Sector profile: Forestry


Papua New Guinea’s forestry sector has bounced back from the 2008/9 slump, and is looking to value-adding, together with sustainability and traceability practices, for its growth.

Sustainable forestry operations represent PNG’s future. Credit: Cloudy Bay Sustainable Forestry

Papua New Guinea has immense forestry operations, with some 29 forest concessions covering 3.5 million hectares. Eight-four percent of PNG’s landmass is covered by forest, and 5.7 million hectares of this are potentially production forests.

‘84% of PNG’s landmass is covered by forest, and 5.7 million hectares of this are potentially production forests’

More than 60 commercial species of timber exist in the country, falling into three broad categories; major hardwoods, commercial hardwoods, and major conifers. Amongst the most valuable of the major hardwoods is kwila and rosewood. Commercial hardwoods have export potential but suffer some unreliability of supply.

While most of its timber-related export income comes from the export of round logs (95% of all timber-related exports in 2011), PNG does produce a range of forest products, including furniture, plywood and prefabricated buildings, for both domestic and export markets.

Processed timber products are exported to Australia, New Zealand and PNG’s South Pacific neighbours. Veneer is mainly sold to China and South Korea. Plantation products account for about 15% of exports.

Credit: Manufacturers Council of PNG

Industry bounces back

Exports of PNG timber rose sharply in 2010 and 2011, after suffering a definite slump during the global financial crisis of 2008/9.

The Bank of Papua New Guinea reported forestry exports worth 768 million kina (US$361 million) in 2011, with some 3.5 million cubic metres of tropical hardwood shipped overseas.

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This marked a modest 3.3% rise in value on the previous year, but a massive 87% on 2009 figures. In 2011, the average export price for timber was 208 kina (US$97.86) per cubic metre, with prices in the first quarter of 2012 appearing to fall back somewhat.

Major contributor

In total, forestry contributes about seven per cent to PNG’s gross domestic product, plus millions of kina in taxes, landowner royalties, infrastructure development and work for more than 10,000 people. Most of PNG’s log exports go to eleven Asian countries: 89% to China, followed by Japan, Korea, India, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Major industry participants

Malaysian-owned R H Group is the largest player in PNG’s forestry sector. Other major industry participants include Cloudy Bay Sustainable Forestry Ltd, Innovision (PNG) Ltd, Open Bay Timber Ltd, PNG Forest Products Ltd (manufacturers of Niu Homes), Pac-Rim Hardwoods (PNG) Ltd, Stettin Bay Lumber Co. Ltd and Turama Forest Ind. Ltd.

New policy promotes value-adding

Since January 2010, government policy has dictated that all newly-approved forest projects must contain a strong element of downstream processing. Producers already generate sawn timber, veneer sheets, plywood and processed timber exports, but these sectors will receive much greater emphasis.

Opportunities for expansion

Other opportunities for further expansion of PNG’s forest industry include: the increasing domestic demand for timber and wood products driven by PNG’s major new resources projects; establishing plantations; and forest enhancement under climate change protocols.

With five major producers already independently certified for legal origin and chain of custody, new export opportunities should arise in markets requiring third-party verification such as Australia, the USA and the European Union. The PNG Forest Authority plans to develop 240,000 hectares of commercially viable and sustainable forest plantations by 2030. Approximately 4000 hectares is expected to be contributed by private investors, including new entrants to the sector.

Furthermore, the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) is working with the PNG Forest Authority to enhance forest law enforcement. Under a two-year pilot project, it will develop a timber tracking system at two timber concessions, develop a legality standard and industry code of conduct, and develop a forestry monitoring module for local stakeholders. According to the ITTO, the project could lay the foundations for future initiatives such as a national timber inventory, carbon sequestration monitoring, and certification.

First published in Made in PNG 2012


  1. Gary Tau says

    Kianing (Galek-Aing) Resource Holdings Limited is under going negotiation with relevant government authorities to obtain licence and permits to establish timber downstream processing business and needs foreign investor to partner with. Interested investor please contact me on the following;
    Mr Gary Tau
    Phone; 72571420
    Wewak. ESP

  2. Hi All,

    I am sourcing for Dark Red Meranti – and Red Meranti Timber Planks
    sizes T 20mm x 145mm x 7 ft up to 12 ft ,
    come with Processing, Profile with Grooves. horizotal 9 lines x grooves deep 1mm
    For Export any seller please Email:

    Tony Pang

  3. The companies and interested parties who are engaged in logging, receive an handsome amount of kina from the harvest of trees and exporting. My opinion and I would like
    to stress, instead of exporting trees how about being engaged in industrialization. It is unfair to the locals that trees harvested on PNG land and the finish product is expensive in hardwares.

  4. Nelson Aino Sisa says

    Hi Rick,

    If you are interested to carry out logging projects, I have 79,970 hectares of virgin Forest yet to harvested and logged. I can be contacted on phone number +67579684372 or email

    I look forward to hear from you soon.


    Nelson Sisa

  5. Stand Timber Limited says

    Hi team interested buyers, we’re a locally based landowner company in Papua New Guinea. We have the necessary permits from PNG Forestry Authority, and have already paid the mandatory BOND FEE of K 20, 000.00 and are looking to secure overseas buyers. Please free to contact us if you are interested.

    Stand Timber Limited
    P O Box 1806
    Waterfront Konedobu
    National Capital District
    Papua New Guinea
    Ph +675 74248567

    • Pacific Aviation Training & Logistics Ltd says

      Dear sir we are interested to engage buyers overseas to buy your timber. Please confirm if you are willing to negotiate with us. Thanks

      • Gary Tau says

        Kianing Galek Aing Resource Holdings Limited, a landowner company is interested in downstream processing (timber0 and is seeking foreign investor to partner with.

  6. We are looking to find reliable suppliers who can supply to us with consistent quality on a regular basis
    Kwila, Rosewood & Vitex Sawn Timber & Round logs
    Please do not hesitate to contact us on our email : & Mobile : +62 81 392 170 390

    • Pacific Aviation Training & Logistics Ltd says

      Dear sir, we are interested to negotiate for exporting of sawn timber various species on regular basis. Please confirm if interested.

  7. Rick Rose says

    What are the licencing costs and certification requirments and regulations for new companys to commence logging in PNG for export of full log timbers overseas companies

    • Hi Rick,
      Has someone replied to your query yet? if not send me an email on

    • Lucas Michael says

      Hi Rick,
      License cost is PGK 20,000. Have to apply for permit to harvest timber in Papua New Guinea.
      I can help you to progress your requirements including securing of forestry project . I currently have more than 300,000 hectares of forestry with timber to be harvested
      If still interested, please contact me on following contacts.
      Phone (675) 7198 5561

      Lucas Michael

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