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Under Brazil’s Far Right Leader, Amazon Protections Slashed and Forests Fall

NYT Logging Industry - Sun, 28/07/2019 - 08:55
Cutting down trees at the current rate could lead to runaway deforestation, environmentalists say. But President Bolsonaro is sticking to his promise to curb enforcement.

UPM to build 2.1 million tonne greenfield eucalyptus pulp mill near Paso de los Toros in central Uruguay

International Forest Industries - Fri, 26/07/2019 - 12:08

UPM will construct a 2.1 million tonne greenfield eucalyptus pulp mill near Paso de los Toros in central Uruguay, company announced. The mill investment of $2.7 billion will grow UPM’s current pulp capacity by more than 50%, resulting in a step change in the scale of UPM’s pulp business as well as in UPM’s future earnings. Additionally, UPMwill invest $350 million in port operations in Montevideo and local facilities in Paso de los Toros. The mill is scheduled to start up in the second half of 2022.

With a combination of competitive wood supply, scale, best available techniques and efficient logistics the mill is expected to reach a highly competitive cash cost level, approximately $280 per delivered tonne of pulp. This figure includes the variable and fixed costs of plantation operations, wood sourcing, mill operations and logistics delivered to the main markets. This would position the mill as one of the most competitive mills in the world and enable attractive returns for the investment in various market scenarios. Furthermore, the safety and sustainability performance of the value chain from plantations to customer delivery is expected to be on an industry leading level.

The prerequisites for the investment have been carefully prepared in cooperation with the state of Uruguay. For UPM, it has been important to ensure sustainable, competitive operations long-term and to minimize risks both in the project phase and during continuous operations. For Uruguay, the project and the infrastructure development offer significant opportunities for economic and social development.

“During the past decade UPM has developed additional plantation areas in Uruguay and created a market driven pulp business with wide customer base in growing end uses. At the same time, we have consistently improved our financial performance and achieved a truly industry leading balance sheet. We are now in an excellent position to take this transformative step and capture the opportunities of attractive, growing markets in a sustainable and highly competitive way,” says Jussi Pesonen, President and CEO of UPM.


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New Zealand export more logs and wood in June 2019, despite falling log prices overseas

International Forest Industries - Fri, 26/07/2019 - 11:48

In June 2019, exports of logs and wood led the rise in New Zealand’s exports, up 16% or $43.5 million (NZ$65 million) from June 2018 to $316.1 million (NZ$472 million) in June 2019. These commodities are the third-largest goods export group, behind milk powder, butter, and cheese (NZ$1.1 billion) and meat and edible offal (NZ$678 million).

The rise in logs and wood was led by untreated logs, up 20% or $36.8 million (NZ$55 million) on a year earlier. The quantity rose 26% and unit values fell 4.6%.

“The average value of untreated log exports fell to $109 (NZ$163) per m3 in June, down from a recent high of $119 (NZ$177) in February,” international statistics manager Geraldine Duoba said.

New Zealand exports of untreated logs to China were worth about $2 billion (NZ$3.0 billion) in the past year, or 80% of the $2.54 billion (NZ$3.8 billion) in total untreated log exports.

Chart: Stats NZ

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Canada investing to grow markets for B.C. wood products

International Forest Industries - Fri, 26/07/2019 - 10:32
The Government of Canada is investing in Canada’s resources to boost economic competitiveness while protecting the environment. By promoting innovative wood products from sustainably managed forests, Canada is supporting its forestry sector by expanding market access and creating jobs and economic opportunities for Canadians, Natural Resources Canada announced.

The multi-year investment will amount to over $24 million in six wood product associations based in British Columbia to help strengthen international demand for Canadian wood products. The federal government’s partnership with industry and the province of British Columbia in promoting this work is critical to its long-term success.

This investment includes:
$16,786,200 for Canada Wood Group in Vancouver — which brings together Canadian wood product associations — to help diversify and expand Canadian forest product exports to traditional and emerging offshore markets. Support will enable market research; assist in the transfer of technology; advance standards that will increase the use of wood in construction; and deliver training in wood design and construction in China, Japan, South Korea, India and Europe.

$3,394,709 for Forestry Innovation Investment in Vancouver — British Columbia’s market development agency for forest products — to advance training, education and wood use overseas, specifically in Asian markets such as India, Vietnam and China.

$1,925,378 for the Council of Forest Industries in Vancouver — an association that represents British Columbia’s forest industry — to help create business leads to increase the use of wood-frame construction in China, Japan and South Korea, and to reinforce the Canada Wood brand as a “go-to” source for wood construction and manufacturing technology.

$944,028 for BC Wood Specialties Group in Langley — a non-profit trade association that represents British Columbia’s value-added wood products manufacturers — to support small and medium-sized companies in their efforts to become export-ready and facilitate business-to-business opportunities for their membership through trade shows and missions.

