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NZ log industry hurt by storms

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/04/2017 Tina Morrison

File photo of a logging truck © Bloomberg File photo of a logging truck Cyclones Debbie and Cook are still proving a headache for the country's logging industry, disrupting shipments and damaging plantations.

Rain and wind from the ex-cyclones which lashed the central and lower North Island in the past fortnight, slowed production rates and damagedtrees, AgriHQ analyst Reece Brick says in his monthly forestry market report.

"This should slow offerings to the market, but will obviously only benefit those not impacted by the weather."

AgriHQ's Brick noted that the East Coast and Hawke's Bay were significantly impacted, areas which account for about 17 per cent of the country's pine plantations.

The stormy weather conditions also caused havoc to sea conditions, forcing at least one ship to cancel its booked shipments to and from New Zealand, and delaying many other shipments, Mr Brick said.

"Ultimately, this will curb April export volumes."

Forest products are New Zealand's third-largest commodity export group behind dairy and meat products.

Mr Brick's monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and saw millers showed prices were little changed this month.

AgriHQ noted that shipping rates to China had lifted and shipping capacity was more difficult to secure than earlier in the year.

"Commodity trading between Australia and eastern Asia, particularly in iron ore and grain, is keeping capacity active in the Pacific," Mr Brick said.

"Weather conditions in the wake of Cyclones Debbie and Cook are also limiting sea freight options.

"There is an increasing belief that once commodity exports out of Australia settle, shipping rates will begin to weaken again."

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