WoodWeek – 28 June 2017

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Greetings from your WoodWeek news team. This week we’ve got news of the faith that our Ministry of Primary Industries has in the forest sector, despite not mentioning our export contribution until page 10 of the most recent industry outlook report, released at the Fieldays earlier this month.

Forestry export revenue is expected to rise by 6.4 percent (to $5.5 billion) for the year ending June 2017. A record harvest volume of 30.7 million cubic metres for the year ended 31 December 2016, was driven by relatively stable and record high log prices and a large supply of harvestable wood. Export revenue is forecast to reach $6.3 billion by 2021, underpinned by strong global demand. For more details look to page 30 of the latest Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries (link in today’s issue).

Our log exports to China are of course only part of the wood success story with prices at 20-year highs as we reported last week. Other countries are growing their sales into China now too. Until recently, Ukraine has been by far the major “other supplier” to China, with volumes of pine log exports to China exceeding 1 million m3 in several recent years. However, since the start of 2017 exports from the US South have climbed dramatically. No doubt Canada’s lumber exporters will seek to export more product to China now that the US Department of Commerce slapped many of them with an additional 6.87 per cent in preliminary average anti-dumping tariffs.

The continued strength in both local and export wood markets has seen an acute shortage of labour develop in our key wood supply regions but none quite as severe as the East Coast. A local correspondent highlighted this “mission critical” issue recently, saying 400 workers are needed in the next four years and stating the region’s employer’s must produce most of them by themselves as there is strong demand for forestry workers nationwide.

At our FIEA HarvestTECH conference and expo last week delegates were updated on some key forecasts on the volume of wood and difficulties to harvest it from our thousands of farm-based woodlots. Meanwhile the farmers who own the resource were warned to bring in professionals when harvesting woodlots. Many of the woodlots are planted on steep hill country that required skilful and experienced operators to harvest them, WorkSafe chief executive Nicole Rosie said. She added that woodlots can be dangerous territory for farmers who are better to bring in the professionals when they want them harvested safely.

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Up up and away for primary sector

Primary sector exports to reach record levels - Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says the primary sector is forecast for a bumper year ahead after some challenging past seasons of wet conditions, earthquakes, cyclones, and volatile global commodity prices.

Mr Guy’s comments come as the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) releases its latest Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries (SOPI) at the National Fieldays.

“MPI are forecasting that primary sector exports will grow to $41.6 billion in the year to June 2018 – this is an increase of 9.1 percent and would be the highest level ever,” says Mr Guy.

“Strong forestry and dairy prices, combined with increasing production of apples, wine, and kiwifruit have underpinned growth for the year ending June 2017.

“Dairy prices for most products are forecast to remain at or near current levels as global demand and supply rebalance, while high forestry prices will continue to encourage record harvest levels.

“Horticulture exports are also forecast to continue their strong growth across a range of wine, fruit, and vegetable products. Meat and wool exports are forecast to recover to $8.5 billion following an almost 10 percent fall in export values for the year ending June 2017,” says Mr Guy.

Mr Guy says that new market opportunities and diversification into higher value products such as chilled meat, retail ready products, and nutraceuticals will help to further increase the value of our primary sector exports.

“This week’s National Fieldays is a great showcase of the range of innovative and world- leading kiwi food producers who are really helping underpin the performance of our economy,” says Mr Guy.

“The Government will continue to back the sector and support our exporters on-farm, such as through the Primary Growth Partnership and the Sustainable Farming Fund.

“The Government is also supporting our exporters in-market by investing $134 million over the next four years to achieve the objectives in Trade Agenda 2030.

“This strategy provides more support to primary sector exporters to diversify, greater resource to government to tackling non-tariff barriers, and aims to have 90 percent of our goods exports covered by free trade agreements (FTAs) by 2030,” says Mr Guy.

Link to SOPI (June 2017)

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US South grows log exports to China

Sharp increase in log exports from US South to China in early 2017; future growth will be tough - Total southern yellow pine log exports from the US South to China in 2017-Q1 were 204,000 m3, nearly double the previous first quarter peak in 2015. Even more impressive was that the share of US log exports to China coming from the US South increased from only three percent in 2016, and jumped to 21 percent in 2017-Q1, an all-time record. China’s import demand for softwood logs and lumber were surprisingly strong in early 2017. Log imports were 20 percent higher than in 2016-Q1, and lumber imports were up 24 percent over last year. More than 90 percent of China’s softwood log sources are from five countries: New Zealand, Russia, US, Australia and Canada.