$926,360 for the Wood Pellet Association of Canada in Revelstoke — a member-driven organization for wood pellet producers — to advance the interests of domestic wood pellet producers, to help members grow through promoting the uses of wood pellets in Canadian and global markets, and to support market and technical research and encourage fair and open energy trade.

$33,000 for Western Red Cedar Lumber Association in Vancouver — a non-profit association representing producers of cedar products — to maintain and grow the demand for western red cedar by helping increase its online presence in a number of key international markets.

Government of Canada funding is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Expanding Market Opportunities (EMO) program, which supports market development for Canada’s forest products industry. Through Budget 2019, the government committed an additional $64 million over three years, starting in 2020–21, for EMO. This investment will help Canada’s forest sector continue to grow demand for Canadian wood products around the world in both traditional and emerging markets.

“We are proud to partner with these Canadian associations who are opening doors for our wood products in international markets. This is a great example of how we are working with industry partners to create jobs and build a more prosperous future for the many Canadian communities that depend on forestry,” said Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.

“Forestry remains B.C.’s largest manufacturing industry and a cornerstone of regional economies across the province. The federal government’s partnership with the province and industry is instrumental in diversifying markets for B.C.’s forest products and helps ensure the sector continues to be a leading contributor to our economy,” said Bruce Ralston, BC Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology.

“The partnership between the Government of Canada and Canada Wood and our funding partners has resulted in significant positive results leading to the growth of global markets for Canadian forest products. Canada Woodreflects the strength and diversity of the Canadian forest sector through a Team Canada approach that brings together industry in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and B.C. An example of our success is the 27-fold increase in lumber shipments to China, making it Canada’s largest market after the U.S. in less than 15 years. The Government of Canada’s $8.5-million commitment to Canada Wood gives certainty to build on past successes and continue to diversify Canadian forest products and energy-efficient building systems to new markets,” said Bruce St.John, President, Canada Wood Group.

“This partnership between industry and government has been extremely successful as we work together to expand and diversify overseas markets for the high-quality, carbon-friendly wood products manufactured in B.C. The long-term federal funding enables us to cultivate strong relationships with overseas customers while supporting 140,000 forestry-reliant jobs in communities across British Columbia. We look forward to this continued partnership between industry and the governments of Canada and British Columbia,” said Paul Newman, Executive Director, Market and Trade, Council of Forest Industries.

“The federal government’s announcement of funding support for BC Wood’s 2019–20 market development activities is welcome news, indeed. Natural Resources Canada’s Expanding Market Opportunities program will greatly benefit the many small and medium-sized manufacturers in B.C. as they work to promote high-value products, develop new export markets, grow their businesses and generate new economic benefits and employment opportunities for the province,” said Greg Stewart, Chairman, Board of the Directors, BC Wood Specialties Group Association.

“The wood pellet industry has grown from almost nothing to 35 million tons a year globally in 25 years. Canadian pellet producers have been part of that astonishing growth from the beginning, exporting our first ship-load of pellets to Sweden in 1998. Today, Canadian pellet companies export around 3 million tons a year, contributing to Canada’s economy, jobs growth at home, forest health and the global roll-out of renewable, on-demand electricity, all while optimizing the beneficial use of waste residuals from the forestry sector. This success story has been strongly supported by the Government of Canada’s Expanding Market Opportunities (EMO) program. EMO has enabled us to be fully engaged in seeking out new customers in our export markets, carrying out market research, developing international quality standards, solving market access issues, demonstrating Canadian forest and wood pellet sustainability and many other areas of export market development. We see ongoing funding as crucial to the future growth of Canada’s share of business in key export markets, particularly those in Asia and Europe,” said Vaughan Bassett, President, Wood Pellet Association of Canada.

“Western Red Cedar Lumber Association (WRCLA) participation in the Canada Wood Group through the support of Expanding Market Opportunities program has allowed the high-value western red cedar (WRC) products to maintain visibility amongst a myriad of non-wood substitute products. The collective effort enables the WRCLA to utilize an extensive resource base with the use of advanced technology to reach target audiences and protect share in key offshore markets (as a result, offshore WRC shipments account for 15% of WRC exports by volume but, more importantly, 25% of total shipment value). This value factor is essential, given that the total annual Canadian softwood lumber exports are $10 billion and WRC, while representing less than 4% of volume, accounts for an impressive 12%, or $1.2 billion, of the value shipped in 2016 and 2017. As a result, WRC provides the primary justification to harvest,” said Jack Draper, Managing Director, Western Red Cedar Lumber Association.

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As the Chinese Cut Down Siberia’s Forests, Tensions with Russians Rise

NYT Logging Industry - Thu, 25/07/2019 - 19:54
Moscow welcomes the investment from Beijing, but locals say it mostly benefits China, and they bemoan deforestation and the risk of accidents.

