WoodWeek – 26 June 2019

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Greetings from your WoodWeek news team. It’s a very busy week here in Rotorua with our FIEA team running the HarvestTECH conference at the Distinction Hotel. The carpark is now a harvester park - complete with 3 large BBQ areas - with the entire outdoor sealed area full of sponsor’s exhibits. We've also got almost 500 delegates turning out to hear and see the latest in forest harvesting technologies. With people attending from Australia, Canada, USA, Europe and South America, once again this is a truly international event.

Looking to our most important log market, China and all seems to be well if their own wood trade is a good gauge. China’s wood products trade continues to expand. According to the data of China Customs, the total value of China’s wood products trade rose 6% to US$163.5 billion in 2018. Of the total, the value of wood products exports rose 3% to US$81.6 billion, and imports grew 8% to US$ 83.7 billion.

Staying with logs, a multimillion-dollar project to deepen part of Otago Harbour, and help get log trucks off State Highway 88, is being considered by Port Otago. The company has been investigating a long-term plan to remove heavy vehicles heading to and from its Port Chalmers facility via SH88 since early last year. At present, about 60% of container traffic heading to Port Otago goes by rail, but 70% of log traffic travels on SH88 to Port Chalmers.

Picking up on the flow on effects from last winter’s flood events on the east coast, Hikurangi Forest Farms has admitted its forestry waste was among the devastating raft of debris that surged through Tolaga Bay in floodwaters last June, causing millions of dollars in damage.

Looking more in-depth at what’s happening with our big hairy audacious tree planting goal we have some interesting audio with the boss of Te Uru Rakau, Julie Collins that aired recently on Radio NZ. In this extensive interview Collins presents statistical evidence that the farm-to-forest sales over the past 12 months should not raise alarm bells. She also outlines clearly the considerable thought that has gone into the planned programme and why it is so important for the trees to get in the ground.

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Update: China wood products exports

China’s wood products trade continues to expand - According to the data of China Customs, the total value of China’s wood products trade rose 6% to US$163.5 billion in 2018. Of the total, the value of wood products exports rose 3% to US$81.6 billion, and imports grew 8% to US$ 83.7 billion.

China mainly exported wooden furniture, paper, paperboard and paper products, other wood products and plywood. The value of China’s wooden furniture exports rose 1% to US$22.9 billion.

The value of other wood products such as flooring exports grew 12% to US$6.9 billion .China’s plywood exports were 11.33 million cubic metres valued at US$5.546 billion, a year on year increase of 5% in volume and 9% in value.

Source: ITTO TTM Report


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MPI: No surprises with trees on farms

One billion trees: Where are they being planted? - Radio New Zealand's Kathryn Ryan leads this interview to find out where the government is at with the scheme to plant one billion trees in ten years? It follows concerns prime pasture is being converted into lucrative forestry land. Kathryn talks to Head of MPI's forestry service Te Uru Rakau's Julie Collins.

In this extensive interview Collins presents statistical evidence that the farm-to-forest sales over the past 12 months should not raise alarm bells. She also outlines clearly the considerable thought that has gone into the planned programme and why it is so important for the trees to get in the ground.

More (audio) >>

Source: Radio New Zealand


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Komatsu Forest showcases 2020 features

In conjunction with SkogsNolia, Komatsu Forest will launch an upgraded product range, with the majority of the machines new. The machines are equipped with a brand-new engine installation conforming to the latest emission legislation.

The new, future-proof control system, MaxiXT, will also be launched. Alongside these, the company will present a number of quality improvements and new functions to simplify day-to-day tasks for machine operators and to increase profitability. These include the new MaxiVision service, which takes production planning to a whole new level.

All 2020 harvester models have been upgraded, from the agile Komatsu 901 thinning harvester through the bestselling eight-wheel Komatsu 931XC to the stately Komatsu 951. Among the forwarders, the three largest – the Komatsu 855, 875 and 895 models – have been upgraded.

One standout feature is the brand-new engine installation, which conforms to the latest emission legislation (Stage V). It also offers many other benefits, such as an all-new AdBlue system, a new exhaust system and hydraulic tappets. Despite the new, larger engine installation, the machine boasts the same slim design with good all-round visibility and views – right down to the wheels.

Another new announcement is the MaxiXT control system, the machine's nervous system, controlling everything from the engine to the crane and the head. In connection with this, the Automatic Central Lubrication option is now integrated with MaxiXT, making it easy to monitor from the cab. What's more, on harvesters the grease tank has been doubled in size, meaning less refilling for the operator.

