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Canada and US to be at loggerheads again

Australian timber industry news - Do, 27/11/2014 - 00:37

With less than a year to go until the Canada-US Softwood Lumber Agreement expires, lines are being drawn on both sides of the border over the future of lumber trade between the two countries. Source: Business Vancouver Canadian producers say they want to extend the agreement, which has brought an uneasy peace to the decades-long lumber war since it was signed in 2006, but their US counterparts say they won’t sign on again. The US Lumber Coalition, a lobby group representing American lumber companies and timber owners, said it’s not going to renew the agreement when it expires next October. It has expressed its anti-deal position to the US government but it has yet to say publicly what it intends to do. “What should be changed in the agreement? We are not in a position to talk about it at this point,” said Zoltan van Heyningen, executive director of the US Lumber Coalition. “We are not in favour of extending the current agreement because as it is currently structured, we see problems moving forward.” One of the principal beefs of US producers is that they claim costs – particularly timber costs – have shifted since the agreement was signed yet they haven’t seen that show up in BC lumber costs. The US has been complaining since 1982 that Canadian lumber is subsidized through government forest policies. It has filed four trade actions against Canada since then. Canadian companies say they want to live with the agreement, as flawed as it is, because it has brought peace to an otherwise explosive trade relationship. “The BC forest industry fully supports Canada’s position that the Softwood Lumber Agreement should be renewed ‘as is,’” said James Gorman, president of the BC Lumber Trade Council. “The fact is that the agreement has worked: managed trade has benefited both countries and has provided mechanisms whereby disputes can be resolved.” Washington DC, trade lawyer Elliot Feldman said the future is not promising for those wanting softwood peace. “The lines have been drawn. The Canadian industry says we don’t want anything except the current agreement and the coalition is saying we want just about anything except the current agreement,” said Feldman, who represents the Central Canada Alliance, an association of lumber companies in Quebec and Ontario. He said it’s still too early to gauge the strength of support the American industry has in the new US Congress, but that Canadian producers – particularly those in BC – who expect the agreement to be renewed, should not be complacent. “The coalition has been very clear that is not going to happen. There is not going to be a renewal or an extension of the current agreement.” Feldman said the lumber landscape has changed dramatically since 2006. Two major US companies, Georgia Pacific and Weyerhaeuser (NYE:WY) – have joined the coalition. Also, Canadian lumber companies West Fraser Timber, Canfor and Interfor have bought sawmills in the southern US. How those changes will affect the softwood issue remains unclear. Feldman noted that with less than a year to go before the agreement expires, the Canadian and US governments will not have enough time to draw up a new one, and the legality of a one-year standstill on trade litigation in the existing agreement could easily be challenged. The 2006 agreement ended a bitter trade dispute where the US collected US$5 billion in duties but returned only US$4 billion, despite rulings that favoured Canada. It expires on October 15, 2015. The dispute provided a major impetus for developing the Chinese market for BC lumber, but after eight years of growth, BC’s dominance in China is being threatened by Russian imports. Volumes are declining. Meanwhile reliance on the US market is increasing. About 59% of BC lumber exports went to the US in September, up from 54% the month before, according to a report by RBC Capital Markets analyst Paul Quinn. Despite paying an export tax on lumber shipments when prices are low, Canadian producers have benefited from the agreement through the stability it brought to the trade issue. They knew what the tax was and could plan shipments accordingly. The agreement has also benefited US producers. BC Interior exports to the US dropped to 5.4 billion board feet in 2013 from 9 billion in 2007, according to figures from the BC Council of Forest Industries. Market share in the U.S. dropped to 13.7% from 17.5% over the same time period.

The post Canada and US to be at loggerheads again appeared first on Timberbiz.