With competitive sawlog costs in Germany, the lumber industry expands its export sales in 2019

International Forest Industries - Wed, 24/07/2019 - 16:06

With more competitive sawlog costs in Germany, the lumber industry has expanded its export sales in 2019, reports the WRQ

Large volumes of storm and insect damaged trees in Germany have resulted in an oversupply of logs and declining sawlog prices in 2018 and 2019, reports the WRQ. Sawmills have ramped up production, and export sales in the 1Q/19 reached their highest level in almost two years.

Historically, Germany was a net exporter of softwood logs, but since 2009 the country has almost doubled import volumes, while exports have only grown modestly.

In 2018, softwood log imports were slightly higher than they were in 2017, reaching 8.3 million m3 (a new record high). Just two countries, Poland and the Czech Republic, together accounted for almost two-thirds of the import volume to Germany.

Log imports from Norway and Estonia fell substantially in 2018 from 2017, while Poland and the Czech Republic increased their shipments, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly.

The average import price dropped slightly during 2018 in US dollar terms, while it has remained practically unchanged in Euro terms. Polish prices have trended upward, whereas prices of logs from the Czech Republic have moved downward during the past year. Many central European nations, including Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, France and Slovakia are hampered by large volumes of storm-damaged trees and beetle-infested forests. As a result, it is very likely that Germany will reverse its pattern and become a net log exporter again in 2019. During the first four months of 2019, export volumes were up 61% as compared to the same period of 2018.

The oversupply of logs in Germany is most likely to result in a continuation of the downward trend for log prices in the country. Prices for spruce sawlogs have declined by about 13% from the 1Q/18 to the 1Q/19, according to the WRQ.

In Euro terms, current price levels are at their lowest since 2009. In US dollar terms, log prices have declined to a level last seen 14 years ago. With plentiful wood raw-material and more competitive costs for logs, German sawmills have increased production levels, and expanded export sales. In the 1Q/19, Germany exported 10% more lumber than in the 1Q/18, reaching the highest quarterly export volume in two years.

With the expected reduction in log costs for the sawmill sector, there will continue to be opportunities for the industry to further increase lumber exports in the coming year.

Contact  Hakan Ekstrom, Seattle, USA info@WoodPrices.com

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Ontario invests $5 million in province first cross laminated timber plant

International Forest Industries - Wed, 24/07/2019 - 15:38

John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, announced an investment of almost $5 million in Element5’s new CLT plant, which will create over 60 jobs in St. Thomas. The $32 million manufacturing facility will help support the forestry sector’s 150,000 direct and indirect jobs in Ontario. Element5’s facility will be one of North America’s first fully automated cross laminated timber plants. It will provide an environmentally friendly product that will be used to construct buildings and other infrastructure projects in Canada and the U.S.

“Our government is working hard to make Ontario open for business and open for jobs by creating an environment where job creators can grow, invest and thrive,” said minister Yakabuski. “Element5’s new facility will showcase the kind of innovation we want to see more of in Ontario.”

“We’re grateful for the support of the Government of Ontario. This is a significant investment in the Ontario forestry industry, job creation, housing, innovation and technology, and the environment in the form of green building practices,” said Frank Dottori, Industry Leadership at Element5. “Through their generous support, Ontario and specifically St. Thomas are well poised to become the centre of the mass timber industry in North America.”

The government committed to increasing the use of timber in the home building industry through the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan and the Housing Supply Action Plan. This includes increasing the use of Ontario timber in buildings, and for construction and renovation to reduce emissions and encouraging mass timber demonstration projects.

“I’m pleased to support Element5’s work to create cost-effective and environmentally friendly building materials from sustainable renewable resources,” says Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London. “This investment will reduce carbon dioxide emissions and create jobs right here in Ontario and in St. Thomas, contributing to our goal of balancing a healthy environment and healthy economy.”

“Mass timber construction will be an important innovation that can help bring housing to market faster, while still meeting the high standards in the Ontario Building Code to protect public health and safety,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This is all part of our plan to give the people of Ontario more housing and more choice.”

The investment is being made through Ontario’s Forestry Growth Fund, which provides funding for forestry sector projects that improve productivity and innovation, enhance competitiveness, support new market access, and strengthen supply chains and regional economies.

“Our government’s open for business and open for jobs approach is restoring Ontario’s competitiveness as a place for businesses to invest, innovate and create jobs,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Element5’s new facility will create opportunities for local families, new markets for the forestry sector and reinforce Ontario’s reputation for manufacturing innovation. It’s a project we are proud to support.”

