Logging contractors feeling the pinch

Wednesday 28 Aug 2019

Logging contractors are letting staff go or are working on reduced hours after the sudden fall in log prices earlier this year, and some are having trouble meeting their loan repayments on capital equipment, a spokesperson for the Forest Industry Contractors Association said.

The association, which has 200 members who are responsible for about 75 per cent of the annual harvest, said the sudden fall had caught many unawares.

Many forest owners have put their harvest on hold in the hope that prices will soon recover.

Chief executive Prue Younger said about 20 per cent of the association's membership had made workers redundant, were working on reduced hours, or were struggling to make capital repayments on their equipment.

About 3000 people are employed by the association's members, which tend to be the bigger contractors. Most FIEA members have one to eight crews, and each crew comprising eight to 10 workers.

The sector is no stranger to market downturns - there have been three over the last 20 years, but Younger said this one is different.

"It's such a rapid drop this time," she said.

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Source: NZ Herald

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