Record year for log trade
CentrePort’s log business is benefiting from a global surge in demand for wood, and this year has seen a record number of logs exported.
Despite increased shipping costs and market volatility in log prices, exporters have been taking advantage of high prices and strong demand to get their logs to market.
This year the log trade numbers are up 21 percent on last year, representing an extra 325,000 JAS (Japanese Agricultural Standard) of logs.
The June trade in logs was CentrePort’s highest single month ever – moving more than 194,000 JAS through the port.
“We’re still in a wall of wood. Despite the global pandemic, demand out of China in particular is insatiable, and this year we’ve seen some of the highest log prices in 20 years. I predict this coming year we’ll see log numbers continue to grow, to around 2.1 million.”
– Andrew Locke, GM Commercial
The increased trade in logs has been enabled by upgrades in rail. The reinstated and enhanced rail onto port facility was completed this year, and our strong relationship with KiwiRail has helped to feed more cargo onto rail and directly to the port.
CentrePort’s capacity for transporting logs by rail has increased significantly, and now 45 wagons leave the hub at Waingawa each weekday and 60 each day of the weekend.
The log hub is also more efficient, with storage capacity growing from 9,000 JAS to 16,000 JAS in FY20. The acquisition of adjacent land this year will allow further expansion in the future. KiwiRail investment in rail siding infrastructure has further bolstered the facility.
“Fortuna has a really strong relationship with CentrePort and they are very supportive of us as one of the largest exporters using the port. The services of CentrePort have improved a lot within the last couple of years, such as the log yard arrangement, berth allocation, rail wagons turnaround and their good cooperation with KiwiRail and C3.”
– Fei Yan, Operations Manager, Fortuna Forest Products