WoodWeek – 4 September 2019

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Greetings from your WoodWeek news team. The first bit of good news this week is that our 4th Annual WoodWorks - Changing Perceptions Conference sold out. It's running today at Novotel Auckland Airport Hotel. We've got a great line-up of international and local speakers and excellent tall timber building case studies. There are some big projects coming in this space. New Zealand project managers also feature prominently in some of the bigger overseas mass timber projects. More news on this next week.

Moving to log markets and the statistics are just catching up with what we already know has happened. Our Champion Freight market update shows total log export values to China year-on-year to the end of July were up 15 percent year- on-year contributing to overall log exports growing 9 percent across all markets compared to the same period last year.

Month-on-month to the end of July, shipments to China were down 8 percent; shipments to India were down 25 percent and shipments to South Korea were down 23 percent, bringing overall log exports down 19 percent.

Rounding out the financial year to the end of June at Port of Tauranga logs contributed to a strong annual result. Log exports increased 12.5% to 7.1 million tonnes. This trend is not expected to continue in the short term. Sawn timber exports increased 5.4% in volume and, overall, forestry-related exports increased 10%.

In other news from the forest it appears that in New Zealand’s North Island, pine forests are prolonging the life of methane in the local atmosphere by as much as three years, according to recent work done by climate researcher Jim Salinger.

Finally we have a bit of history for you from back in the day - 1966 to be exact and it is a look at forest operations in our biggest forest - Kaingaroa. Made by the National Film Unit for the forest’s then-managers — the New Zealand Forest Service — this documentary showcases the industry in the pines. Speaking of the NZ Forest Service, watch this space as the hundredth anniversary of our forestry department is coming soon.

The New Zealand Forest Service was originally established in 1919 as the State Forest Service. The State Forest Service changed its name to the New Zealand Forest Service in 1949 at about the same time that the Forests Act of 1949 passed through Parliament. The New Zealand Forest Service was responsible for the management of New Zealand's state-owned forests, including forestry, conservation and recreational functions, and was abolished in 1987.

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Log export markets: Monthly update

Update: Log export markets - This week we've got our monthly update from the Champion Freight team. In short monthly shipments to China were down in value, but only compared to 2018 - they were still much greater than previous years. It bears pointing out that the month of July 2018 was the second highest log export value month on record at over $350.9 million after March 2019 at $389.2 million. Back in 2015 or 2016 those values took 2 months to achieve.

The chart shows total log export values to China year-on-year to the end of July were up 15 percent year- on-year contributing to overall log exports growing 9 percent across all markets compared to the same period last year.

Month-on-month to the end of July, shipments to China were down 8 percent; shipments to India were down 25 percent and shipments to South Korea were down 23 percent, bringing overall log exports down 19 percent.

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ForestTECH to feature UAV advancements

Every year, at our FIEA ForestTECH conference series, we host over 250 of you - from resource managers, remote sensing, GIS and mapping specialists, to inventory foresters and technology providers from throughout Australasia and now Asia and North America. The series is now in its 12th year and the technologies are accelerating as fast as ever. It's also a real networking opportunity - lots of real people with the same interests all in one room - advancing our industry.

In a recent issue of Friday Offcuts, we outlined how one of the presenters at the November conference series, US company, DroneSeed, are employing swarms of UAV’s (or drones) to automate tree planting and spraying operations for a number of major North American forest management companies. A number of other significant technology advances have been made over the last 12 months with an array of new UAV platforms, data collection capabilities and operational applications.

New technology, Hovermap, is now allowing collision avoidance for drones, advanced autonomy and SLAM-based LiDAR mapping in challenging GPS-denied environments.

Work is also currently underway in both Australia and New Zealand to develop autonomous, unmanned aerial systems for mapping the forest from beneath the canopy. The purpose here is to develop a system to provide a mapping solution for areas of dense undergrowth and dense canopy, where ground-based methods are difficult or hazardous and above canopy methods struggle to penetrate to the stems.

These presentations along with recent work on beyond visual line of sight for UAV’s, using machine learning for tree counting and tree detection from UAV collected data and recent operational trials to evaluate post planting seedling survival with UAV’s form part of the ForestTECH 2019 series this year.

