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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1998) 43(2): 19–25
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Conference Paper
Will there be a demand for radiata pine in the future?

W.R.J. Sutton

We have a major dilemma, We cannot develop the market for the supply of wood if there is no immediate supply of that wood. But in the absence of a market, investors in new plantations need confidence that a profitable wood market will develop.

The major advantages of wood are its renewability, its sustainability and its environmental friendliness. New Zealand's five rotations of plantation experience give it a unique insight into the future of forestry: » the emergence of only one dominant

plantation tree species, radiata pine; the importance of early management decisions in determining final tree marketability and profitability; that global wood supplies will increasingly come from plantations. In our changing world, projections of future wood demand will be increasingly difficult. Wood supply projections will also be difficult. The only aspect of the future that can be predicted with any confidence is the population growth. There are also likely to be constraints on energy. These advantages and trends all enhance the future of wood.

The opportunity for New Zealand that offers the most promise and poses the least risk is radiata pine intensively managed for clearwood production.

When the wood becomes available for harvest, plantation owners may have to be far more pro-active in the development of new wood markets.

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