Until recently, Ukraine has been by far the major “Other Supplier” to China, with volumes of pine log exports to China exceeding 1 million m3 in several recent years, and accounting for as much as 4.4 percent of China’s total softwood log imports (in 2014). However, Ukraine has now banned log exports, starting with hardwood logs in 2015. Since January 1, 2017, exports of unprocessed pine logs are also prohibited. The US South has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the decline in log shipments from Ukraine.

The main shipping method for logs from the US South to China is using containers.

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Forestry growing, struggling for workers

Forestry in growth mode and struggling to find workers - Forestry has grown rapidly in recent years to become the main driver of the district’s economy, worth an estimated $262 million a year. A 2013 study found more than one in four households in our region have a person whose job is dependent on forestry. Annual log volumes are closing in on 3m tonnes, and predicted to rise towards a peak of 5.5m tonnes about 10 years from now.

Last month Eastland Port announced plans to invest $70m over the next five years, mostly to enable twin-berthing of log ships so it can export over 5m tonnes of logs a year, up from 2.9m tonnes now. Local co-investment to encourage more processing here will hopefully soon begin bearing high-value wood products. The big constraint on the industry — other than the state of our roads — is the ability to attract enough new workers to harvest the trees.

A local correspondent highlighted this “mission critical” issue last week, saying 400 workers are needed in the next four years and we need to produce most of them ourselves as there is strong demand for forestry workers nationwide.

His focus has been on graduate output from the two local training providers, EIT and Turanga Ararau, as well as asking what the Eastland Wood Council’s plan is and how that is progressing.

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and more >>

Source: Gisborne Herald

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Tigercat marks silver anniversary in style

Producing 19,000 machines and counting, Tigercat has grown into a global success story — by helping its customers to succeed. With an employee count of 1,400 and over 150 independent dealer locations worldwide, Tigercat has accomplished what many thought to be unimaginable in just 25 years.

Delegates at our FIEA HarvestTECH conference last week were treated to the southern hemisphere debut viewing of the full celebration video during the conference. Its got some awesome footage of their customers, the gear in action in forests in many countries and, of course, the old machine #1 being returned to it's former glory. Wondering what we're talking about ... ? - check it out!

For the full media release including archived articles of the early days of Tigercat, stories on its first customers, pictures of the first ever Tigercat machine rebuilt, and information on the new 25 year film release, visit http://www.tigercat.com/25years/.

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WorkSafe boss warns farmers on woodlots

Farmers warned to bring in professionals when harvesting woodlots - Woodlots can be dangerous territory for farmers who are better to bring in the professionals when they want them harvested safely.

Many of the woodlots were planted 25-40 years ago and were due to be harvested. They were often planted on steep hill country that required skillful and experienced operators to harvest them, WorkSafe chief executive Nicole Rosie said.

Speaking at recent Fieldays show, Rosie said the Ministry for Primary Industries had forecasted an additional 35 million cubic metres of wood would become available for harvest between 2015-2025 from today's production of 28 million cubic metres.

"It's quite a substantial increase and a lot of that is small scale forests planted in the 1990s."

Woodlots can be dangerous territory for farmers who are better to bring in the professionals when they want them harvested safely. Many of the woodlots were planted 25-40 years ago and were due to be harvested. They were often planted on steep hill country that required skilful and experienced operators to harvest them, WorkSafe chief executive Nicole Rosie said.

Speaking at Fieldays, Rosie said the Ministry for Primary Industries had forecasted an additional 35 million cubic metres of wood would become available for harvest between 2015-2025 from today's production of 28 million cubic metres.

"It's quite a substantial increase and a lot of that is small scale forests planted in the 1990s."

Many of the trees were planted on steep country, which made harvesting dangerous and expensive.

There had been a 44 per cent fall in severe injuries and a 30 per cent reduction in moderate injuries within the forestry sector in the past few years. That was driven largely by the professional forestry companies who are better managing workplace risks, she said.

The forestry sector was highly concerned because a lot of these woodlots were small, but posed a high risk.

"The risks of those logs because they are steep, because they are on difficult terrain and they are small that people could use inexperienced loggers or revert to techniques that are highest risk techniques."

Instead, farmers should use an industrial-scale harvest operation because it was safer as operators had automated higher risk activities.

Rosie said it was not worth the risk for farmers to harvest the trees themselves.

"You might think it's a cost effective option - it's not. The incidence of death and injury are really high historically in the types of operations these guys are doing which is steep operations and manual felling - that is the highest risk operation from a forestry perspective."

