce 2 million m3 of wood.(1,2)
1 million m3 of sawlogs are taken from Victorian State Forests annually. (2) These sawlogs produce a recovery of approximately 20-40% sawn timber, resulting in between 200.000 and 400.000m3 sawn timber .
The remainder is classed as either sawmill residue or waste. The residue (500,000 m3) is generally chipped The waste (200,000 m3) is generally disposed of.
Sawlogs are often sourced from 1939 (Black Friday) eucalypt regrowth.
50% of all logs cut in Victoria in 1993 were wrongly graded (12).
The official amount of Pulplogs cut annually comes to 1,500,000 m3, although a great deal more is cut but not classed as a pulplog unless it is sold as such. Unsold wood, which is either stoockpiled or destroyed, does not get included in the tally.
Of this 1,500,000 m3 of native hardwood chips : approximately
800,000 tonnes of chips were used by Victorian factories(2) and
500,000 tonnes of chips were exported.(2) from Geelong.
300,000 remainder accounts for additional exports via NSW, sawdust and general waste.
About one eighth of Australia's sawlog and pulplog harvest of public native forest is from Victoria (2 million m3 of a total 16.4 million m3 nationally).
FIREWOOD An additional 138,000 m3 is cut from public forests for firewood
Sawlogs from Victorian native forests supposedly fetch between $15 and $50 per m3. Residual and pulplogs are supposed to fetch between $8 and $15 per m3. (3)
State Government royalty earnings amounted to $25m.(5)
indicating that, taking all the above estimates into account, the State only received minimum possible payments for both pulplogs and sawlogs.
In addition to this, 2 million m3 is cut anually from Victorian plantations, which are mostly pine. 2% of public land is plantation - 125,000 hectares of plantations (95% of which is pine) is on public land, while 100,000 hectares of plantation (again mostly pine) is on private land. Victoria provides one quarter of Australia's plantation harvest (2 million m3 of a total 8 million m3, nationally). Current trends are towards establishing hardwood plantations on farm land.
PRIVATE NATIVE BUSH
700.000 hectares of native forest is on private land. This is harvested for a wide variety of products, including 1.2 million m3 of firewood (ofted sourced from low yeild, slow growing woodland), as well as poles,posts, sleepers, sawlogs and pulp. It is thought that there may be an additional million m3 used as firewood on farms.
In addition,around 6000 ha. of forest cover is cleared for agriculture annually.
Privately owned plantations amount to around 100,000 ha., the majority of which belong to large corporations
Victoria's total wood harvest is approx. 5.6 million m3.
2 million m3 is sourced from plantation.
2.3 million is sourced from public native bush.
1.3 million m3 comes from private forest land.
AUSTRALIA: FOREST USE AND WOOD CONSUMPTION
Australia is about 766 million hectares
Australia has about 100 million hectares of woodland
And about 40.7 million ha. of forest.
This is around 50 - 60% of pre-european settlement tree cover
60% of this remaining forest has been logged at least once(2)
Of this 40.7 million hectares of forest :
11.3 million hectares of forest is on private land and
29.4 million hectares of forest is on public land (2)
PUBLIC NATIVE FOREST: 29.4 million hectares:
6.6 million ha. is reserved and
7.1 million ha. is available for logging
ANNUAL LOGGING IN PUBLIC NATIVE FOREST
Approximately, 70,000 ha. is logged annually (14) producing 16.5 million m3 of wood annually. (7)
7.9 million m3 of all wood cut from public native forests is presently graded as sawlogs. (4)
On average these would yield 20% sawn timber, 20% waste and the remaining 60%-usually chipped. The total volume of sawn timber amounts to 1.7 million m3 (15)
In Victoria it was found in 1993 that 50% of logs were wrongly graded. (12) In most cases, these were sawlogs incorrectly classed as pulplogs. A recent Tasmanian study showed that 20% cut in that State were graded as sawlogs. Victorian figues show that 53% were graded as sawlogs.
Around 52% of all logs cut from native forests were classed as pulplogs.(9) around
8.6 million m3.
Currently, 6.25 million m3 of hardwood chips are exported annually, (10) and a further 1.5 million m3 of hardwood chips are used domestically, mostly for paper pulp. (11) The industry also requires 2 million m3 of pine chips annually.
PLANTATION: There is over one million hectares of plantation timber in Australia
About 960,000 hectares are pine plantations ( 7,2)
About 125,000 hectares are hardwood (eucalypt) plantations ( 7)
Of this hardwood plantation, 60,000 hectares is on public land and 65,000 hectares is on private land.
ANNUAL PLANTATION HARVEST: 8 or 9 million m3 is cut from pine and eucalypt plantations on public or private land, providing for 40 -45% of Australia's current wood consumption.(7) 1.77 million m3 of sawn timber is produced.
7.6 million m3 of firewood is cut annually, (not including dead wood and firewood for private domestic use) Two Thirds is sourced from woodlands which often grow very slowly and produce comparatively small amounts per hectare. Firewood cutting from woodland represents a major portion of the hectares cleared annually.
SAWN TIMBER local consumption:
1.77million m3 from plantations
1.7 million m3 from public native bush
1 milliom m3 imported
TOTAL HARVEST: Around 25 million m3. ( plus 7529000 tonnes of firewood ? )
( 16.5 million m3 from public forest; 8.5 million m3 from pine and eucalypt plantation)
LOCAL CONSUMPTION Australia consumes 19.4 million m3 of forest products annually from both local and imported sources. (2, 8) (firewood include???)
Imports are mostly:
1 million m3 sawn timber
860000 tonnes paper
EXPORT Currently, 6.25 million m3 of native forest woodchips are exported annually. (10) worth $500 million annually (approx 40% of forest harvest )
And an assortment of other forest products exports are worth about $250 million annually. (7)
IMPORTS Costing about $2.5 billion annually, forest products are imported largely in the form of paper and pulp, accounting for 61% of all imports and totalling 860,000 tonnes. The remaining 39% is a mixture of imports.
TRADE DEFICIT Exports worth $770 million against imports worth $2.43 billion leaves a trade deficit in forest products of $1.6 billion annually. (7)
1. DCNR; 2. A TEAM; 3. VAFI; 4. Me- if its wrong, blame me; 5. Central Highlands RFA Data; 6. Preuss; 7. Kile CSIRO; 8.ABARE; 9. McFarlane, Wilderness Society; 10. The Age; 11. Pollock; 12. Milburn; 13. Carron; 14. Timber and the Environment; 15. NAFI.