Timber industry recover

According to the Reserve Bank of Fiji, log intake rose significantly to 85,790 tonnes from 7,947 tonnes in the same period in 2017. Picture: FILE

THE timber industry made a firmer recovery in the first three months of 2018 from the devastation caused by TC Winston in 2016 coupled with structural issues in 2017.

This was noted by the Reserve Bank of Fiji in its Quarterly Review for March 2018 which indicated  a  broadly  positive  sectoral  performance recorded  in  the  first  quarter  of  this year.

The bank stated that the improved performance emanated from a strong rebound in the timber sector among other sectors of the Fijian economy.

According to the central bank, log intake rose significantly to 85,790 tonnes from 7,947 tonnes in the same period in 2017.

This was due to higher production in Vanua Levu.

In the same period, woodchip rose from 1823t to 79,932t and mahogany production from 352.2m3 to 2,653.2m3 also recorded higher levels.

The central bank said this was largely due to higher outputs at the Wairiki and Drasa mills, in line with the higher demand for woodchips from the major markets of China and Japan.

The Tropik Wood Products Ltd expects nine woodchip shipments to the Japanese market in 2018. However, wet weather conditions remain an ongoing challenge to the sector.

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