Harvesting woodlots required having a management plan, safe access for people cutting trees and using experienced harvesters in high-risk operations.

Landowners could also be in breach of the new health and safety legislation if they chose to harvest the trees themselves, she said.

More >>

Source: Stuff News

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US hits Canada apply anti-dumping duties

Canada’s softwood lumber industry faces average duties of about 27 per cent after the US Department of Commerce slapped it with an additional 6.87 per cent in preliminary average anti-dumping tariffs.

The new anti-dumping duty will overlap for about two months with average preliminary countervailing duties of 19.88 per cent announced in April that are set to expire on August 27.

Final combined duties will be applied around the end of the year when all determinations have been made.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced separately that an internal investigation has determined that it was appropriate to exclude Atlantic provinces of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador from softwood lumber duties as requested by the US industry and Canadian officials.

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Source: Global News / The Canadian Press
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Bioenergy needs government recognition

Government needs to focus on Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy - The Bioenergy Association is pleased the Government’s refresh of NZ's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (NZEECS). It focuses on the heat and transport opportunities available across the country. Implementing these will go a long way to assisting achievement of the climate change targets.


The New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy, Unlocking our energy productivity and renewable potential, is available at www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors- industries/energy/energy-strategies


Bioenergy Association spokesman, Brian Cox said, “This government strategy is encouraging in addressing many barriers currently stopping increased use of renewable energy. That would bring a consequential reduction in the use of finite amounts of fossil fuels. However writing a strategy is not enough. Implementing it is what counts. The Bioenergy Association will be pleased to extend its working with Government agencies to assist implementation of the strategy.”

Bioenergy Association is pleased to see the draft refreshed NZEECS includes heat energy as a focus area. Biomass and waste provide up to 14% of consumer energy and 32% of energy consumed is in the form of heat. Yet only 40% of heat is provided from renewable energy.

“It is long overdue that Government recognised that biomass from forestry, and municipal waste, can be used for the production of heat instead of coal and thus make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” “It is pleasing to see Government providing a lead and we now hope that we will see central and local government entities with heat plant responding to the challenge and transitioning to using bioenergy instead of fossil fuels.”

“The title of the refreshed strategy ‘Unlocking our energy productivity and renewable potential’ indicates that Government is starting to recognise that New Zealand has an immense wealth of renewable natural resources which can be utilised via energy to create economic growth, employment and achievement of a range of environmental outcomes, including those of climate change.”

“It doesn’t make economic sense that the Government proposes buying carbon credits offshore to meet our Paris Agreement obligations. We should be taking advantage of low-cost opportunities to reduce our carbon emissions here in New Zealand by increasing our use of bioenergy, particularly in the heat sector.”

Mr Cox says “Implementation of the strategy won’t occur without continued Government involvement and some tasks outlined in the strategy will take time to develop. Transitioning from use of fossil fuels to renewable energy also takes time. To implement the strategy will require close working across all stakeholders in order to achieve the targets in the strategy. That has currently been lacking“.

“In the short term, we’d like Government to encourage heat markets to use wood fuel, farmers to process farm waste to produce bioenergy and local authorities to use organic waste for heating and transport fuel instead of dumping it in landfills.”

“Government run entities are the place to start. Such leadership would show other potential users the viability of bioenergy and support expansion of the wood fuel and biogas markets. Our bioenergy opportunities are based on well-proven technology, so don’t require further research or exploration. What we need is Government support to speed up growth of the market. We hope that Government will support the refreshed strategy by action.”

Mr Cox says there are many economically viable niche bioenergy opportunities. “With Government support and near zero cost, the number of opportunities could increase considerably, using New Zealand’s good supply of renewable natural resources to achieve significant economic, employment and environmental benefits.”

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Climate change legal challenge questioned

Government lawyers question court's ability to rule on climate change case - Government lawyers have questioned the High Court's ability to rule on climate change emission targets, in a case brought by a law student.

Sarah Thomson, of Waikato University, brought the lawsuit against Environment Minister Paula Bennett over allegedly inadequate climate change action.

But Government lawyer Peter Gunn, in the High Court at Wellington on Tuesday, questioned whether a judicial review was practical given the complex economic, social, and political factors that contributed to emissions targets.

Speaking for Thomson on Monday, lawyer Davey Salmon said a judicial review was the public's only chance to scrutinise emission targets, with no upper house of Parliament, or constitution, to fall back on.

