Latest 2021 log export data revealed

All the latest log export data from Papua New Guinea for 2021 is now available and can be viewed on the PNGi Forests website.

The data contains details of log export volumes and log exporting concessions and can be cross referenced with details of logging company ownerships and a digital library of academic reports and court cases.

Log volumes can be viewed by logging concession, logging company or Province through interactive graphs and tables.

Data on the PNGi Forests website can be viewed in interactive graphs and tables

With the PNG government sticking firm to its promise to end unprocessed round log exports by 2025, the data for 2021 has been eagerly awaited to see what progress is being made towards that goal.

The numbers shows that there was only was a minimal 3.6% decrease in total log export volumes in 2021, and the total export volume remained close to 2.8 million cubic metres. This still ranks Papua New Guinea as the largest exporter of tropical round logs anywhere on the planet.

The total log export volume was boosted by eleven new logging operations that exported for the first time in 2021. The emergence of these new log export operations seem to contradict government claims that no new log export licences have been issued to foreign owned logging companies since 2020.

Other highlights from the data include the fact the largest log export operation by volume for 2021 was the Konoagil Agriculture project. This logging operation was set up by former Forest Minister, now Civil Aviation Minister, Walter Schnaubelt and is situated in his Namatanai Open electorate. Since 2016, more than 450,000 cubic metres of logs valued at over US$45 million (K150 million) have been exported from the area.

Cakara Alam Limited was the largest log exporting company by volume in 2021 with exports of 242,836 cubic metres. The logs were harvested from four concessions in East and West New Britain.

The second largest exporter was Pacific Region Development Limited with 224,632m3 exported from four concessions in East New Britain and Madang. Third largest exporter was the Joinland group which exported 194,856 cubic metres of logs from four operations in New Ireland and Manus.

Twenty-eight percent of all log exports came from forest areas being cleared for supposed agricultural projects under a Forest Clearance Authority.

Log exports by volume and value. Graph courtesy of SGS

The largest log exporting Provinces were the island regions of East New Britain (21% of total exports by volume), West New Britain (20%) and New Ireland (15%).

West Sepik was though the largest export earner, with exported logs valued at over K200 million. This was achieved because of the high volume of high value kwila logs exported from the province.

China remained the largest destination for PNG log exports in 2021 , taking 84% of the total volume exported.