An efficiency analysis revealed the relative magnitude of wood traits that distinguishes efficient radiata pine logs to produce New Zealand structural grades. Technical and cost efficiencies were obtained by using data envelopment analysis (DEA). Wood trait prices used to perform the cost efficiency corresponded to economic weights derived from a partial regression. These values were 1.1, 29.7, 0.3 and −0.4NZ$/m3 for small end diameter (cm), stiffness (GPa), basic density (kg/m3) and largest branch (mm) respectively. The most efficient logs were those with the highest difference between recovery value and price. There were positive and significant correlations between technical efficiency and wood stiffness (0.46, p<0.05) and between cost efficiency and log recovery value (0.85, p<0.05). The most efficient logs had a ratio of 1:4 between stiffness and small end diameter whereas logs that did not generate structural lumber presented ratios close to 1:8. This information will inform the development of breeding objectives, and help segregating and pricing logs by using traits patterns that result in efficient logs for the production of structural wood.