WoodWeek 3 October 2018
Thinking globally, if your innovations are also of interest to North American loggers and forest managers, we are have a few potential speaking slots left for our HarvestTECHX Conference running in Vancouver on 12-13 March 2019 (www.harvesttechx.events). This conference sold out when it last ran in Canada. Or, If your team wants a wider view of logging technologies, mark that date to attend as delegates.
Being the first issue of the month we’ve got updates from our biggest market – China. Trade tensions between the US and China have dented the value of the Chinese currency and traders fear rising tariffs will hurt economic growth and dampen demand. Still, one analyst said that despite the fall, market sentiment has stayed "quite positive" as factors such as port-level inventories, off-take rates and shipping rates otherwise point towards healthy fundamentals for New Zealand log trading in China.
Looking to our monthly update from the good folks at Champion Freight - their chart shows total log export values to China to the end of August are up 31 percent year-on-year contributing to overall log exports growing 28 percent across all markets. To the end of August, China shipments month-on-month are up 7 percent and overall log exports up 20 percent.
Still on log exports, at a recent regional meeting WMPA chair Mr Stanley pointed out that despite the wood manufacturing industry having all the credentials of the sought-after ‘zero carbon economy’, with its ability to deliver good jobs, more resilient communities and a better environment, it is being undermined by the wholesale export of raw logs propped up by overseas subsidies. In this respect, he noted the recent High Court decision directing government to reconsider the case of subsidised steel being dumped on the New Zealand market.
Staying with wood processing Red Stag Timber, now on the world stage in sustainability, scooped the Large Energy User of the Year category at the EECA Business Awards 2018.
This week we have for you:
Foreign buyer saves Kawerau jobsMore than 160 jobs at the Kawerau pulp and paper mills will be saved as a result of a US majority-owned buyer picking up the assets. The Overseas Investment Office has given approval for NS Norway to buy Norwegian company Norske Skog's Kawerau assets for $29.9 million.
The OIO said Norse Skog was financially distressed and owned the freehold interest in 351 hectares at Fletcher Ave, Kawerau where the mill is located, and 48ha at Springs Rd Kawerau.
"We consider that without this Investment, the Tasman mill and New Zealand- based business of Norske Skog Tasman are likely to be closed down in the short term," the OIO said. "This Investment is likely to enable the business and Tasman mill to continue operating while it is economically feasible to do so."
Norske Skog's New Zealand subsidiaries have assets valued at more than $100m, but the OIO consent refers to the "sensitive land" that requires OIO consent.
The buyer, NS Norway, is an international newsprint and magazine paper producer that has been operating for about 50 years.
NS Norway intends to continue to run the business from New Zealand in conjunction with its international paper mills and product supply chains across several countries including Austria, Ireland, Poland, and Australia.
"We note that the international paper market is experiencing aggregate oversupply issues and there is generally expected to be on-going decreasing demand for paper products over the longer term," the OIO said.
Government ministers were satisfied that the investment would be likely to achieve a number of benefits, including saving the 160 jobs, maintaining export receipts of more than $65m a year, market competition in the chip and pulp log processing industry particularly in the central North Island, maintaining productivity on the land, and continuing to produce approximately 140-150 kilotonnes of newsprint.
More >> https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/107434600/jobsaving-forestry-deal- given-the-go-ahead Source: Stuff news
HarvestTECH 2019: Call for speakersYou know just how popular it was when last run in 2017. HarvestTECH 2017 SOLD OUT well in advance of the event even running. Over 450 harvesting and wood transport contractors, harvest planners, forest managers and equipment and tech providers met up at one place, Rotorua, New Zealand over a couple of days. It was the largest gathering yet seen in New Zealand.
In addition to having most harvesting contractors from throughout the country attending, the FIEA event drew in a large contingent of contractors and forest managers from throughout Australia, as well as attracting key equipment suppliers, researchers, forestry companies and international contractors from Europe, the US, Canada, Papua New Guinea and Asia. As well as the two-day conference and over 40 displays, two one-day field tours ran for HarvestTECH 2017 delegates.
So, the two-yearly gathering has been scheduled for next year. Mark the dates 26-27 June 2019, Rotorua New Zealand for the two-yearly harvesting event, HarvestTECH 2019. Early details on the programme can be found on the event website, www.harvesttech.events. At this early stage, Expressions of Interest to present at the harvesting event are being sought.
If you are keen to be a speaker at the conference and you are an early adopter, developer, innovator, contractor, technology or equipment supplier, service provider or researcher involved in wood harvesting operations, we’d like to hear from you.
What’s being covered?