Canada and US to be at loggerheads again

GFIS - Do, 27/11/2014 - 00:37

With less than a year to go until the Canada-US Softwood Lumber Agreement expires, lines are being drawn on both sides of the border over the future of lumber trade between the two countries. Source: Business Vancouver Canadian producers say they want to extend the agreement, which has brought an uneasy peace to the decades-long lumber war since it was signed in 2006, but their US counterparts say they won’t sign on again. The US Lumber Coalition, a lobby group representing American lumber companies and timber owners, said it’s not going to renew the agreement when it expires next October. It has expressed its anti-deal position to the US government but it has yet to say publicly what it intends to do. “What should be changed in the agreement? We are not in a position to talk about it at this point,” said Zoltan van Heyningen, executive director of the US Lumber Coalition. “We are not in favour of extending the current agreement because as it is currently structured, we see problems moving forward.” One of the principal beefs of US producers is that they claim costs – particularly timber costs – have shifted since the agreement was signed yet they haven’t seen that show up in BC lumber costs. The US has been complaining since 1982 that Canadian lumber is subsidized through government forest policies. It has filed four trade actions against Canada since then. Canadian companies say they want to live with the agreement, as flawed as it is, because it has brought peace to an otherwise explosive trade relationship. “The BC forest industry fully supports Canada’s position that the Softwood Lumber Agreement should be renewed ‘as is,’” said James Gorman, president of the BC Lumber Trade Council. “The fact is that the agreement has worked: managed trade has benefited both countries and has provided mechanisms whereby disputes can be resolved.” Washington DC, trade lawyer Elliot Feldman said the future is not promising for those wanting softwood peace. “The lines have been drawn. The Canadian industry says we don’t want anything except the current agreement and the coalition is saying we want just about anything except the current agreement,” said Feldman, who represents the Central Canada Alliance, an association of lumber companies in Quebec and Ontario. He said it’s still too early to gauge the strength of support the American industry has in the new US Congress, but that Canadian producers – particularly those in BC – who expect the agreement to be renewed, should not be complacent. “The coalition has been very clear that is not going to happen. There is not going to be a renewal or an extension of the current agreement.” Feldman said the lumber landscape has changed dramatically since 2006. Two major US companies, Georgia Pacific and Weyerhaeuser (NYE:WY) – have joined the coalition. Also, Canadian lumber companies West Fraser Timber, Canfor and Interfor have bought sawmills in the southern US. How those changes will affect the softwood issue remains unclear. Feldman noted that with less than a year to go before the agreement expires, the Canadian and US governments will not have enough time to draw up a new one, and the legality of a one-year standstill on trade litigation in the existing agreement could easily be challenged. The 2006 agreement ended a bitter trade dispute where the US collected US$5 billion in duties but returned only US$4 billion, despite rulings that favoured Canada. It expires on October 15, 2015. The dispute provided a major impetus for developing the Chinese market for BC lumber, but after eight years of growth, BC’s dominance in China is being threatened by Russian imports. Volumes are declining. Meanwhile reliance on the US market is increasing. About 59% of BC lumber exports went to the US in September, up from 54% the month before, according to a report by RBC Capital Markets analyst Paul Quinn. Despite paying an export tax on lumber shipments when prices are low, Canadian producers have benefited from the agreement through the stability it brought to the trade issue. They knew what the tax was and could plan shipments accordingly. The agreement has also benefited US producers. BC Interior exports to the US dropped to 5.4 billion board feet in 2013 from 9 billion in 2007, according to figures from the BC Council of Forest Industries. Market share in the U.S. dropped to 13.7% from 17.5% over the same time period.

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Italian woodworking machinery orders increase

Australian timber industry news - Do, 27/11/2014 - 00:36

Orders for Italian woodworking machinery in the third quarter of 2014 increased by 11.3% compared to the same period of 2013, according to the Italian association of woodworking machinery manufacturers Acimall. Source: Lesprom The orders from foreign countries increased by 11.8%, while demand in the domestic market expanded by 9%. According to Acimall, the order book currently covers a period of 2.6 months (versus 2.9 in April- June 2014) and since the beginning of the year, prices have increased by an estimated 1.3%, much better than the 0.8% increase recorded at the end of June. According to a quality survey, 25% of the interviewed companies indicate a positive production trend, 50% stable and 25% decreasing (the latter were 11% in the previous quarter). Employment is considered stationary by 90% of the sample (versus 84% in the previous quarter) and growing by the remaining 10%. For the second quarter in a row, nobody is expecting a further reduction of employment. Available stocks are stationary according to 75%, decreasing according to 15% and growing according to the remaining 10%. The Acimall’s forecast survey showed a negative trend of confidence in the domestic market, compensated by enduring optimism for export sales. A bit less than half of the sample − 45% expects an increase in foreign orders in the short term, while 50% think there will be no variation. Only 5% expect a drop (balance is plus 40). None of the interviewed company owners and managers predicted expansion (balance is minus 15). “We can say that Italian technology for wood and wood-based materials is still in a positive area”, said Acimall director Dario Corbetta. “It is getting harder and harder to accept that the domestic market has such a low propensity to invest. However, in this situation of widespread dissatisfaction, the most proactive and innovative actors are expanding their market share abroad, as a result of strong commitment and continuous investments. “In this respect, we hope that the extraordinary plan to support export devised by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development will soon receive the necessary resources to be deployed.”

