NAPIER Port in New Zealand says it is “closely monitoring” trading patterns to log exports, with coronavirus affecting customers and the vital Chinese destination market.

According to port management, financial year to date trading has been “in line with expectations”, with log export volumes increasing by 2.9% on the prior year comparable period.

“However, given the current market conditions and uncertainty regarding its duration, we expect a slowdown in log exports from levels seen for the financial year to date and possible impacts on other cargo trades,” port management stated.

“While we are unable to quantify the potential financial impact at this time, these conditions represent a materially increased risk to the achievement of previous earnings forecasts.

“The impact on global trade and supply chains from the coronavirus outbreak is uncertain and we continue to engage with our customers to understand the possible impacts which will vary by cargo type.”

According to management, log exports continue to sail from Napier Port however there have been reductions in log harvesting and current log inventory levels on Chinese ports remain high.

“Export log prices have reduced to levels seen during the sharp price correction during 2019,” management stated. “We understand port operations in China are rebuilding towards normal operating capacity but it is uncertain how quickly this will occur.

“The trade outlook remains uncertain, and dependant on the speed of recovery in China, and other countries taking measures to manage the coronavirus risk and any resulting supply chain impacts.”

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