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Financial and economic performance of long-rotation hardwood plantation investments in Queensland, Australia

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Venn, T. J. (2005) Financial and economic performance of long-rotation hardwood plantation investments in Queensland, Australia. Forest Policy and Economics, 7 (3). pp. 437-454. ISSN 1389-9341

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2003.08.003


In Queensland, Australia, there is presently a high level of interest in long-rotation hardwood plantation investments for sawlog production, despite the consensus in Australian literature that such investments are not financially viable. Continuing genetics, silviculture and processing research, and increasing awareness about the ecosystem services generated by plantations, are anticipated to make future plantings profitable and socio-economically desirable in many parts of Queensland. Financial and economic models of hardwood plantations in Queensland are developed to test this hypothesis. The economic model accounts for carbon sequestration, salinity amelioration and other ecosystem service values of hardwood plantations. A carbon model estimates the value of carbon sequestered, while salinity and other ecosystem service values are estimated by the benefit transfer method. Where high growth rates (20–25 m3 ha−1 year−1) are achievable, long-rotation hardwood plantations are profitable in Queensland Hardwood Regions 1, 3 and 7 when rural land values are less than $2300/ha. Under optimistic assumptions, hardwood plantations growing at a rate of 15 m3 ha−1 year−1 are financially viable in Hardwood Regions 2, 4 and 8, provided land values are less than $1600/ha. The major implication of the economic analysis is that long-rotation hardwood plantation forestry is socio-economically justified in most Hardwood Regions, even though financial returns from timber production may be negative.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Forestry > Forestry management
Forestry > Exploitation and utilization
Live Archive:05 Feb 2024 23:16
Last Modified:05 Feb 2024 23:16

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