The post Italian woodworking machinery orders increase appeared first on Timberbiz.

Italian woodworking machinery orders increase

GFIS - Do, 27/11/2014 - 00:36

Orders for Italian woodworking machinery in the third quarter of 2014 increased by 11.3% compared to the same period of 2013, according to the Italian association of woodworking machinery manufacturers Acimall. Source: Lesprom The orders from foreign countries increased by 11.8%, while demand in the domestic market expanded by 9%. According to Acimall, the order book currently covers a period of 2.6 months (versus 2.9 in April- June 2014) and since the beginning of the year, prices have increased by an estimated 1.3%, much better than the 0.8% increase recorded at the end of June. According to a quality survey, 25% of the interviewed companies indicate a positive production trend, 50% stable and 25% decreasing (the latter were 11% in the previous quarter). Employment is considered stationary by 90% of the sample (versus 84% in the previous quarter) and growing by the remaining 10%. For the second quarter in a row, nobody is expecting a further reduction of employment. Available stocks are stationary according to 75%, decreasing according to 15% and growing according to the remaining 10%. The Acimall’s forecast survey showed a negative trend of confidence in the domestic market, compensated by enduring optimism for export sales. A bit less than half of the sample − 45% expects an increase in foreign orders in the short term, while 50% think there will be no variation. Only 5% expect a drop (balance is plus 40). None of the interviewed company owners and managers predicted expansion (balance is minus 15). “We can say that Italian technology for wood and wood-based materials is still in a positive area”, said Acimall director Dario Corbetta. “It is getting harder and harder to accept that the domestic market has such a low propensity to invest. However, in this situation of widespread dissatisfaction, the most proactive and innovative actors are expanding their market share abroad, as a result of strong commitment and continuous investments. “In this respect, we hope that the extraordinary plan to support export devised by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development will soon receive the necessary resources to be deployed.”

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VicForests now in charge of commercial harvesting

Australian timber industry news - Do, 27/11/2014 - 00:35

The Napthine government handed control of Victoria’s western forests to VicForests in one of its final acts before the election campaign. Source: The Age Just days before the caretaker period began on November 4, Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh transferred all commercial timber harvesting west of the Hume Highway to VicForests, which means it would no longer be managed by the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI). The ramifications of the move are unclear, although the Victorian National Parks Association claims it represents a secret attempt to introduce industrial-scale logging in high-conservation-value areas previously off limits. A letter sent by the DEPI’s forestry regulation director Jon Presser to a regional environment group confirms VicForests was made responsible for all commercial timber harvesting from November 5, a day after the election campaign officially started. In the letter Mr Presser said the transfer would unite all commercial timber harvesting in Victorian state forests, saying VicForests was best equipped to manage commercial timber harvesting. “Timber harvesting from state forests will continue to be managed in a way that fosters the growth of large, healthy trees, protects biodiversity and important cultural and ecological value, and that provides locally grown sustainable timber products,” the letter says. VicForests manages about 1.3 million cubic metres of timber. The transfer will increase this by about 100,000 cubic metres under 70 mostly small-scale licences to harvest wood in a range of areas, including around Bendigo, in the Pyrenees ranges near Avoca, in parts of the Otways and around Mount Cole, near Ararat. A spokeswoman for Mr Walsh confirmed that the department’s Commercial Forestry Services Unit had been transferred to VicForests. But she said this would not change current harvesting or licences. “The transfer has created consistency in commercial forestry operations, and clearly separates DEPI’s forestry governance and regulatory roles from any commercial operations,” she said. But Victorian National Parks Association spokesman Nick Roberts said the transfer would cost taxpayers millions, and underpinned a move to introduce “industrial-scale” logging in the area. “This is a shocking and secret move to introduce industrial-scale logging in high-conservation-value forests of western Victoria in the dying stages of government,” Mr Roberts said. VicForests director of corporate affairs Nathan Trushell said the new allocation represented less than 8% of the timber harvested by VicForests. “Some stakeholders have expressed concerns that harvesting will increase and others are worried that operations may be closed down,” Mr Trushell said. “However, we intend to continue managing these operations in a similar fashion to the way they are being managed today.” Last year Mr Walsh announced commercial logging would be allowed around Mount Cole, with a tender process to harvest 3000 cubic metres of sawlogs during three years. The environment has received little attention during the state election campaign, despite strong support to establish a new Great Forests National Park in the Central Highlands. Labor was forced to dump support for the park after an intervention by the CFMEU, while the Mr Walsh recently told a forestry industry dinner the Coalition would not be committing to any new national parks that would result in the loss of timber resources.

