Australia’s forestry sector claims there are no signs of any movement by Chinese officials to end the ongoing log trade deadlock.
China suspended imports of all timber logs late last year amid escalating trade tensions.
While Australian logs are still being exported to some countries from deep-sea ports, the multi-million-dollar log trade to China remains suspended.
Australian Forest Products Association chief executive Ross Hampton said there had been “no movement” since China banned imports of round logs from Australia.
“The Chinese government has said that there wouldn’t be any timber accepted, or roundwood out of any part of Australia,” Mr Hampton said.
While the Australian timber industry was enjoying record demand for structural timber due to the housing construction boom, he said China’s import log ban was impacting export markets for non-structural timber and wood fibre.
No logs to China
Port of Portland chief executive officer Greg Tremewen said the status quo remained.
“There are no changes at this end regarding logs to China,” Mr Tremewen said.
“The Chinese government ban on logs from Australia is still in place.”
The Australian Federal Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Senator Jonathon Duniam said the government was “continuing to engage with Chinese authorities as a matter of priority”.
“We are working with industry to ensure all relevant biosecurity requirements are being met,” he said.
“We are actively supporting Australian agribusinesses, including timber exporters, to expand and grow their export markets.
“The Government’s $72.7-million Agri-Business Expansion Initiative (ABEI) is helping Australian agribusinesses diversify their exports, with new one-on-one exporter support services, greater access to market intelligence and matched grants for industry associations and government to work together on market expansion.”
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