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NEW ZEALAND LOG EXPORTS FALL AS WITH OVERSUPPLY IN CHINA

 

WELLINGTON, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Falling demand from China and the high value of the New Zealand dollar have led to a drop in the value of New Zealand log exports, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry announced Friday.

An oversupply of logs was developing in China, the ministry said in a statement on it forestry production and trade figures for the December quarter last year.

The total value of New Zealand forestry exports for the quarter at 1.1 billion NZ dollars (900.61 million U.S. dollars) was down 56.1 million NZ dollars from the previous December quarter.

But overall earnings for 2011 were up by 257.5 NZ dollars to 4. 5 billion NZ dollars because China drove strong demand during the middle part of the year.

Forestry still accounted for around 10 percent of New Zealand's total merchandise exports, at 9.8 percent last year, compared with 10.2 percent the previous year, said the statement.

Conditions were still challenging for the sawn timber industry, with total export earnings decreasing to 751 million NZ dollars last year from 842.29 million NZ dollars in 2010 and volume down to 1.9 million cubic meters from 2.02 million cubic meters.

This was due to continuing weak housing sectors in the high- value United States and Australian markets, and the high value of the New Zealand dollar, said the statement.