Photo:  John Yakabuski, Ontairio Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry

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North America – John Deere announces Intelligent Boom Control for 1470G Harvesters

International Forest Industries - Wed, 24/07/2019 - 10:42

John Deere now offers Intelligent Boom Control (IBC) on the 1470G Harvester – the largest harvester model available in the John Deere line-up. The IBC technology, first introduced to the harvester category by John Deere in 2018, increases precision and accuracy during operation, boosting operator productivity.

Available exclusively on the CH9 boom, with IBC the operator no longer controls each independent boom joint movement separately. Instead, the operator maneuvers the harvester head and the IBC technology automatically guides the boom accordingly. Designed to suit the work cycle of the harvester, the movement and operation of the boom adjusts as the boom is taken to a tree, and when the tree is in the grapple. With IBC, work is more precise, efficient and enjoyable, and new operators are able to quickly learn how to operate machines.

Another key benefit of the IBC system is the improvement to the durability of the boom. The IBC system features electrical end damping for all the main boom movement directions, stopping strong blow-like loads in the end positions. As a result, work is more fluent and the boom structures and hydraulic cylinders last longer. Additionally, IBC increases the quality of harvested timber, as there are no wounds to the remaining trees.

“John Deere pioneered the IBC technology for harvesters, and we are excited to evolve that offering to include our large 1470G machine,” said Sakari Suuriniemi, product marketing manager for John Deere. “After using an IBC-equipped machine, the boosts to productivity and efficiency are undeniable, making IBC a must-have feature for any logging operation. Understanding the demands of the logging industry and the labor challenges, IBC allows operators – new or seasoned – to work faster, even in difficult conditions.”

Designed to handle difficult terrain and powered by a John Deere 9.0-liter Final Tier 4 engine, the 1470G Harvester is equipped to handle large timber. The stable design of the machine allows for the boom to work efficiently when fully extended. The standard Processing Power Control system optimizes fuel efficiency by coordinating the accurate processing level with the current work conditions and tree size. Another feature, Adaptive Driveline Control, improves the machine drivability and productivity by automatically adjusting engine RPMs to correspond with the engine load. Additionally, the cab on the 1470G automatically adjusts to the boom movements, while the leveling functions absorb any terrain conditions. This decreases machine vibration by as much as 50 percent during operation, increasing operator comfort.

To learn more about IBC and the John Deere 1470G Harvester, as well as the full line of John Deere Forestry Equipment, visit your local John Deere Forestry dealer or www.JohnDeere.com

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Finland – €600k raised for forest inventory platform

International Forest Industries - Tue, 23/07/2019 - 13:16

Finland is a land of forests, covering up to 75% of the country. Naturally, forestry is a major industry – but resources are hard to measure. Helsinki-based forestry tech startup CollectiveCrunch is bringing new solutions to the sector, and has just raised a €600k funding round led by Thominvest. Existing and new angel investors also participated in the round. CollectiveCrunch will use the funds to finalize and launch the first commercial version of its Linda Forest platform in the second half of 2019.

Thominvest has a solid background in forestry, and so intimately understands the value CollectiveCrunch brings to the market. The startup uses AI to assess data from multiple sources – such as optical satellite images, Lidar, and wood processing – to predict forest inventory more accurately than existing conventional methods. This helps landowners to more accurately assess and manage their forestry inventory, and buyers of wood resources to target the wood they actually need.

CollectiveCrunch’s Linda Forest AI platform utilizes climate, geo, and customer process data to arrive at better predictions of wood mass and forest inventory. The solution lets foresters know the volumes and species of wood they have on their land without having to drive out for inspection.

The closure of this latest €600k round brings the company’s total funding to €1 million. The round follows a recently announced multi-year partnership with Finland’s Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd. that aims to improve harvesting and forest development planning. The company has offices in Helsinki, Berlin, and Munich, and forestry customers in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, and Brazil.

Source: eu-startups.com

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Woodchip price in Australia still strong

International Forest Industries - Tue, 23/07/2019 - 12:25

Key points:

  • The woodchip price in Australia has reached a record $US182/bdmt (AU$260)
  • Demand from China now exceeds Japan
  • The woodchip price is up, but export demand for logs is on the slide

    Australia’s largest processor and exporter of woodfibre, Midway Limited, which has recently acquired a logging and haul business in Western Australia, expects demand will continue to grow and has been steadily investing in forestry projects around the nation, including in the Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory.
    Midway’s managing director Tony Price said it was a good time to be in woodchips. “Over the last couple of years we’ve enjoyed a couple of significant price increases, with the current price for Tasmanian blue gum (woodchip) in the order of US$182 (AU$260) per bone-dry tonne and that’s the highest it’s ever been,” Mr Price said.
    “Not so long ago we were down around US$150 (per bone-dry tonne) when there was a glut of blue gum on the market, which largely came about due to the MIS (Managed Investment Scheme) era. There was lower demand and a glut in the market which drove the price down, but in the last two years we’ve seen some significant price increases.”
    Mr Price said demand from China had now exceeded Japan, and some mills in Indonesia were emerging as valued customers as well. Mr Price said Tasmanian blue gum remained the premium woodchip in the market, but lesser-quality timber chips such as acacia mangium had all increased in price this year.
    He expected the woodchip price would experience some “short-term softening” in the coming months, but overall the industry expected ongoing “modest price increases” over the next few years.
    “There’s been plenty of ups and downs over the years, and post the global financial crisis for about five years it was pretty tough,” he said. “So we have enjoyed a resurgence in the last few years and I’m very positive about the industry as it currently sits and where it’s heading in the future.”
    Source: ABC News

