Wood pellet exports are on the up in Australia

Following Australia’s lowest wood chip export figures in ten years, demand is on the rise.

According to the Wood Resource Quarterly exports for pine chips have risen 38%, while eucalyptus chips are up 12%. In addition, around 100,000 tonnes of wood pellets are set to be transported to Europe by the end of this year.

Australia saw its wood export market fall to a ten-year-low in 2009 when wood chip exports dropped 32%. Between 2008 and 2009 hardwood chip exports fell 41% and softwood chip shipments dropped 26%. This saw just 790,000 tonnes of the chips being exported from Australia.

However throughout the first four months of 2010 the Wood Resource Quarterly reported that conifer wood chip exports have risen by 38% since 2009 and eucalyptus chips are up by 12%. Demand has grown in Japan and Taiwan, while it has dropped significantly in China. Between 2008 and 2009 shipments to the region increased by almost 300%, reaching 670,000 tonnes. But between January and April this year exports plummeted 86% and reached just 23,000 tonnes.

One Australian company is working towards increasing exports to the European biomass market. At the end of 2009 the first batches of pellets were exported to an energy company in the Netherlands. This year alone has seen the exportation of 20,000 tonnes of wood pellets to Europe.

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