- Recent innovations in steep slope and winch assist harvesting
- Getting the best out of existing hauler & ground-based operations
- Harvest planning - new systems really making a difference
- Effective use of collected data from your harvesting operation
- Options for eliminating log sorts and reducing landing sizes
- Tools & Systems for harvesting smaller woodlots
- Remote sensing technologies for harvest planning and operations
- Solutions for improving in-forest communications
- Increased automation and mechanisation - new R&D
- Remote control, robotics, virtual reality and automation in the bush
- Filling the skills gap in harvesting
Interested speakers or exhibitors – or others who’d like to look at building in visits, tours or meetings in and around this major harvesting event, please contact Brent Apthorp (Tel: (+64) 21 227 5177) or [email protected] BEFORE Friday 19 October.
Log Export Statistics UpdateLog export market graphics - This week we've got our monthly update from the good folks at Champion Freight.
The chart shows total log export values to China to the end of August are up 31 percent year-on-year contributing to overall log exports growing 28 percent across all markets.
To the end of August, China shipments month-on-month are up 7 percent and overall log exports up 20 percent.
NZ Log Export Market takes a hitNew Zealand's export log market took a hit from the trade dispute between the US and China as the declining value of the yuan crimps the buying power of the country's largest log market.
The average price for New Zealand A-grade export logs dropped to US$133/JAS from US$141/JAS in August, and US$145/JAS in July, and is now the lowest since June 2017, according to AgriHQ's Forestry Market Report for September.
"The Chinese log market has again dominated talk in the NZ forestry industry amid its sudden depreciation these past two months. Purely from a data perspective August and early September don’t make for pretty reading," AgriHQ analyst Reece Brick said in his report. "All of this weakness is directly related to the reduction in Chinese buying power, itself due to the depreciation of the CNY:USD."
The yuan has depreciated 7.5 percent since mid-June, recently trading at 6.8763 per US dollar.
Still, Brick said that despite the fall, market sentiment has stayed "quite positive" as factors such as port-level inventories, offtake rates and shipping rates otherwise point towards healthy fundamentals for New Zealand log trading in China.
"Consensus among the majority of traders is that we’ve settled at the bottom of the market for at least the time being," he said.
Chinese demand for New Zealand logs has been strong over recent years after Asia's largest economy clamped down on the harvesting of its own forests and reduced tariffs on imported logs to meet demand in its local market. However, trade tensions between the US and China have dented the value of the Chinese currency and traders fear rising tariffs will hurt economic growth and dampen demand.
"What the future looks like will largely be dictated by the actions of the Trump administration," Brick said. "The latest round of 10 percent tariffs covering US$200 billion of Chinese products is yet to be felt within the log industry. The main headache, however, is that there’s no end in sight for the trade war. It’s expected the latest tariffs will be lifted to 25 percent by Christmas, while Trump has threatened to extend these tariffs to another US$267 billion worth of Chinese products.
"Given log demand is so closely tied to economic growth, we can only hope these two power-houses can settle their differences sooner rather than later. Just don’t count on it," he said.
Brick noted that neither India nor South Korea, New Zealand's other major log markets, have provided any significant relief for exporters either.
However, he noted the weaker New Zealand exchange rate against the US dollar had offered some protection for local export traders against the depreciation within China.
Source BusinessDesk via Scoop
Forestry death: FISC sends a messageSadly, last week, a tree feller was struck and killed by a tree while working at Pohangina, in the Manawatu. This is the fifth death of a forestry worker in 2018. Fiona Ewing has sent the following message to everyone in our industry and the wider media.
Fiona Ewing says, “My thoughts are with the family, friends and workmates of the victim. I was asked by the media to comment on this latest death, and I thought I'd share with you what I told them.”
This is the fifth forestry-related death this year, how concerned are you?
• It is absolutely unacceptable for people to lose their lives at work.
• Everyone who goes to work deserves to come home unharmed. Five deaths is five too many.
• It is essential that the industry, government, and workers and unions work together to stop these deaths occurring.
How confident are you in WorkSafe's enforcement of regulation?
• As the regulator, WorkSafe plays an important role in ensuring people know their obligations, and in holding them to account when they don’t meet these obligations.
• But WorkSafe can’t put an inspector into every forestry site. The industry has to lead and take responsibility for keeping its people safe.
• The industry leading and changing the mind-set around health and safety will create more sustainable change than a compliance focus.
What more needs to be done to keep the industry safe?
• The challenges facing forestry are well known and were spelt out in 2014 by the Independent Forestry Safety Review.
• Among other things, the review highlighted contractual arrangements that sometimes don’t support good health and safety, the design of forestry blocks which can make trees more dangerous to harvest, a lack of training for workers and crew owners, and a overall lack of leadership by those at the top of the industry.
• The review made several recommendations to address these problems, including the creation of the Forest Industry Safety Council to lead harm reduction initiatives in forestry. FISC (which runs Safetree) is working to implement the Review’s recommendations.
What is FISC doing to help improve health and safety?