The post VicForests now in charge of commercial harvesting appeared first on Timberbiz.

VicForests now in charge of commercial harvesting

GFIS - Do, 27/11/2014 - 00:35

The Napthine government handed control of Victoria’s western forests to VicForests in one of its final acts before the election campaign. Source: The Age Just days before the caretaker period began on November 4, Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh transferred all commercial timber harvesting west of the Hume Highway to VicForests, which means it would no longer be managed by the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI). The ramifications of the move are unclear, although the Victorian National Parks Association claims it represents a secret attempt to introduce industrial-scale logging in high-conservation-value areas previously off limits. A letter sent by the DEPI’s forestry regulation director Jon Presser to a regional environment group confirms VicForests was made responsible for all commercial timber harvesting from November 5, a day after the election campaign officially started. In the letter Mr Presser said the transfer would unite all commercial timber harvesting in Victorian state forests, saying VicForests was best equipped to manage commercial timber harvesting. “Timber harvesting from state forests will continue to be managed in a way that fosters the growth of large, healthy trees, protects biodiversity and important cultural and ecological value, and that provides locally grown sustainable timber products,” the letter says. VicForests manages about 1.3 million cubic metres of timber. The transfer will increase this by about 100,000 cubic metres under 70 mostly small-scale licences to harvest wood in a range of areas, including around Bendigo, in the Pyrenees ranges near Avoca, in parts of the Otways and around Mount Cole, near Ararat. A spokeswoman for Mr Walsh confirmed that the department’s Commercial Forestry Services Unit had been transferred to VicForests. But she said this would not change current harvesting or licences. “The transfer has created consistency in commercial forestry operations, and clearly separates DEPI’s forestry governance and regulatory roles from any commercial operations,” she said. But Victorian National Parks Association spokesman Nick Roberts said the transfer would cost taxpayers millions, and underpinned a move to introduce “industrial-scale” logging in the area. “This is a shocking and secret move to introduce industrial-scale logging in high-conservation-value forests of western Victoria in the dying stages of government,” Mr Roberts said. VicForests director of corporate affairs Nathan Trushell said the new allocation represented less than 8% of the timber harvested by VicForests. “Some stakeholders have expressed concerns that harvesting will increase and others are worried that operations may be closed down,” Mr Trushell said. “However, we intend to continue managing these operations in a similar fashion to the way they are being managed today.” Last year Mr Walsh announced commercial logging would be allowed around Mount Cole, with a tender process to harvest 3000 cubic metres of sawlogs during three years. The environment has received little attention during the state election campaign, despite strong support to establish a new Great Forests National Park in the Central Highlands. Labor was forced to dump support for the park after an intervention by the CFMEU, while the Mr Walsh recently told a forestry industry dinner the Coalition would not be committing to any new national parks that would result in the loss of timber resources.

The post VicForests now in charge of commercial harvesting appeared first on Timberbiz.

Making US hardwoods comply with new legislation

Australian timber industry news - Do, 27/11/2014 - 00:33

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has developed guidelines to support members and Australian importers and users of American hardwoods when the Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Amendment Regulation (AUSILPAR) comes into full effect on 30 November. Source: Timberbiz The document has been created to explain to American exporters how best to assist Australian importers in complying with the ‘due diligence’ requirements of AUSILPAR, which ask for a thorough risk assessment of the legality of timber imports. “Through both the Seneca Creek Study and the FSC Risk Register draft risk assessment, we have confirmation that all US hardwood producing regions are low risk in terms of illegal harvest,” said Roderick Wiles, director of AHEC Oceania. “The US has a history of good forest governance – the strong rule of law and independent sector-wide risk assessment means we are confident that exporters will be able to supply Australian importers with the information they need to meet their AUSILPAR obligations with the utmost accuracy and efficiency.” “The guidelines are of great assistance to companies like ourselves who import American hardwood into Australia,” said Dominic McNeil, director at Britton Timbers, a major importer of American hardwoods. “I have used them already as part of our due diligence for AUSILPAR. “They are also helpful in so far they set out for American suppliers exactly what we as Australian importers require in terms of information which makes for a more efficient and streamlined process.”