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Logs lift Port of Tauranga results

Port of Tauranga, New Zealand’s largest port, has just reported record cargo volumes and increased profits for the year to 30 June 2019. It continues to consolidate its position as New Zealand’s international hub port, with transhipment increasing 11.2%. The Port handled more than 26.9 million tonnes of cargo, an increase of 10.2% in volume, with containerised cargo growing 4.3% to more than 1.2 million TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units, a standard measure of shipping containers).

Group Net Profit After Tax passed the $100 million milestone for the first time, increasing 6.7% on last year’s profit of $94.3 million to reach $100.6 million.

• Group Net Profit After Tax increases 6.7% to $100.6 million
• Annual container throughput increases 4.3% to more than 1.2 million TEUs
• Transhipment increases 11.2%, making up 32% of all container traffic
• Log export volumes increase 12.5% to 7.1 million tonnes
• Exports increase 11.2% to 17.1 million tonnes
• Imports increase 8.4% to 9.8 million tonnes
• Annual revenue increases 10.4% to $313.3 million

Cargo trends – Exports increased 11.2% to 17.1 million tonnes and imports increased 8.4% to 9.8 million tonnes for the year ended 30 June 2019.

Log exports increased 12.5% to 7.1 million tonnes. This trend is not expected to continue in the short term, with log prices declining in June following a drop in demand from China, New Zealand’s biggest log export market. We expect some impact on volumes in the coming months.

Sawn timber exports increased 5.4% in volume and, overall, forestry-related exports increased 10%. Dairy product exports remained steady. Kiwifruit exports increased 15.2% during the period. Other primary produce sectors also performed strongly, with frozen meat exports increasing 18.8% in volume and apple exports increasing 54.3%. Cement imports decreased 17.1% in volume and steel exports decreased 7.7%. Salt imports increased 26.8% in volume.

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New webpages for Waratah

Waratah is pleased to announce new web pages to further provide the industry’s most comprehensive commitment to forestry customers.

The new sites extend the reach of our global web page with exclusive regional web pages that complement our extensive support team expertise and retail locations to better serve our local customers and their needs.

WaratahSales.com provides a one-stop location for best-in-class product information, support, parts access, and detailed information on forestry services and used equipment we offer forestry customers in Australia, New Zealand or even Africa or Asia. [link: https://WaratahSales.com ]

On this site you’ll find we offer harvesters, processors – but also everything from cranes, control systems, grapples, and used equipment. Find out what we offer to suit your business needs.

Here also you’ll find information on connecting with our dedicated support team, training workshops, simulators, and even rebuilding services and used equipment.

If it’s just parts you’re after the new on-line retail parts page Parts.Waratah.com provides a one-stop location - further reinforcing our 24/7/365 commitment from our dedicated parts professionals in getting all parts to all parts: (https://parts.waratah.com)

Here we offer professional account management, unrivalled parts availability, and dynamic dispatch, and you can be confident we’ll get you the part you need, right where and when you need it.

Check out our new sites and rest assured, these are fully backed by our dedicated team of forestry support professionals with you every step of the way.

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Pines may extend atmospheric methane

In New Zealand’s North Island, pine forests are prolonging the life of methane in the local atmosphere by as much as three years, according to recent work done by climate researcher Jim Salinger.

Dr Salinger said new computer modelling showed New Zealand had underestimated the impact of methane in its greenhouse gas emissions and would need to set tougher targets for methane reduction.

The modelling showed compounds called monoterpenes emitted by pine plantations in the North Island were extending the life of methane in the New Zealand atmosphere from 12.5 years to 15 years. Dr Salinger presented the research to Parliament's Environment Select Committee last week.

"The extra monoterpene emissions from our pine forests, they augment the lifetime of methane ... by probably in the order of two to three years," he told RNZ. Dr Salinger said the longer lifespan gave methane a much bigger impact on climate change in New Zealand than previously thought.

