• Papua New Guinea

Overview of timber sector of Papua New Guinea


million m3 of logs exported (2015)

Production and processing

Main harvested species

There are many species harvested from PNG's forests. The 10 most important species for export from PNG include Taun (Pometia pinnata), Merbau, locally known as Kwila (Intsia spp.), Malas (Homalium foetidum), Calophyllum (Calophyllum spp.), Terminalia (Terminalia spp.), Kamarere (Eucalyptus deglupta) from plantations, Dillenea (Dillenea spp., mainly D. papuana), Red Canarium (Canarium spp.), Pencil Cedar (Palaquium spp), and PNG Mersawa, also known as Palosapis (Anisoptera thurifera).

According to ITTO (2017), the industry of PNG in 2015 produced about 4.1 million m3 of logs, of which 89% was exported as roundwood.


The country's forest industry is predominantly based on the export of logs from natural forests. As can be seen from the graph below, China is by far the most important destination for PNG's timber, notably roundwood. The other destination markets remain important for the exports of processed wood products, such as sawn wood.


Timber export Papua New Guinea

Logistics infrastructure

Cities and ports in PNG are poorly connected. Construction of new roads and improvement of existing roads is hampered by rugged mountains and a lack of government funding. Presently, only 3.5% of PNGs roads are paved. The principal ports for export in PNG are: Alotau (Milne Bay Province), Kavieng (New Ireland Province), Kimbe (West New Britain Province), Lae (Morobe Province), Lorengau (Manus Province), Madang (Madang Province), Port Moresby (National Capital District), Rabaul (East New Britain Province), Vanimo (West Sepik Province) and Wewak (East Sepik Province). As there are relatively few roads, river transport is also important for both freight and passengers in the Western and Gulf Provinces.

Data table

(X 1000m3)
(X 1000m3)
Domestic consumption
(X 1000m3)
(X 1000m3)
logs 4.100 0 972 3.128
Sawnwood 82 0 51 31
Veneer 63 0 61 2
Plywood 69 4 66 8

ITTO (2019), data 2017