FISC’s flagship initiatives are:
• Certification schemes for workers and contractors to ensure they have the skills to do the job.
• A safety culture programme that gives workers a voice in improving health and safety in their workplaces.
• Providing easy-to-understand information for forestry companies on how to manage critical risks, and show-casing work being done by industry leaders to improve health and safety.
What's your message to the forestry industry?
• There are forest owners, managers, contractors and workers out there who are doing great work to improve health and safety. They should be applauded for that.
• They are showing that it is possible to work safely in forestry. Many companies are investing in equipment like mechanised harvesters, which removes people from doing the most dangerous tasks. Many are investing in training their people and contractors to ensure they have the skills needed to work safely.
• What’s interesting is that a lot of work is being done to build 'people skills' and better working relationships, rather than just focusing on achieving compliance.
• For example, many companies are focusing on ensuring work arrangements support good health and safety, so contractors aren’t under pressure to work in dangerous conditions. They're focusing on building long-term relationships, so contractors have the financial security needed to invest in their equipment and people. And they're focusing on improving leadership that, for example, supports people to stop work for safety if need-be.
WPMA on role of subsidies in log exportsThe Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association of New Zealand (WPMA) held a well-attended regional meeting last week in conjunction with the New Zealand Frame and Truss Manufacturers Association in Rotorua.
In his opening address the Chair of WPMA, Mr Brian Stanley, said that he was delighted to see such a large part of the New Zealand wood products’ value chain in one room. He said he was looking forward to discussing with the FTMA the major issues affecting New Zealand’s ability to add value to logs and thereby create much needed employment in the regions.
Mr Stanley pointed out that despite the wood manufacturing industry having all the credentials of the (now, much-sought-after) “zero carbon economy”, with its ability to deliver good jobs, more resilient communities and a better environment, all this is being seriously undermined by the wholesale export of raw logs propped up by overseas subsidies. In this respect, he noted the recent High Court decision directing government to reconsider the case of subsidised steel being dumped on the New Zealand market.
“I read in the press only today headline news about the ramp-up of logs harvested on the West Coast heading directly for the Port of Lyttelton” said Mr Stanley. “West Coasters are right to lament the loss of means to earning a living in a part of the country that offers few job opportunities”.
WPMA has already presented a case to the government pointing out the unfairness of the market for domestic logs. Mr Stanley commented, “overseas buyers can pay inflated prices for logs because they are supported by subsidies. In doing this, they are denying local mills competition for logs at fair and sustainable prices.”
“If it is some comfort to you”, Brian Stanley told the audience, “I can report that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s very recent inquiry into this matter has indeed revealed a long list of subsidies being dished out overseas – subsidies they describe as controversial under WTO law.
For a country so dependent on trade and the international laws that govern trade this finding by our trade officials is crucially important. “Take further comfort from the fact that the Trade Minister, Hon. David Parker, has acknowledged MFAT’s findings by commissioning a formal investigation into the degree of harm being caused in the domestic market for logs”, added Mr Stanley.
“The WPMA is all for free trade, but it must be fair trade and fair trade for all. Right now, our manufacturers are struggling to see the benefits of free trade agreements when they are being strangled by WTO-controversial subsidies. We will be following Hon. Parker’s investigation very closely”, Mr Stanley concluded.
Kiwi ingenuity in energy awardsWinners of the 2018 EECA Business Awards are world leaders in energy saving.
Red Stag Timber, now on the world stage in sustainability, scooped the Large Energy User of the Year category at the EECA Business Awards 2018.
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), which hosts the Awards, say they were more targeted this year, recognising those businesses making big reductions in carbon emissions through saving energy or switching fuel types.
The theme this year was 'innovation and leadership' and only the largest of New Zealand's energy users were eligible to enter.
This call was answered by Red Stag Timber, which was recognised for its carbon-neutral wood processing plant. The company now generates all its own electricity from biomass boilers and steam turbines. Waste wood from their timber mill is used to fuel the boilers, instead of being trucked to landfill, so they no longer need to worry about the power bill.
As the largest timber mill in the Southern Hemisphere, the move puts the Kiwi business on the world stage with regards to sustainability.
EECA Chief Executive, Andrew Caseley, presented the Large Energy User of the Year category at the Awards and said he was blown away by the broad mix of entries submitted by both private and public sector organisations in the finals: "There are no losers here; least of all our environment and economy.
"Every entry to the EECA Business Awards demonstrates the effort that New Zealand organisations are making in their daily work to bring the low-emissions future that we must have closer to becoming a reality for the country.
"Those businesses commended, highly commended or that won their category are some of the smartest business leaders that New Zealand has to offer. Their success can be drawn on by others for solutions in energy-efficiency and emissions reduction. "Through the awards, we have seen innovative technology put to work, the establishment of long-term energy and emissions reduction goals and staff engagement and empowerment that, collectively, demonstrates a Kiwi workforce with energy efficiency at its heart."
