Coronavirus causes uncertainty in SA forest industries

The current uncertainty around the possible impacts of the corona virus on wood fibre exports from the Port of Portland to China is likely to continue while the international community battles to contain its spread.

A processing slowdown at Chinese ports and elsewhere in that country – due in part to an extended Chinese New Year – is causing uncertainty in international and in turn domestic markets.

However, inaccessible Chinese markets are bound to have negative economic consequences throughout the forest industries value chain, as China is a pivotal export destination for our regional timber industry in both finished goods and surplus forest fibre.

Like other primary industries many rural and regional jobs are linked to export markets and it is often the case that local communities are the first to feel the effects of export market fluctuations.

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