Wood Products and Associated Manufacturing

About the wood products and associated industry

Wood products and associated manufacturing is a diverse grouping of industry sectors that all use wood or wood fibre as a key input. The industry manufacturing sectors include:

  • pulp and paper, and
  • furniture, cabinets and joinery.

About the pulp and paper industry

The Australian pulp and paper industry produces items that are essential to everyday living such as paper and paper products for personal hygiene, paper for packaging applications, and paper for office and general printing, communications, newspapers and magazines. The domestic industry is dominated by large multi-national corporation subsidiaries and not many smaller businesses due to the large capital investment required for a viable pulp and paper mill. The industry makes a significant economic contribution to regional Australia, with a large share of its employment and gross value added coming from rural and regional areas. The industry is also a large producer of renewable energy and the major user of recovered paper for recycling.

The following are examples of innovative Australian Pulp and Paper companies.

  • In November 2015, Norske Skog Industries Australia announced a collaboration with the Circa Group to build a $6.6 million demonstration plant to manufacture Cyrene (non-toxic, alternative to fossil fuel based solvents). The Tasmanian Government provided $1.5 million.
  • In April 2015, Australian Paper opened their $90 million de-inked pulp facility at their Maryvale mill. The facility will enable Australian Paper to significantly increase its production of recycled paper and avoid the need to import de-inked pulp.
  • In July 2017, Australian Paper announced it would conduct a feasibility study to investigate whether steam from burning household and industrial waste can be used to run machinery at their Maryvale mill. The study will cost $7.5 million and is expected to take 12 months to complete. The Commonwealth Government, the Victorian State Government and Australian Paper have each contributed $2.5m to the project.

Pulp and paper industry statistics

 

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

Employment

16,960

16,495

16,480

Industry Value Added ($m)

2,733

2,710

2,571

Sales and Service income ($m)

9,788

10,128

10,479

Merchandise exports ($m)

1,252

1,272

1,267

R&D expenditure ($m)

43

*

70

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics. *R&D expenditure is collected every two years.

About the furniture, cabinet and joinery (FCJ) manufacturing industry

Companies in this industry manufacture domestic and commercial furniture made of wood and metal, upholstered seating, windows and doors, joinery and other like products. The industry also includes ‘finishing carpentry’ services, typically covering the construction or joinery work on amenities in houses (e.g. cupboards, wardrobes, shop fittings etc). This grouping does not include the retail furniture segment. The industry is dominated by small scale operators employing less than 20 people.

The following are examples of innovative Australian FCJ companies.

  • Koskela Pty Ltd was founded in 2000 and is an Australian furniture design company based in Sydney. Koskela uses local manufacturers, environmentally preferable materials and the creation of well designed, quality furniture and homewares for commercial and residential markets.
  • Joinery Products is a Tasmanian business that has been making cabinets and kitchens since 1956. Over time most of their business has focused on commercial joinery, but in recent years they have shifted to residential joinery and introduced lean manufacturing principles into its operations.
  • Silver Lynx is a Victorian business that manufactures bedroom, occasional and dining furniture that focuses on innovative design and quality. Their award winning products are sold through a variety of large furniture retailers across Australia.

FCJ manufacturing industry statistics

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

Employment

43,687

45,422

45,192

Industry Value Added ($m)

3,159

3,374

3,879

Sales and Service income ($m)

8,285

9,775

10,763

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). These industry statistics are derived from the aggregation of the ANZSIC codes (1492, 2511, 2512, 2513 and 2519) that relate directly to FCJ manufacturing. Other furniture related ANZSIC codes (1912, 203, 3242 and 9499) were not included since they comprised activities that are not related to FCJ manufacturing, e.g. Class 1912 Rigid and Semi-Rigid Polymer Product Manufacturing includes a broad range of products that are not furniture such as bottles and pipes. Merchandise exports and R&D expenditure are not available from ABS at the level of FCJ manufacturing; they are only available for Furniture and Other Manufacturing and cannot be estimated for the FCJ manufacturing.

Contact

Email: advancedmanufacturing@industry.gov.au

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