According to the University of Waikato's Engineering Energy Research Centre, who gave their world-leading expertise to the judging process, an outstanding selection of energy efficiency and low emission stories were submitted by New Zealand industry, health and education providers and the public sector. Awards judge Dr Martin Atkins said that "an eclectic mix of energy efficient, low-emission stories contributed to the stellar line up."
"Businesses thinking long term and setting targets for energy and emissions reduction are what counts for New Zealand. Important environmental decisions sitting alongside financial ones improve a business' durability, and it was this that we wanted to reward."
Source: NZ Herald
Red Stag wins EECA Energy AwardEECA 2018 Award for Large Energy User of the Year
With big energy use comes the opportunity for big reductions. This Award celebrates those that are planning for the future and achieving super-sized energy and emissions reductions.
Large Energy User of the Year Award
This category is open to businesses with a large annual energy spend and high annual emissions. The Award recognises an organisation that has completed a successful energy efficiency, emissions reduction or renewable energy initiative as part of a comprehensive energy and/or emissions management strategy. The award will recognise efforts over a longer-term.
And the Winner Is:
Red Stag Timber
The installation of a new 4.2MW steam turbine and a 10MW biomass boiler at Red Stag’s wood-processing plant has closed the gap on their long-term energy- efficiency and low-carbon business plan. Wood waste is used as renewable fuel to generate all the electricity the site needs, their energy self-sufficiency has put production up, and the power bill down.
Source: EECA Business
Nelson: OFO deal detailsOneFortyOne paid $US815 million (subject to adjustments in accordance with the sale and purchase agreement) to acquire Nelson Forests from Nelson Properties, which is 49 percent United States owned.
OneFortyOne’s purchase of Nelson Forests, which owns or controls more than 25,000 hectares of sensitive forestry land and the Kaituna Sawmill. It also holds forestry rights and Crown Forestry Licences for about 51,000 hectares.
OneFortyOne, which is 63.5 percent Australian-owned, has about 80,000 hectares of radiata pine forest in South Australia and Victoria, and a sawmill and wood chip operation.
Farm to redwood conversion approvedWaikato farmland will be converted to redwood forest following approval for a United States company to buy the land. The New Zealand Redwood Company is buying 1,148 hectares of farm land at Matiere, in the Waikato.
The Minister for Land Information and the Associate Minister of Finance made the decision under the Overseas Investment Act recently.
The company specialises in growing redwoods, the world’s tallest trees, which are found naturally in a coastal strip from Oregon to California. It is a reputable investor in New Zealand, and has made similar investments over the last 20 years.
The purchase will lead to an increase of six full-time jobs a year for the forest’s life. In other benefits to New Zealand, timber processing and export receipts will increase, with most of the processed wood exported to North America, where there is high demand for redwood.
This investment will contribute to the Government’s One Billion Trees programme through the planting of about 650 hectares of trees. The company will also provide on- going walking access on the land.
By gum: Wasp to protect eucalyptusThe Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is considering an application to release a parasitoid wasp to control the eucalyptus tortoise beetle.
Scion, the Crown Research Institute focused on research, science and technological development for the forestry and timber industries, has lodged the application.
“The Australian eucalyptus tortoise beetle causes significant damage to susceptible species of eucalypts. Its larvae feed voraciously on eucalyptus leaves for three weeks before pupating. Adult female beetles also feed heavily as they develop,” says EPA’s General Manager of Hazardous Substances and New Organisms, Dr Fiona Thomson-Carter.
“According to the applicant, the beetle costs the forest industry $1.0-$2.6 million a year in chemical control costs. It estimates that effective biocontrol could prevent $7.2 million in annual losses caused by impaired tree growth and yield attributable to the eucalyptus tortoise beetle.”
Farm foresters and owners of moderately-sized eucalyptus plantations cannot afford aerial spraying, so biocontrol is their only realistic option to combat damage done by the beetle, Scion notes.
“Eucalyptus trees are grown in New Zealand as a source of products such as woodchips for paper and cardboard manufacture, lumber, and durable poles which do not require preservative treatment,” Dr Thomson-Carter says.
“Scion notes around 90 percent of tortoise beetle larvae survive into adulthood. But if a larva is attacked just once by the parasitoid wasp, survival drops to just 10 percent.”
The wasp is harmless to humans.
New Zealand has no native beetles of the same type as the eucalyptus tortoise beetle, and no native eucalyptus species, Scion says. Its laboratory tests suggest the risks to non-target related native and beneficial beetles appears to be very low. It has discussed the application with various M?ori groups.
Public submissions on this application open on Tuesday 2 October and close on Wednesday 14 November.
Source: Scoop News
Buy and Sell
… and finally … BAD parenting
That's all for this week's wood news.
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