David Nunes, president and CEO of Rayonier Inc. (NYSE: RYN), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITweek: 2018 Investor Conference in New York.
Rayonier owns, leases, or manages approximately 2.6 million acres of timberland in the United States and New Zealand. Its largest timber market is in the U.S. South, which is currently experiencing an excess supply of timber, Nunes said. The U.S. Northwest, meanwhile, has a relatively constrained supply of timber and a more balanced mix between exports and domestic use.
“New Zealand is probably our strongest performer right now, in a relative sense, of the three markets,” Nunes said. He attributed the strength to the fast pace of growth in the metropolitan Auckland market, continued rebuilding from the Christchurch earthquake, and export demand from China and India.
“We really like the diversification we get across all three of those platforms,” Nunes said.
Nunes noted that in 2017, 12 percent of Rayonier’s total sales volume was exported to China. New Zealand accounted for 29 percent of that total, the Northwest contributed 28 percent, and 2 percent came from the South.
Rayonier, and other market participants, are working to increase the proportion of volume flowing to China from the South, Nunes said.