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NZ – Tree seedling deliveries by drones tested

International Forest Industries - Tue, 23/07/2019 - 12:01

David Herries from Interpine was able to open the minds of many of the harvesting contractors and forest managers who attended the HarvestTECH 2019 event a couple of weeks ago. The opportunities of using drones operationally in a raft of forestry activities was outlined to those attending.

Already in New Zealand, some 118 foresters have successfully gone through the Interpine training courses and UAV’s are appearing and being used routinely in forests from North to South.

In this clip at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhenTtWaHZU

As part of the presentation, drones are being used to deliver radiata pine seedlings to the planters in some pretty steep terrain. Think of the alternative here – planters carrying and ferrying tree seedlings by hand into those areas that need to be planted – and the opportunities that UAV deliveries could offer in future savings.

Planting crews that they worked with as part of the trial say that they were immediately 30% more efficient. That’s aside from the upside of not putting stress and strain on the workers

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NZ$19.5 m for Wood Cluster Centre of Excellence

International Forest Industries - Tue, 23/07/2019 - 11:10

The New Zealand Government is to contribute NZ$19.5 million to establish a Wood Cluster Centre of Excellence in Gisborne. The funding has been announced by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, and is part of NZ$27.1 million extra for the region from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).

Jones said the centre was being developed as a hub for wood processing, wood products, marketing and distribution, and training and research. “This first funding tranche will be for NZ$5 million and will generate at least 30 full-time jobs,” he said.

He said it was expected that employment would continue to grow as the centre was developed in stages. The NZ$27.1 million is in addition to the NZ$152 million already committed to the region from the PGF.

Source: Newshub, Stuff
Photo: Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones

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Ghana signs agreement with World Bank to cut carbon emissions and reduce deforestation

International Forest Industries - Tue, 23/07/2019 - 10:32

Ghana – with one of the highest deforestation rates in Africa – has become the third country to sign a landmark agreement with the World Bank that rewards community efforts to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

Ghana’s five-year Emission Reductions Payment Agreement (ERPA) with the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Carbon Fund, which is administered by the World Bank, unlocks performance-based payments of up to $50 million for carbon emission reductions from the forest and land use sectors.

In Ghana, forest degradation and deforestation are driven primarily by cocoa farm expansion, coupled with logging and a recent increase in illegal mining. Working in close partnership with the Forestry Commission, Cocoa Board, and private sector, Ghana’s program with the FCPF Carbon Fund seeks to reduce carbon emissions through the promotion of climate-smart cocoa production.

In Ghana’s ERPA, the FCPF Carbon Fund commits to making initial results-based payments for reductions of 10 million tons of CO2 emissions (up to US$50 million). Ghana’s ERPA also specifies on carbon emission baselines, price per ton of avoided CO2 emissions, and a benefit-sharing mechanism that has been prepared based on extensive consultations with local stakeholders and civil society organizations throughout the country.

Ghana’s emission reductions program area, located in the south of the country, covers almost 6 million hectares (ha) of the West Africa Guinean Forest biodiversity hotspot. The wider program area covers 1.2 million ha of forest reserves and national parks and is home to 12 million people.

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Denmark pellet imports decline 40.3% in January-May 2019

International Forest Industries - Fri, 19/07/2019 - 11:28

Pellet imports to Denmark fell 40.3% y-o-y to 1.2 million tons in first five months of 2019 while average price jumped 14.5% to $154 per ton, according to Eurostat. Pellet imports to Denmark from U.S. decreased 39.8% to 285.9 thousand m3 with import value dropped 32.0% to $50.3 million. Imports from Estonia contracted 26.1% to 257.6 thousand m3, import value was down 19.2% to $36.8 million.

From January through May, UK pellet imports expanded 28.1% to 2.5 million tones with import value soared 34.7% to $578.0 million. Pellet imports to UK from U.S. surged 11.6% to 2.0 million tons, import value rocketed 16.4% to $339.3 million.

Total pellet imports to EU slid 6.34% to 6.4 million tons while average price increased 8.52% to $166 per ton.