The post Making US hardwoods comply with new legislation appeared first on Timberbiz.

Making US hardwoods comply with new legislation

GFIS - Do, 27/11/2014 - 00:33

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has developed guidelines to support members and Australian importers and users of American hardwoods when the Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Amendment Regulation (AUSILPAR) comes into full effect on 30 November. Source: Timberbiz The document has been created to explain to American exporters how best to assist Australian importers in complying with the ‘due diligence’ requirements of AUSILPAR, which ask for a thorough risk assessment of the legality of timber imports. “Through both the Seneca Creek Study and the FSC Risk Register draft risk assessment, we have confirmation that all US hardwood producing regions are low risk in terms of illegal harvest,” said Roderick Wiles, director of AHEC Oceania. “The US has a history of good forest governance – the strong rule of law and independent sector-wide risk assessment means we are confident that exporters will be able to supply Australian importers with the information they need to meet their AUSILPAR obligations with the utmost accuracy and efficiency.” “The guidelines are of great assistance to companies like ourselves who import American hardwood into Australia,” said Dominic McNeil, director at Britton Timbers, a major importer of American hardwoods. “I have used them already as part of our due diligence for AUSILPAR. “They are also helpful in so far they set out for American suppliers exactly what we as Australian importers require in terms of information which makes for a more efficient and streamlined process.”

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Residents pressure Forestry Tas through FSC

Australian timber industry news - Do, 27/11/2014 - 00:30

Forestry Tasmania is under pressure not to clearfell a 60-year-old regrowth coupe in the state’s north-west. Source: ABC Rural The campaign by Lapoinya residents is poorly timed for the state-owned company, which is trying to secure environmental certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The community will lobby the FSC but Forestry Tasmania said risks to threatened species are being addressed. Lapoinya resident, Anne Duncan said for decades locals have used the 60-hectare forestry coupe as a recreation area. “If you’re having a bad day, you just come down here for a walk and it’s just beautiful yeah, it’s good stress relief,” she said. Craig Butt from Forestry Tasmania said the area is scheduled for logging next year. “The intent is to clearfell harvest that coupe,” he said. “The trees in the coupe are predominantly eucalyptus obliqua, there are other minor species in the coupe as well.” Adjacent landowners want the plan shelved for a year while they research the environmental impacts. Barbara Hoyt from the Lapoinya Action Group, said an area over the hill from the coupe has recently been clearfelled. Locals have collected video footage of threatened fauna including healthy Tasmanian devils and spotted-tail quolls. Mr Butt said reserves can be left to protect animals and plants, including the endangered Brooker’s gum. “If there were a wedge-tailed eagle nest right in the middle of the coupe then, you know, the timing and that all changes or we can’t do it,” he said. Locals, like Stewart Hoyt, are not convinced by assurances that the coupe would be profitable for taxpayers. “The amount of money that you get for the trees does not cover your costs of making your roads or paying your forestry workers,” he said. Residents plan to lobby the Forest Stewardship Council, which is deciding if the state-owned company should receive the highest level of environmental certification. Mr Butt said Forestry Tasmania is confident its social, economic and environmental assessments stack up.

The post Residents pressure Forestry Tas through FSC appeared first on Timberbiz.

Residents pressure Forestry Tas through FSC

GFIS - Do, 27/11/2014 - 00:30

Forestry Tasmania is under pressure not to clearfell a 60-year-old regrowth coupe in the state’s north-west. Source: ABC Rural The campaign by Lapoinya residents is poorly timed for the state-owned company, which is trying to secure environmental certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The community will lobby the FSC but Forestry Tasmania said risks to threatened species are being addressed. Lapoinya resident, Anne Duncan said for decades locals have used the 60-hectare forestry coupe as a recreation area. “If you’re having a bad day, you just come down here for a walk and it’s just beautiful yeah, it’s good stress relief,” she said. Craig Butt from Forestry Tasmania said the area is scheduled for logging next year. “The intent is to clearfell harvest that coupe,” he said. “The trees in the coupe are predominantly eucalyptus obliqua, there are other minor species in the coupe as well.” Adjacent landowners want the plan shelved for a year while they research the environmental impacts. Barbara Hoyt from the Lapoinya Action Group, said an area over the hill from the coupe has recently been clearfelled. Locals have collected video footage of threatened fauna including healthy Tasmanian devils and spotted-tail quolls. Mr Butt said reserves can be left to protect animals and plants, including the endangered Brooker’s gum. “If there were a wedge-tailed eagle nest right in the middle of the coupe then, you know, the timing and that all changes or we can’t do it,” he said. Locals, like Stewart Hoyt, are not convinced by assurances that the coupe would be profitable for taxpayers. “The amount of money that you get for the trees does not cover your costs of making your roads or paying your forestry workers,” he said. Residents plan to lobby the Forest Stewardship Council, which is deciding if the state-owned company should receive the highest level of environmental certification. Mr Butt said Forestry Tasmania is confident its social, economic and environmental assessments stack up.