Gunn worked to debunk some of the accusations laid down by Salmon on Monday.

These included criticism of over-reliance on not-yet-invented technologies in order to achieve targets.

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Norway issues $1bn threat to Brazil

Norway issues $1bn threat to Brazil over rising Amazon destruction - Norway has issued a blunt threat to Brazil that if rising deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is not reversed, its billion-dollar financial assistance will fall to zero. The leaders of the two nations meet in Oslo last week.

The oil-rich Scandinavian nation has provided $1.1bn to Brazil’s Amazon fund since 2008, tied to reductions in the rate of deforestation in the world’s greatest rainforest. The destruction of forests by timber and farming industries is a major contributor to the carbon emissions that drive climate change and Norway views protecting the Amazon as vital for the whole world.

The rate of deforestation in the Amazon fell steadily from 2008 to 2014, an “impressive achievement” which had a “very positive impact” on Brazil and the world, according to Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s environment minister.

But in a forthright letter to Brazil’s environment minister, José Sarney Filho, seen by the Guardian, Helgesen said: “In 2015 and 2016 deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon saw a worrying upward trend.” He warned that this had already reduced Norway’s contributions and added: “Even a fairly modest further increase would take this number to zero.”

Helgesen said he had serious concern that controversial moves in Brazil to remove protection from large areas of the Amazon and weaken the environmental licensing required for agriculture would worsen deforestation. Furthermore, he said, budgets for the environment ministry and other departments that protect the Amazon had been drastically cut. Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, is seen as close to the powerful agricultural lobby, which is pressing for cuts in Amazon protection.

Annual deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon jumped by 29% to 8,000 sq km in 2016, although it remains well below the 19,000 sq km seen in 2005. Norwegian officials say that under the rules Brazil itself set for the Amazon fund, a rise to 8,500 sq km would mean no payments from Norway.

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Source: The Guardian

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... almost finally ... in breaking news

EGG BREAKING NEWS - New Zealand’s Two Egg Throw & Catch champs to take on the world! The eggceptional team at Williment Travel has joined the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games as a sponsor and is sending the New Zealand 2017 Two Egg Throw & Catch Champions off to the UK to compete against the world’s best.

In March this year, the pride of Christchurch’s Nick Hornstein and his cousin, Dairy Flat’s rising star, Robbie Hollander took the New Zealand egg-throwing community by storm winning the 2017 title after having been runners-up in 2016 and performing admirably in 2015.

27-year-old Nick says, unfortunately, egg throwing doesn’t attract the funding of rugby, so they created a Givealittle page to raise funds to take on the world.

With just under $1,721 raised, it looked like the duo aspirations would be thwarted. However, Williment Travel have agreed to fund the remaining monies to get Aotearoa’s premier Egg Thrower & Catcher to Swaton – the home of egg throwing.

“My ultimate goal is to 'crack' the World Record of 76.27m. Having the support from Williment Travel as well as the support from numerous others is truly humbling and provides me with the motivation to bring home a world record for New Zealand.”

The World Championships

The 12th World Egg Throwing Championships are on 25 June, and the heats start at 2pm, all going well they’ll be in the finals at 4pm......and New Zealand will hopefully wake up to the news that our Champs are indeed World Champs!

Our fearless duo will be up against competing egg throwers and catchers from around the world. The current world record stands at 76.27m.

That’s just 6m shy of an unofficial throw by Nick and catch by Robbie.

“We are a young pairing,” says Robbie, “I know we can bring home a world record.”

In 2016, the duo threw a remarkable 63.1m knocking out Jeff Wilson and Justin Marshall’s New Zealand record. However, it was not to be, as the 2016 Champs, Brent Newdick and Luke Wainui beat them by 30cm.

"Nick says the goal is to win big and put New Zealand egg throwing and catching on the map. With their consistent success, Nick expects bigger and better things in 2018 at the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games in Palmerston North."

Meet Our Champions

Chief Tosser/Co-Captain: Doubling as a corporate lawyer, Nick Hornstein is a self-proclaimed amateur sports champion. Nick is the veteran partner of the two egg throw and catch champions, and he draws on his sporting experience to guide the team to greater heights. His sporting prowess has been significant – winning New Zealand titles in tennis and playing New Zealand Koru basketball in his junior days. Nick has never been far away from the action, having worked with Hawkeye Innovations following the professional tennis circuit at the Hopman Cup in Perth, APIA International in Sydney, the Australian Open in Melbourne, the Open 13 in Marseille, the Fed Cup in Slovakia and the 2012 London Olympics.