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John Deere Announces New Registered Apprenticeship Program

International Forest Industries - Fri, 19/07/2019 - 10:40

John Deere has received approval from the U.S. Department of Labor for its new Registered Apprenticeship Program and is making it available to its Agriculture & Turf and Construction & Forestry dealers. The program will help address a widespread shortage of service technicians, especially in rural areas across the country, by providing dealers with a formalized, on-the-job and technical training plan to help them develop more highly skilled employees.

“The new Registered Apprenticeship Program complements our existing John Deere TECH program,” said Grant Suhre, director, region 4 customer and product support for John Deere Ag & Turf. “In addition to the on-the-job training experience, an apprentice will receive technical instruction and be assigned a personal mentor as a part of the highly organized training structure. Upon completion of the apprenticeship, he or she will receive a nationally recognized journeyworker certificate.”

Through participation in the apprenticeship program, dealers formally commit to developing additional talent in an earn-while-you-learn program. A participating apprentice benefits from structured, on-the-job training in partnership with an experienced mentor. As training progresses, apprentices are rewarded for new skills acquired.

According to Tim Worthington, manager, customer support for the John Deere Construction and Forestry Division, participating dealerships will see numerous benefits.

“Because of the earn-while-you-learn nature of the program, it will help dealers more easily recruit new employees and further develop a highly skilled workforce,” Worthington said. “This can improve a dealer’s productivity and profit potential as employee turnover costs are reduced and employees are retained longer. In addition, John Deere customers benefit from access to more highly skilled dealer personnel who are servicing or supporting their equipment.”

John Deere dealers can collaborate with any number of local organizations as part of the Registered Apprenticeship Program. These organizations include, but are not limited to, the John Deere TECH Program, K-12 schools, community colleges, labor organizations, economic development groups, foundations and workforce development boards.

John Deere dealers who wish to participate can receive support and technical assistance from John Deere and JFF (Jobs For the Future, a US Department of Labor intermediary), who will expedite the registration process  with their state or federal apprenticeship agency. After registering, dealers can immediately enter employees into the Agriculture Equipment Technician or Heavy Construction Equipment Mechanic programs. In addition, they can select other occupations for the apprentice program, including sales professionals, parts professionals, accountants or many other occupations and develop appropriate work processes for those jobs. Next, dealers will identify master-level employees who are capable of and willing to mentor apprentices. Finally, dealers will identify potential candidates or incumbent workers who would benefit from the apprenticeship program and enroll them.

When apprentices participate, they track and report their on-the-job learning and technical training time in conjunction with their employer. The dealer’s program administrator then inputs this data into the appropriate state or federal database. To ensure high standards are maintained, dealers are required to follow specific guidelines, developed over years of apprenticeship experience, after they are registered.

To simplify participation for its dealers, John Deere created national guideline standards for the Registered Apprenticeship Program, which have been shared with its dealer channel and is providing technical assistance to dealers interested in participating. “These guidelines provide a consistent apprenticeship program template that any dealer can implement if they participate,” Suhre explained. Dealers can utilize these national guideline standards to have a program approved and operating in a very short timeframe.

For more information about the John Deere Registered Apprenticeship Program, please visit your local John Deere dealer.

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NZ -Dominion Breweries choosing chips

International Forest Industries - Wed, 17/07/2019 - 11:42

DB Breweries is planning to switch its brewery at Timaru onto wood chip by the end of next year as part a plan to halve the group’s emissions by 2030. Thee company operates six breweries around the country. But DB Draught’s plant at Timaru is the biggest user of coal-fired steam and thus the single- biggest contributor to the group’s emissions.

A DB spokesperson says Timaru is the logical focus given it accounts for most of the steam emissions, which in turn accounted for almost a third of the group’s carbon footprint last year. In 2018, natural gas use across the group was the biggest contributor at 34 percent, with electricity at 18 percent, transport fuel at 7 percent, refrigerant losses at 5 percent and LPG at 4 percent.

DB is looking to switch entirely from coal-fired steam, which it says would require almost 3,000 tonnes of wood chip a year. It is still considering its options for that supply, but expects it will be a forestry residue by-product.

Capitalising on DB’s decision, Bioenergy Association says woodlot owners could look to local biofuel markets as an alternative to exporting logs – “Recent news that the log export logs to China are dropping off and harvesting of some trees for export is unprofitable means woodlot owners could look to new outlets for their wood. Using the wood to make wood fuel is one of those immediately available options – and it requires no research,” says Brian Cox, executive officer of the Bioenergy Association.

His comments come after reports of New Zealand logs piling up at ports in China as other wood makes its way by train into the People’s Republic from Russia and Scandinavia.