MaxiXT brings with it improved anti-theft measures as the operator must log in to the system to start the machine, or else use a remote key with a unique operator ID. Yet another added feature is the ability to record signal sequences to send to support, for simpler and speedier troubleshooting.


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PF Olsen log price index

Log Market Summary (PF Olsen) - The CFR sale prices for New Zealand logs in China has dropped 4-6 USD over the last month, with A grade logs now selling at around 130 USD per JASm3. The weakening of the NZD against the USD through May somewhat buffered the drop for the June At Wharf Gate (AWG) prices offered to log suppliers at NZ ports. The average drop in AWG prices was 5-6 NZD per JASm3.

The Chinese Yuan (CNY) has recently stabilised against the USD providing some relief to the Chinese log buyers. The NZD however has recently strengthened against the USD, and if this continues will have an adverse effect on July AWG prices.

Due to the drop in the AWG log prices the PF Olsen Log Price Index for June decreased $2 to $128. The index is currently $1 below the two-year average, $2 above the three-year average, and $10 higher than the five-year average.

Note: Basis of Index - This Index is based on prices in the table below weighted in proportions that represent a broad average of log grades produced from a typical pruned forest with an approximate mix of 40% domestic and 60% export supply.

More >>

Source: PF Olsen Wood Matters


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Gisborne: RMA breaches go to court

Hikurangi Forest Farms admits charges following devastating Tolaga Bay floods - Hikurangi Forest Farms has admitted its forestry waste was among the devastating raft of debris that surged through Tolaga Bay in floodwaters last June, causing millions of dollars in damage.

The company and nine other companies subsequently charged by Gisborne District Council with breaching the Resource Management Act were represented at an Environment Court hearing in Auckland district courthouse recently.

Hikurangi Forest Farms vacated not-guilty pleas from March and its trial by jury election to plead guilty to two breaches of the RMA — that it discharged contaminants, specifically forestry waste, on to land or into water.

The charges relate to the company’s Wakaroa and Te Marunga forests, with the offending said to have occurred between June 2017 and July 2018.

Council prosecutor Adam Hopkinson withdrew two further charges alleging breaches of another part of the Act — that the company used land in a manner that contravened RMA regulations.

Judge Melanie Harland scheduled sentencing for October 1.

She also referred the case for restorative justice, which Mr Hopkinson said would be convened either by the court’s service provider or by a council- assigned provider.

The other companies charged in relation to the alleged offending have maintained not guilty pleas and have each been further remanded for another case review hearing on September 23.

Those companies are A and R Logging Ltd, DNS Forest Products 2009 Ltd, Ernslaw One Ltd, Juken New Zealand, Logic Forest Solutions, Permanent Forests Ltd, PF Olsen Ltd, South Pacific Forestry Holdings Ltd, and Timbergrow Ltd.

Earnslaw and Timbergrow have elected trial by jury; the others have elected judge-alone fixtures.

The trials, which will involve numerous witnesses and thousands of photographs, are expected to take at least three weeks.

More >>

Source: Gisborne Herald


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Otago: Log trucks days numbered

Days of log trucks may be numbered - A multimillion-dollar project to deepen part of Otago Harbour- and help get log trucks off State Highway 88 - is being considered, Port Otago says.

The company has been investigating a long-term project to remove heavy vehicles heading to and from its Port Chalmers facility via SH88 since early last year.

At present, about 60% of container traffic heading to Port Otago went by rail, but 70% of log traffic - or 100 trucks on average per day - travelled on SH88 to Port Chalmers, Port Otago chief executive Kevin Winders said.

The volume of heavy traffic using the highway has prompted safety concerns for some residents, most recently when a fully-laden log truck trailer tipped over at Maia last month.

Mr Winders said yesterday the solution was not as simple as transferring log trucks' loads to rail partway through their journey.

The economics of doing so still did not stack up when logs came to Dunedin from within about 200km of the city, he said.

Instead, Port Otago wanted to see an expansion of its existing log depot at Fryatt St, opposite Forsyth Barr Stadium.

The depot already catered for 30% of the company's log traffic, which was offloaded from trucks and on to log ships, and the site had capacity for growth. However, the shallow depth of the upper harbour channel at present meant log ships could not leave the depot more than half full.

As a result, Port Otago was considering a project to deepen and widen the upper harbour channel - between Port Chalmers and the city centre - over the next four or five years, he said.

Dredging between Port Chalmers and Taiaroa Head was largely complete, having achieved a depth of 14m, and Port Otago already had consent to deepen the upper harbour channel from 7m to 8.5m.

That dredging work was already under way, but the company was investigating the feasibility of going further, by deepening the upper harbour channel to 10.5m, he said.