"That really means methane's share of New Zealand greenhouse gas emissions is not 42 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions but is now 50 percent. So that is a significant increase," he said. "Given that our methane impact on the atmosphere is higher than we perceived, we need in terms of targets to raise the target to say 20 percent methane reduction by 2030 and at the upper end of the proposed range by 2050 because we're going to get more bang for the buck for reduction of methane than carbon dioxide."

Dr Salinger said the research showed there was collateral damage from any attempts to plant pine trees en masse in order to mitigate global warming.

Source: Scoop news

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NZ sawmilling operations sold

Last Friday NZ Future Forest Products Ltd (“NZFFP”) announced that it has entered into a sale and purchase agreement to acquire 100% of Claymark Group Holdings Ltd (“Claymark”) from its controlling shareholder.

Claymark is a global leader in manufacturing high quality New Zealand radiata pine wood products. It has approximately 600 employees, operates six manufacturing sites in New Zealand and generates revenue of approximately NZ$185 million.

The transaction includes all of Claymark’s operations in New Zealand and the United States. It remains subject to certain conditions being satisfied prior to completion, which is expected to occur by 30th September 2019. Mark Clayton, who has led Claymark for 30 years, will be appointed as a non-executive director of NZFFP for 3 years as part of the transaction.

NZFFP managing director, David Henry, says: “We are very pleased to announce this acquisition. Claymark is rightly considered to be one of New Zealand’s most successful wood exporters, with value-added products provided to international markets and well- established brand recognition amongst its customers for its precision approach to manufacturing. These characteristics are essential to NZFFP’s corporate ethos”.

“The board of NZFFP welcomes Mark’s expertise as a non-executive director as we undertake significant investment to increase efficiencies and production at Claymark to ensure that we satisfy increasing global demand for its products. NZFFP is committed to retaining the Claymark brand, maintaining its reputation for quality products and expanding its international export presence.”

Source: NZFFP

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NZIF Foundation awards winners

NZ Institute of Forestry recognises outstanding contributions of individuals to New Zealand forestry - The NZ Institute of Forestry recognised the contribution of an outstanding leader at its Annual Awards Dinner in Christchurch last Monday night, when Dr John Wardle received the NZIF Forester of the Year award. The award recognises an Institute member who has made an outstanding contribution to either the forestry profession, or the forestry sector. The award recognises leadership, excellence and personal integrity, particularly where this demonstrates the character and strength of the forestry profession, and it is one of the highest accolades the Institute can bestow.

“The Forester of the Year award is a fitting recognition of the contribution that Dr John Wardle has made to the sector over a large number of years”, said the President, David Evison. “Dr Wardle’s earlier contribution to research included writing the authoritative text on the New Zealand beech species, and research into the effects of introduced wild animals on New Zealand’s native forests. More recently Dr Wardle, in partnership with his wife Rosalie, has developed and managed a unique forestry operation at their property “Woodside” in North Canterbury. They have pioneered innovative management of both indigenous and exotic forests for multiple uses including timber and honey production and conservation. The property is managed under an open space QEII covenant, which guarantees sustainable management into the future with emphasis on both education and research activities. The QEII covenant on Woodside is unusual, in that it provides for both conservation and sustainable timber harvesting.”

The Institute also celebrated the election of James Treadwell and Mike Marren as Fellows of the NZ Institute of Forestry. The election to this special membership status is granted by a vote of members and recognises outstanding contributions to the profession of forestry.

The NZIF Foundation announces education and research awards totalling $22,500. “For this year’s allocation of funds, we had a good number of quality applicants, but we were disappointed there were no applicants for some awards”, said Dr Andrew McEwen, the Foundation’s chair.

“In 2012, the first year of the Foundation’s operation, we had four awards worth a total of $6,500. For 2019 we advertised nine award categories plus four student poster competition prizes worth $40,000. What is especially pleasing is the applicants come from a range of institutions and forestry interests, with research projects in plantation forest management, export procedures, indigenous forests and urban forests.”

The awards were announced at the joint conference of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry and the Institute of Foresters of Australia in Christchurch on Monday 26th August. Daniel Boczniewicz, a PhD student at the University of Canterbury School of Forestry received a $10,000 Future Forest Scholarship for his research on modelling stem properties for eucalyptus in New Zealand’s dryland environments.