“The growing demand for wood fuel to replace coal and gas is a potential opportunity for woodlot owners close to industry requiring process heat to move their farm from being only a food producer, to being a food plus fuel producer. ” Mr Cox said. “With large energy users such as Christchurch and Otago hospitals, Fonterra and DB Breweries transitioning to use wood fuel means that for some farmers there is a potential revenue stream waiting fo them to pocket if they live near to one of these sites.”

In addition farmers can use bioenergy as a tool for offsetting the biological emissions from their animals. The BioenergyAssociation has identified that 1.8Mt CO2-e of greenhouse gases could be reduced by using wood fuel instead of coal and gas.

Mr Cox said that “Using our logs within New Zealand for timber or fuel, instead of unprofitable exporting, should be on ever tree growers radar so that their business resilience is improved.”

Source: Scoop News

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John Deere Construction & Forestry Builds new Illinois training facility

International Forest Industries - Tue, 16/07/2019 - 11:58

John Deere recently completed the construction of a 7,500 square foot facility in Coal Valley, Illinois to better meet internal training demands, along with supporting customer visits and events. The building is part of the Construction & Forestry Training Campus and includes three classrooms that can be used separately for training purposes, or combined to hold over 250 people for larger events. In addition, there is nearly 4,000 square feet of covered canopy space for outdoor training and equipment walkarounds.

“The primary function of this new facility is to provide much-needed additional classroom space for dealer sales staff and technician training,” said David Reilly, manager, worldwide training, John Deere Construction & Forestry. “Training is a core part of our program, but beyond that, the C&F Coal Valley Training Campus also hosts other important events throughout the year.”

The facility will also include a John Deere simulator – further bridging the gap between the classroom and jobsite. Onsite events include customer-specific activities where they can demo equipment and interact with John Deere experts.

“With this new facility customers and dealers can walk out of the classrooms and directly into the demonstration area,” said Tim Hilton, manager, Demonstration Sites, John Deere Construction & Forestry. “We’re excited to share this new experience with dealers, technicians, customers, and media.”

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NZ – Aratu: New owner brings new name

International Forest Industries - Wed, 10/07/2019 - 12:36
New Forests has finalised the acquisition of Hikurangi Forest Farms (HFF), based in Gisborne, New Zealand, on behalf of its investment clients.

As part of the ownership transition HFF has been renamed Aratu Forests Limited. A formal launch of the new rebranded business is planned in Gisborne in September 2019.

The purchase is one of the largest forestry estates in the Gisborne region and includes around 25,000 hectares of radiata pine plantation on 35,000 hectares of freehold, forest rights, and leasehold land. Significant investment has been carried out since the assets were acquired in 1997, building a high yielding and sustainable forest estate that is a significant contributor to the regional economy.

New Forests continues to implement an ownership transition plan incorporating continuity of operations. Aratu Forestry employs 32 staff directly and spends over $40 million annually in the East Coast community. Both companies have undertaken engagement with key stakeholders, including local businesses, Tangata Whenua representatives, councils, and community groups.

“We are encouraged by the positive engagement with stakeholders through the transition period and look forward to further collaboration to support the long- term sustainability of this regionally significant forestry asset,” Matt Crapp, Director Operations for New Forests said.

Aratu Forests Limited will continue to be responsible for the ongoing legal proceedings related to breaches of the Resource Management Act following the Tolaga Bay storm damage in June 2018. “We will be actively pursuing strategies under the relaunched business to ensure that our management practices learn from the outcomes of the Tolaga Bay storm and meet local regulatory and international third-party forest certification standards,” said Crapp.

Mark Rogers, Managing Director for New Forests’ Australia-New Zealand business said, “New Forests and our clients represent long-term, stable, institutional ownership that we believe will be a key enabler for the future sustainable growth of New Zealand’s forest industry.”

Photo: Mark Rogers, Managing Director for New Forests’ Australia-New Zealand

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Tree plantings needs Wood First policy

International Forest Industries - Wed, 10/07/2019 - 12:13

OPINION: Billion Trees will fail without Wood First policy

(Marty Verry is CEO of Red Stag group, which operates the Southern Hemisphere’s largest sawmill and has investments in over 3,000 ha of forestry, a pre-fabrication plant and property developments.)

Would you invest $481 million in growing a product on the assumption that the price and demand for it in China in 28 years will be the same as it is now? Of course not. But you are. We all are through the Billion Trees programme.

China takes seventy-five percent of New Zealand’s logs. You could say we have all our logs in one basket. So the question nobody has asked is, will the demand for our trees be there in twenty-eight years and at what price?

Tens of thousands of hectares of farmland has been snapped up by investors, giddy with grants from the $481 million Provincial Growth Fund allocation to the Billion Trees programme. They have pushed land prices up forty-five percent according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

Farming communities are up in arms at the rapid change, and rightly so in my view. No so much because trees are bad (they are great), but because many of these forests could become investment failures, never to be harvested, and a fire and forest disease risk for decades. A white elephant in every rural road.