The channel would also be widened as part of the project, while the realignment of some problematic bends along the route was already being planned.

The project still needed to be signed off by the Port Otago board, and would then require resource consent - potentially an 18-month process - while dredging would take a further three years, he said.

But once it was completed, fully-laden log ships - as well as other heavier vessels - would be able to navigate the route, removing the need for log trucks to use SH88.

The deeper channel would also benefit Port Otago's major customers, for example by allowing larger - but less frequent - shipments of fuel and fertiliser to be delivered to the city, he said.

More >>

Source: ODT


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People on the move: Tigercat Australia

Tigercat appointments in Australia - To provide product support for their customers in Wstern Australia, Tigercat has recently appointed Nick Cate who will be based in Perth, Nick will focus on providing after-sales technical and operational support to Tigercat’s growing customer base in Western Australia.

Tigercat also recently appointed Damien Ambrose as product support representative to provide field support for Tigercat’s customer base predominantly across the regions of southeastern Australia and Queensland.


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Vietnam promises China export crackdown

Vietnam has said it will crack down on goods of Chinese origin illegally re-labeled "Made in Vietnam" by exporters seeking to avoid US President Donald Trump's tariffs on Chinese imports - Vietnamese customs have found scores of such cases amid the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute, the department said in a statement posted to a government website on Sunday.

"The faking of origin and the illegal transshipment of goods happens most often in the sectors of textiles, seafood, agricultural products, tiles, honey, steel and iron, aluminium and timber products," the department said in the statement.

Some importers had been illegally re-packing goods from China in "Made in Vietnam" packaging and then applying for a Vietnamese certificate of origin with which to export to the United States, Europe and Japan, Vietnam customs said.

In one such example, which the statement said was uncovered by U.S. customs, a Vietnam-based manufacturer of timber products was found to have been importing Chinese timber which it then re-labeled and exported to the United States.

More >>

Source: Chronicle Herald


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China recognises wood framing in new standard

Wood Frame Construction Technology (WFC) has officially been recognized for the first time by China’s Green Building Evaluation Standard as a viable solution for the country’s green building credit rating. This is another milestone for WFC in China on the government regulations front after a series of prefabrication policies favourable to wood has been published in the past few years.

The newly revised standard, printed in May and scheduled to be implemented in August 2019, includes WFC as one of the three building solutions along with concrete and steel systems. It also awards credits to wood frame solutions for being an innovative construction technology. The new standard also introduces the entry Certified Level, making it aligned with the LEED certification system and offering more accessible eligibility. This also means that green building standard is likely to be implemented as de-facto compulsory measures in the future.

In 2006, the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) released its first Evaluation Standard for Green Building, otherwise known as the Three Star System. Different from LEED’s total points rating system, the Chinese system requires that a building must obtain a certain number of points in all rating categories to qualify for a star rating.

Based on the 2006 Evaluation Standard for Green Building, MOHURD further revised the document the standard in 2015, vowing that 30% of all newly constructed buildings will be green by 2020. However, the 2015 revision still did not specify whether WFC was considered a green building solution.

In recent years, unremitting lobbying efforts by Canada Wood China contributed to the official recognition of WFC in a series of policies and industrialised construction standards. MOHURD realized that WFC should also be a part of green building policies and standards, and started working on revising the Three Star System again in 2018, merely three years after its second iteration.

The standard is expected to be revised again in 2020. Canada Wood China will maintain close communications with MOHURD to ensure the inclusion of WFC content in the revised standard.

Source: Canada Wood Group


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Jobs



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... and finally ... time for some sporting humour

Scales of Justice

"Two friends fished the Awahou - a cold water stream running into Lake Rotorua," writes regular Rotorua fishing enthusiast Alf Hoyle. "They called it quits at 11pm with two fish each. As they headed back to the car park - a lovely moonlit night - one had a problem with a bit of pumice in his waders.

Placing his fish on the ground he sat down and removed his waders just as a large ginger cat emerged from the hedge and proceeded to gnaw the head of one of his fish.

Most anglers, when leaving the water, reel the fly into the tip of the rod until back at the car.

Without much thought my friend slapped the moggie with his rod. Most fishing sorts have read Zane Grey's book, The Scream of the Reel - well that had nothing on a ginger tom cat, just before midnight streaking up the road with a Red Setter no 6 fly stuck in its arse."

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Q: What kind of music should you listen to while fishing?
... beats me .... what kind?
A: Something catchy!



Thanks for keeping up with the latest wood news with us!
Have a safe and productive week.

John Stulen

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