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Forest Products welcomes progress on China trade

Australian timber industry news - Do, 27/11/2014 - 00:28

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) congratulates the Abbott Government on negotiating a bilateral free trade agreement with China and notes the significant positive potential for export industries. Source: Timberbiz The two-way trade in forest, wood and paper products between China and Australia, expanded exponentially over the past decade and has become extremely important for both countries,” said Chief Executive Officer Ross Hampton. “The forest, wood and paper products exported from Australia include roundwood (which has increased in value over the last 10 years from $35m to $251m), waste-paper ($10m to $150m in value) and woodchips (from nothing in 2003-04 to over $150m today). “Imports from China to Australia have increased in value over the last 10 years from $250 m to over $1 100m andinclude paper and paperboard, panels and transformed wood products. “Most of the forest products industries in Australia are in regional communities which live and die by the economics of Australia’s trade. This trade agreement with China should be a fillip to the over 70 000 Australians directly employed in the sector.” As the relationship continues to develop over time negotiators should consider: • fair transition arrangements when removing or changing existing import tariff rates, as domestic companies need time to adjust their businesses; • continued support for an effective and internationally compliant antidumping and countervailing system to guard against unfair competition; • increased access for sawn timber product exports to China by Australian producers by reviewing any unnecessary limitations in building codes and standards; and • recognition of Australia’s high standards as they relate to existing biosecurity protocols, given Australian exports of fibre-based wood products, such as woodchips and roundwood, are accepted as low-risk.

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Forest Products welcomes progress on China trade

GFIS - Do, 27/11/2014 - 00:28

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) congratulates the Abbott Government on negotiating a bilateral free trade agreement with China and notes the significant positive potential for export industries. Source: Timberbiz The two-way trade in forest, wood and paper products between China and Australia, expanded exponentially over the past decade and has become extremely important for both countries,” said Chief Executive Officer Ross Hampton. “The forest, wood and paper products exported from Australia include roundwood (which has increased in value over the last 10 years from $35m to $251m), waste-paper ($10m to $150m in value) and woodchips (from nothing in 2003-04 to over $150m today). “Imports from China to Australia have increased in value over the last 10 years from $250 m to over $1 100m andinclude paper and paperboard, panels and transformed wood products. “Most of the forest products industries in Australia are in regional communities which live and die by the economics of Australia’s trade. This trade agreement with China should be a fillip to the over 70 000 Australians directly employed in the sector.” As the relationship continues to develop over time negotiators should consider: • fair transition arrangements when removing or changing existing import tariff rates, as domestic companies need time to adjust their businesses; • continued support for an effective and internationally compliant antidumping and countervailing system to guard against unfair competition; • increased access for sawn timber product exports to China by Australian producers by reviewing any unnecessary limitations in building codes and standards; and • recognition of Australia’s high standards as they relate to existing biosecurity protocols, given Australian exports of fibre-based wood products, such as woodchips and roundwood, are accepted as low-risk.

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ABC Tissue to Grow by End 2015

Australian timber industry news - Do, 27/11/2014 - 00:26

ABC Tissue has confirmed that it will build its long awaited second tissue machine (PM2) in Sydney by the end of 2015. Source: IndustryEdge Building on its recent dominance of the toilet tissue market in Australia, the privately owned company has long been expected to install a second machine at its headquarters in Sydney. The existing tissue machine in Sydney can produce 30 kt of tissue per annum. ABC Tissue’s Brisbane mill also manufactures around 30 kt per annum. Although not confirmed, it is considered that the minimum capacity for a new installation would be a further 30 kt per annum. However, the prospects are that the new machine will be larger, possibly with capacity of 50 kt per annum. By any measure, ABC Tissue’s decision to install new capacity is a major event. Current Australian tissue production capacity is 235 kt per annum and it is estimated in the 2014 Pulp & Paper Strategic Review its utilisation rate was sub-optimal at 79% in 2013-14. Assuming domestic production remains at or near its current levels over coming years, the total industry’s capacity utilisation will fall when ABC Tissue’s new machine is commissioned. Should ABC Tissue’s new machine have capacity of a modest 30 kt per annum, Australian capacity utilisation will fall below 70% for the first time in decades.

