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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1978) 23(1): 85–94
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Research article
Some marketing implications of the current planting programme

W.R.J. Sutton

A review of the developments in New Zealand leading to the establishment of exotic plantations in the 1920s and 1930s shows that, contrary to popular belief, they were planned and their future market (the domestic market) was identified. New Zealand now has to plan mainly for less certain export markets, and little has been done to identify the best market opportunities. Of the export options available for radiata pine, pulp and paper appear to have the least comparative advantage because of the ability of many other countries to expand production. However, given a future national energy shortage, wood otherwise suitable only for pulping always has a potential alternative use for the production of fuels. Profitable exports of logs and knotty sawn timber may continue, but again New Zealand will probably have competition. Clear-sawn timber (or plywood) from well-pruned and thinned stands is the only product that gives a distinct comparative advantage and for which attracive premiums can be expected. There is little possibility of New Zealand flooding the world market. Indeed the major problem will be to ensure that all suitable radiata pine stands are pruned.
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