Chief Catcher/Moisturiser Specialist/Co-Captain: 18-year-old Robbie Hollander is the catching member of the team and attributes his soft hands and technique to his early years of playing cricket and softball. In his last year at Orewa College, he lives on a lifestyle farm at Dairy Flat with his family. He has represented North Harbour at hockey since the age of 12 and is presently in the U18 side preparing for tournament. His other interests are quad bike racing, snow skiing and downhill mountain biking.

The duo have competed at the Hilux NZ Rural Games in the NZ Egg Throwing & Catching Championship for the last three years finishing with a creditable 40m throw and catch in 2015 and a very close 2nd in 2016 after breaking the NZ record with a throw and catch of 63.3m.

“I’m so grateful to everyone, Williment Travel for their sponsorship and my family and friends who have assisted me with funding my journey and the NZ Egg Industry – everyone who has supported both Nick and I on our quest to win the World Championship.

Williment Travel was founded back in 1967 by former All Black fullback Mick Williment. Leaving a 50-year legacy (that’s still going strong), we send Kiwis on sports & travel adventures around the world. With our huge range of events enticing thousands of passionate fans, we’re thrilled to sponsor an entertaining, yet skilful event in 2017.

Williment Travel General Manager Adair Cameron, says he first saw Robbie and Nick win the NZ Egg Throwing & Catching Championship at the Hilux NZ Rural Games earlier this year.

“We are certain they have the goods to poach the World Title for NZ,” he says. “Supporting local Kiwi sports is important to both us and the community, and we anticipate their deft skills to be eggs-ceptional!”

The Hilux New Zealand Rural Games

At the heart of the Games are a series of traditional sports, attracting top competitors from throughout New Zealand and Australia. National and world champions battling for the prestigious Hilux New Zealand Rural Games titles.

Together with Sport New Zealand and rural sports associations around NZ we’ve developed exciting new formats for sheep shearing, speed fencing, speed tree climbing and other traditional sports.

We host the ANZAXE Wood Chopping Championship, NZ Harness Racing Gearing Up Championship and the NZ Rural Highland Games ‘Heavies’ Trans- Tasman Competition.

Even the kids can get involved – Kids ‘n Country features a host of fun events over both days to keep under-12s active and entertained. And there are some great spot prizes.

A prelude to the Games is the Running of the Wools in Feilding on Friday 9 March and then the Games themselves in The Square in Palmerston North on the 10th and 11th of March 2018.

Finally, Swaton – the international home of Egg Throwing & Catching

Back in 1322, the local Abbot was the only person in all of the Parish of Swaton who had eggs. The Abbot encouraged Parishioners to attend prayers by giving them an egg as alms. But in wild stormy weather, when the River Eau was in flood, and Parishioners could not make it across, the Monks would hurl the eggs over the river for Parishioners to catch, and in mighty big floods a trebuchet was used to gain extra distances....and so a fabulous egg throwing tradition was born, and it has now become an international sport.

Nick and Robbie are not the first Kiwi’s to take part in the World Championships – the winners of the inaugural World Champions 2006 were Kiwi’s Andrew McKay and Nigel Tiffin, two South Island turkey farmers who were on their OE.

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Buy and Sell

... and finally ... wrong job

1. My first job was working in an Orange Juice factory, but I got canned ... couldn't concentrate.

2. Then I worked in the woods as a Lumberjack, but just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the axe.

3. After that, I tried being a Tailor, but wasn't suited for it --- mainly because it was a sew-sew job.

4. Next, I tried working in a Muffler Factory, but that was too exhausting.

5. Then, tried being a Chef – figured it would add a little spice to my life, but just didn't have the thyme.

6. Next, I attempted being a Deli Worker, but any way I sliced it.... couldn't cut the mustard.

7. My best job was a Musician, but eventually found I wasn't noteworthy.

8. I studied a long time to become a Doctor, but didn't have any patience.

9. Next, was a job in a Shoe Factory ... tried hard but just didn't fit in.

10. I became a Professional Fisherman, but discovered I couldn't live on my net income.

11. Managed to get a good job working for a Pool Maintenance Company, but the work was just too draining.

12. So then I got a job in a Workout Centre, but they said I wasn't fit for the job.

13. After many years of trying to find steady work, I finally got a job as a Historian – until I realised there was no future in it.

14. My last job was working in Starbucks ... had to quit because it was the same old grind.


Have a safe and productive week.

John Stulen

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