The Chavasse Study Award for $3,500 was awarded to Bernadette Nanayakkara, a scientist at Scion working on wood formation physiology. Bernadette plans to attend the International Union of Forest Research Institutions conference “Forest Research and Cooperation for Sustainable Development” in Brazil later this year.

Georgia Craig who is in her fourth year of a B.For.Sc. (Hons) degree at the University of Canterbury School of Forestry, received the $5,000 NZ Redwood Company Scholarship. Georgia’s honours project is looking at the effect of debarking logs on air quality emissions at export ports.

The Frank Hutchinson Postgraduate Scholarship of $1,000 went to Monique Hall, an M.Sc. student at the University of Waikato who is studying restored urban forests. Reihana Fisher a 4th year Bachelor of Forestry Science (Hons) student at the School of Forestry at the University of Canterbury received the undergraduate award. His dissertation topic is looking at the benefit of pruning.

Four forestry students from Canterbury University received prizes in the student poster competition at the Conference. Reihana Fisher received first prize of $800, Georgia Craig second prize of $600, Nick Berry third prize of $400 and Shaun Coles the fourth prize of $200.

“We were delighted with the number and quality of applications”, said Dr McEwen. “We congratulate the recipients of the awards and thank all applicants and encourage them to persist with their research and education and to make a career associated with New Zealand’s forests, which have a vital role to play in this country’s environment, economy and society.”

Photo: Dr John Wardle awarded NZIF Forester of the Year.

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SnapSTAT: Export log values since 2005

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Forest investment applications running high

Forestry deals continue to keep the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) busy and 16 consents have been approved since the new streamlined forestry test was introduced in October 2018. OIO approved five consents in July totalling 6500ha from overseas buyers to buy land for forestry purposes.

Consents for the January to June period totalled 47, covering a net land area of 14,483ha, well up on the 5559ha recorded for the corresponding period in 2018.

These included the acquisition of a 4273ha parcel in South Wairarapa by Swiss-German owned Kauri Forestry, 711ha in Wairoa to Te Au Ltd of Singapore, 217ha at Kennington Rd, Marlborough to Australian entity Marberry and two forest lots totalling 1200ha in Port Underwood, Marlborough, to UK-based NZ Forest Industries and Issoria Offshore.

The forestry test means that land is used almost exclusively for forestry activities. The OIO may also place conditions on the consents to ensure existing arrangements remain in place, or to place new provisions on the use of the land.

The total asset value of OIO-approved deals for the first six months amounted to $3.6billion, versus $838.4million for the comparable 2018 period.

More >>

Source: Otago Daily Times

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From the archives: Watch this from 1966

The ‘Young Giant’ is Kaingaroa Forest - Its the largest plantation in the Southern Hemisphere, and one of the largest exotic forests in the world. 1,300 square kilometres produce “50 million cubic feet of timber a year” for pulp, paper, and building.

Directed by Brian Cross, and made by the National Film Unit for the forest’s then-managers — the New Zealand Forest Service — this documentary showcases the industry in the pines: scrub clearance for forest extension, burn-offs, machine planting, pruning, felling, grafting, and kiln-drying cones to extract seeds for sowing.

Click here >>

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Buy and Sell

... and finally ... help from above

A man suffered a serious heart attack while shopping in a store. The store clerk called emergency services when they saw him collapse to the floor.

The paramedics rushed the man to the nearest hospital where he had emergency open heart bypass surgery. He awakened from the surgery to find himself in the care of nuns at the Catholic Hospital.

A nun was seated next to his bed holding a clipboard loaded with several forms, and a pen. She asked him how he was going to pay for his treatment. "Do you have health insurance?" she asked.
He replied in a raspy voice, "No health insurance."

The nun asked, "Do you have money in the bank?"
He replied, "No money in the bank."

Do you have a relative who could help you with the payments?" asked the irritated nun.
He said, "I only have a spinster sister, and she is a nun."

The nun became agitated and announced loudly, "Nuns are not spinsters! Nuns are married to God."

The patient replied, "Perfect. Send the bill to my brother-in-law."

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

John Stulen

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