The export log trade in New Zealand continues to boom, and Port Taranaki has reached a major milestone reflecting that growth.
In the final week of May, when regular visitor, the Ken Rei, loaded just under 14,000 JAS (Japanese Agricultural Standard tonnes) of logs, Port Taranaki’s export log trade ticked over 1 million JAS for the financial year.
“It is the first time 1 million has been reached at Port Taranaki – it’s a big achievement and we’re proud to have reached that milestone,” Port Taranaki chief executive Guy Roper says.
“Port Taranaki is the key gateway for log exporters sending the region’s product to international markets, so we’re pleased to be able to play an integral role in support of this growing trade.”
Aside from 2019-20, when low commodity prices and the COVID-19 pandemic had a marked impact on the industry, in recent years Port Taranaki has reported record year-on-year growth in log volumes.
And Guy says a number of factors have combined to push it to the 1 million mark in 2020-21.
“It is the result of forests in the region and further afield reaching maturity, the long-term work that we have done alongside our export customers, marshallers and stevedores to improve at-port services and efficiencies, and a recent increase in demand for New Zealand logs, which has seen an improvement in returns for forest owners.
“The combined efforts of everyone involved to meet this logistics challenge, thereby facilitating increased turnover and more log vessel visits, has been outstanding,” Guy says.
“With forestry exports worth more than $6 billion to New Zealand annually, the industry is incredibly important to the nation’s economy and the region’s economy.”