The post ABC Tissue to Grow by End 2015 appeared first on Timberbiz.

ABC Tissue to Grow by End 2015

GFIS - Do, 27/11/2014 - 00:26

ABC Tissue has confirmed that it will build its long awaited second tissue machine (PM2) in Sydney by the end of 2015. Source: IndustryEdge Building on its recent dominance of the toilet tissue market in Australia, the privately owned company has long been expected to install a second machine at its headquarters in Sydney. The existing tissue machine in Sydney can produce 30 kt of tissue per annum. ABC Tissue’s Brisbane mill also manufactures around 30 kt per annum. Although not confirmed, it is considered that the minimum capacity for a new installation would be a further 30 kt per annum. However, the prospects are that the new machine will be larger, possibly with capacity of 50 kt per annum. By any measure, ABC Tissue’s decision to install new capacity is a major event. Current Australian tissue production capacity is 235 kt per annum and it is estimated in the 2014 Pulp & Paper Strategic Review its utilisation rate was sub-optimal at 79% in 2013-14. Assuming domestic production remains at or near its current levels over coming years, the total industry’s capacity utilisation will fall when ABC Tissue’s new machine is commissioned. Should ABC Tissue’s new machine have capacity of a modest 30 kt per annum, Australian capacity utilisation will fall below 70% for the first time in decades.

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Canadians buying up Australian & NZ assets

Australian timber industry news - Do, 27/11/2014 - 00:24

Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board could swoop on one of Australia’s most valuable timber plantations, with sources saying about $1 billion worth of forests owned by Hancock Timber Resource Group are on its radar. Source: The Australian PSP executives have been in Sydney sounding out counterparties ahead of what some say is shaping up to be an aggressive acquisition spree by the Canadians focusing on Australian property, agriculture and billions of dollars’ worth of upcoming infrastructure assets for sale by federal and state governments. It is understood a major Australian acquisition is on the cards by PSP and the seller it is engaged with is Hancocks. Recent forestry portfolios placed up for sale have struggled to secure strong prices, but the industry is now shaking off pain from weaker industry demand and collapsed managed investment schemes, which could see some plantations sell for some more bullish prices, with an increasing appetite for timber from woodchip markets. In recent months, Forest Enterprises Australia was sold by receiver Deloitte on behalf of investors to RMS for between $125m and $150m, far below some expectations of up to $400m. PSP has Can$94bn ($97bn) worth of assets under management globally and typically partners with listed real estate fund manager Charter Hall when it buys Australian property, including last year’s $266m purchase of the shopping mall Westfield Innaloo in Western Australia. Some months ago, PSP waded into the nation’s agricultural industry with the purchase of northern Australian cattle farms worth about $100m. Across the Tasman, PSP is finalising the purchase of forest plantations from Harvard Management in conjunction with New Zealand Superannuation and local Iwi tribes worth NZ$2.35bn ($2.15bn), and recently outlaid more than NZ$1bn for the acquisition of AMP’s office portfolio. Boston-based HTRG is the world’s largest timber investment manager for institutional investors, developing and managing about US$12.1bn ($14bn) worth of globally diversified timberland portfolios for public and corporate pension plans, high net-worth individuals and foundations and endowments. Fourteen percent of its portfolio is located in Australia, much of which was the plantations it purchased in recent years from the Victorian government. It snapped up plantations in Queensland several years ago for around $603m. Its markets are the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Chile.

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Canadians buying up Australian & NZ assets