So why the doomsday scenario, and what can be done about it? -Firstly, a reality check on relying on China long term for our billion trees. Despite MPI targeting having two-thirds of its 50,000 hectares extra planting annually going into natives, the Billion Tree cabinet paper acknowledges most will be in plantation crops requiring harvesting and re-planting. This seems right given MPI’s own CO2 sequestration look-up tables show natives only absorb one tonne CO2 per hectare annually after fifty years. Hardly a long-term solution to climate change, and certainly not a great return for investors.

What about manuka honey? Manuka is a nursery crop for the larger natives that will eventually take over. So no long term putea for the mokopuna, as the forestry minister might describe the lack of money for the grandkids.

No, the majority of the billion trees will be radiata pine, and radiata pine needs harvesting and re-planting to make the feasibility models work and keep forests healthy. That relies on demand and pricing that covers the cost of land, planting, silviculture, harvesting and transporting the logs.

The problem arises because we are not the only country to work out trees sequester CO2, and launch a billion tree policy. There are a plethora of them around the world. India has planted a billion trees. So has Ethiopia. Pakistan has a ‘Billion Tree Tsunami’ programme underway. A UN billion tree campaign was so successful it was upgraded to a Trillion Tree programme. Even Australia has a billion tree policy.

So, will China need our one billion trees? Ten years ago it temporarily stopped harvesting to replenish its own forest estate. New Zealand’s supply shot up to forty-three percent of China’s log imports. However, it recently announced plans to increase its own forestry estate by 11 billion cubic meters by 2050. China could be producing enough of its own wood products to replace log imports from New Zealand six times over.

This is before one factors in the huge increase in supply targeting China from the rest of world and New Zealand’s own increased production, and the fact that the demand now from China is largely driven by the huge urbanisation programme underway there which will be largely complete by the time our billion trees mature.

This supply-demand imbalance is already playing out in China. Log prices there have crashed by fifteen percent in the last month on the back of huge volumes of cheap wood from Russia and Europe being back-loaded cheaply on trains that would otherwise return empty to China. The Silk Road project will make it easier still. At wharf gate returns are reportedly off up to $29/tonne locally, with logging crews reportedly being laid off as foresters can’t justify harvesting.

This is the market reality for our Billion Trees unless New Zealand can widen its markets and demand for wood products. Wood dominates in lower-rise housing in most countries, so the big opportunity is in the market for mid-rise buildings. New mass timber products such as cross laminated timber (CLT) and glulam are the enablers here.

Governments around the world have recognised the key leadership role they can take in this area, given they are typically the largest procurers of buildings in any country. Many have adopted ‘wood first’ policies for their own building procurement.

In its 2017 Election Manifesto, the Labour Party promised if elected that it would require that “all government-funded project proposals for new buildings up to four storeys high shall require a build-in-wood option at the initial concept / request-for-proposals stage. … Due to advances in engineering and wood processing technologies, we will increase the four story requirement to 10 stories.”

Research conducted for this policy established it could lead to a doubling of demand for structural timber in New Zealand.

Without it, planting one billion trees targeting China risks almost certain failure – either for the government achieving its policy goal, or ultimately for the investors holding white elephant forests.

The Wood First policy has strong broader rationale for adoption, including regional jobs and manufacturing, faster build times, cheaper, safer, less polluting construction, and the displacement of mainly imported steel and concrete which each account for around five percent of climate change emissions.

The folly of having all our logs in the China basket is becoming apparent. To date, the government has failed to implement its promised Wood First policy. What credibility does New Zealand have in international climate change accords if it fails to implement its domestic pledges?


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OneFortyOne continues to invest

International Forest Industries - Tue, 09/07/2019 - 14:42

OneFortyOne set to invest a further $19M at its Mt Gambier Mill – When OneFortyOne took ownership of Mount Gambier’s Jubilee Highway Sawmill in 2018, it not only cemented the company’s commitment to the Green Triangle region, but it also marked the first of many significant investments to be made at the site. Over the past 18 months, OneFortyOne has invested $19 million in various projects, ensuring the mill remains one of the largest and most efficient mills in Australia, and at the cutting edge of domestic processing.

The company has announced this week a further $19 million investment at the site for two major capital projects. Work is set to start this month with the purchase and installation of a new scanner and two new highly efficient Continuous Drying Kilns, with the projects set to conclude in 2020.

OneFortyOne’s Executive General Manager Australia, Cameron MacDonald said “We are excited to see the positive impact of our ongoing investment across the mill, ensuring it continues to be a world class plant for many years to come.

We know this will provide job security for our team and is another positive for our local economy.”

Maintaining the internationally recognised timber industry in the Green Triangle is critical to ensuring that Australian grown and processed timber products are competitive against those imported from overseas.

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by Dr. Radut