GFIS - Do, 27/11/2014 - 00:24

Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board could swoop on one of Australia’s most valuable timber plantations, with sources saying about $1 billion worth of forests owned by Hancock Timber Resource Group are on its radar. Source: The Australian PSP executives have been in Sydney sounding out counterparties ahead of what some say is shaping up to be an aggressive acquisition spree by the Canadians focusing on Australian property, agriculture and billions of dollars’ worth of upcoming infrastructure assets for sale by federal and state governments. It is understood a major Australian acquisition is on the cards by PSP and the seller it is engaged with is Hancocks. Recent forestry portfolios placed up for sale have struggled to secure strong prices, but the industry is now shaking off pain from weaker industry demand and collapsed managed investment schemes, which could see some plantations sell for some more bullish prices, with an increasing appetite for timber from woodchip markets. In recent months, Forest Enterprises Australia was sold by receiver Deloitte on behalf of investors to RMS for between $125m and $150m, far below some expectations of up to $400m. PSP has Can$94bn ($97bn) worth of assets under management globally and typically partners with listed real estate fund manager Charter Hall when it buys Australian property, including last year’s $266m purchase of the shopping mall Westfield Innaloo in Western Australia. Some months ago, PSP waded into the nation’s agricultural industry with the purchase of northern Australian cattle farms worth about $100m. Across the Tasman, PSP is finalising the purchase of forest plantations from Harvard Management in conjunction with New Zealand Superannuation and local Iwi tribes worth NZ$2.35bn ($2.15bn), and recently outlaid more than NZ$1bn for the acquisition of AMP’s office portfolio. Boston-based HTRG is the world’s largest timber investment manager for institutional investors, developing and managing about US$12.1bn ($14bn) worth of globally diversified timberland portfolios for public and corporate pension plans, high net-worth individuals and foundations and endowments. Fourteen percent of its portfolio is located in Australia, much of which was the plantations it purchased in recent years from the Victorian government. It snapped up plantations in Queensland several years ago for around $603m. Its markets are the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Chile.

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Limited benefits for wood products in Korean FTA

Australian timber industry news - Do, 27/11/2014 - 00:21

The Wood Council of NZ (Woodco) said tariffs would continue to restrict trade in processed wood products despite the signing of a FTA with South Korea. Source: Timberbiz “We know how hard Government negotiators have strived to achieve a high quality deal with Korea. For the forest industry the job is far from finished, but the proposed agreement is a good start,” said Woodco chair Bill McCallum. Woodco is the pan-industry body representing the interests of all parts of the forest and wood processing value-chain. New Zealand exported NZ$503 million of forestry products to Korea in the year ending June 2014. Under the FTA more than 99% of New Zealand’s current export wood product lines will be duty-free within 10 years. “But 10 years is a long time in business and while a 10 per cent tariff may not sound significant, on price-sensitive products it can be enough to eliminate trade,” said Mr McCallum. “This is compounded by the fact that some other wood exporting countries already enjoy tariff-free entry into Korea.” Mr McCallum said the forestry and wood processing industries on a “business as usual” basis would deliver NZ$6 billion a year in export earnings to New Zealand by 2022. “The vision in the Woodco Strategic Action Plan is to double this to NZ$12 billion over the same period, largely by converting a higher proportion of logs to higher value products for sale locally and on world markets,” he said. “But we can’t do this alone. Only the Government can negotiate the tariff-free access we need to compete. Tariffs are generally very low on logs and escalate as value is added – effectively shutting our processed wood products out of many markets.” He said that free trade agreements between New Zealand and other countries have tended to headline the benefits for dairy, meat and horticultural exports. “While we welcome the gains the farming sector has achieved, we do encourage greater priority be given to improved access for forest products,” said Mr McCallum. “We are currently the country’s third largest export industry, but the industry’s common objective is to substantially increase the proportion of wood products that add value on-shore. “Think of the potential for employment, regional development and national wealth creation that would result from processing more logs into value-added products. We urge our trade negotiators to work hard to achieve elimination of tariffs on all processed wood products.”

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INVESTOR ALERT: Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP Encourages Investors Who Suffered Losses in Excess of $100,000 Investing in Rayonier Inc. (RYN) to Contact the Firm

Forest Products IIII - Mi, 26/11/2014 - 22:44
[GlobeNewswire] - NEW YORK -- Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP, a leading national securities law firm, reminds investors in Rayonier Inc. ("Rayonier" or the "Company") of the January 12, 2015 deadline to seek the ...

Plantwatch: Dazzling leaf colours brewed over a long autumn

GFIS - Mi, 26/11/2014 - 22:30

It’s been an extraordinary autumn. Despite the battering from wind and rain in October and November, the leaves of many trees are still hanging on. It has really only been this week that most of the country has had cold frosty  nights. The chill will help shed the rest of the leaves.

The autumn has lasted so long that the Woodland Trust has reported 2014 to have been one of the few years when there was enough time for leaves to develop a full tint of some of the more spectacular of the autumn colours – such as the red splash of the field maples, the only native maple in Britain.

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by Dr. Radut