WoodWeek – 17 December 2014

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Greetings and ho Ho HO from your WoodWeek team!

It's the last issue for the year, so here we go. If you want the SUPER EARLY BIRD RATE for the Forest Industry Safety Summit so you can join the many people who have registered already - go online now and sign up to attend by the close of business this Friday!

We've got news of all of the events you need to know about for 2015. We've even got news of a forest engineering event for 2018 that New Zealand is set to host.

Have a go at a thought-provoking quiz from one of our specialist safety system speakers from the Summit - this one will keep you thinking for a while. A bit of news from WorkSafe celebrating it's first year of operations. Also, news on the stevedoring front and something that most of us will stare at in wonder - a climate change meeting update. One thing for certain on the planet is that climate change meetings are now a permanent feature of the political landscape. It might just be that climate change debate is more certain than climate change itself.

Finally for our loyal FICA members - we thank you for your continued support. Be sure to enjoy the discounts being offered by all of the n3 retailers for yourself and your staff members over the holiday period. We also want to say a big THANKS to our FICA SPONSORS whose ongoing support makes all of the members' activities possible. FICA will be taking our new-format Annual Conference to Queenstown on 25/26th September with a bigger focus on networking for everyone in our growing group.

So, that's us for WoodWeek for 2014. Our office closes from this Friday, 19 December at 5pm, until Monday 12 January. We’d like to thank all of you for your support, contributions and comments during the year. We'll be back in your Inbox - and on your smartphone screen - again from 14th January with all the news that matters when you're livelihood is in wood!

On behalf of our WoodWeek team we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Have a happy and safe holiday!

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Super EARLY Bird closes FRIDAY for Safety Summit

Super Early Bird closes THIS FRIDAY 19 December 2014, at close of business

JUST ONE LAST REMINDER - Mark your new diary and smartphone calendar with the EARLY BIRD dates for FIEA's 2015 Forest Industry Safety Summit in March. We're running it in both Rotorua and Melbourne, Victoria. Full details are now available at www.forestsafety2015.com.

Look who's leading our line up of great speakers:

Reynold Hert:
Reynold joined the BC Forest Safety Council as Chief Executive Officer in 2009 and brings a firm belief that safe businesses are the best businesses. He believes forestry operations that integrate safety as a way of doing business can see improved results including fewer injuries, lower costs, higher productivity and better work morale.

Wiremu Edmonds:
In 2010, Wiremu became a leading facilitator of the Safety Culture Tree to forest principals, contractors and logging crews throughout New Zealand. Wiremu has a powerful message on forest safety and is actively involved in delivering keynote speeches, and developing and facilitating leadership initiatives in the corporate sector.

Ivan Pupulidy:
In 1995, Ivan became a US Forest Service Lead Plane Pilot for wild land fire operations. Ivan completed several internationally recognised courses in safety and accident investigation and became a Chief Accident Investigator for the US Forest Service. Ivan completed a Master's of Science Degree in Human Factors and Systems Safety at Lund University, Sweden. He has a focus on incident analysis and organisational resilience. He is now the Director of the Office of Learning for the US Forest Service, which includes the development of learning and resilience practices.

Steven Falk:
Switchback's secret strength is its commitment to team. Steven has had the privilege to give leadership to this growing innovative team since 2010. Previous to Switchback, Steve operated a successful counselling / consulting private practice on Vancouver Island in Canada for 21 years. Steven says,”we believe people can change and that true, sustainable success is found in the power of team. Our Switchback Foundation leads participants through the fascinating process of understanding how our stored memories form our core values and how our core values direct our thoughts that ultimately produce the actions by which we are judged.“

Most importantly - CLICK HERE to register now - there are savings to be made by booking three or more delegates at the Group Rate. And be sure to get your registrations confirmed by this FRIDAY at close of business (yes,before the holiday break) to get the best rates.

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2015 FIEA Conference Series on Steep Slope Harvesting

Expressions of Interest -When this event ran as part of ForestTECH 2013 it SOLD OUT three weeks before the event ran. Well over 400 forest managers, owners, harvest planners and contractors from New Zealand, Australia, Chile and North America came into New Zealand to participate in a Steep Slope Harvesting conference and Forest Industry Safety Summit.

There is a range of innovative new technologies now available since the 2013 event: grapple carriages, tethered “winch assist” machines, wheeled harvesters, remote controlled mechanical tree felling. They all set a new standard to improve safety and productivity of extracting wood from steeper slopes. So FIEA is please to say our 2015 Steep Slope Harvesting event is scheduled mid-year in 2015 for people from across the Southern hemisphere forest industries.

Since last week's mention in Friday Offcuts, interest is already running high from people wanting to speak, exhibit. There is plenty of action as people are now scheduling their own meetings, site visits and in-forest tours around the June 2015 event. It's planned to run again in Rotorua, New Zealand only.

So, if you are interested, or if you represent a major equipment or product supplier involved in wood harvesting and wish to book your stand - please get in contact with brent.apthorp@fiea.org.nz BY this Friday, 19 December.

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New Zealand to host 2018 Forest Engineering Conference

New Zealand to host next major International Forest Engineering Conference

At the recently concluded international Forest Engineering Conference (FEC) in France, it was conferred that New Zealand would host the next event in February 2018. FEC is a truly international conference held every four years that brings together both researchers and professionals from all over the world.

“We’re delighted to be able to host this international conference,” says Associate Professor Rien Visser from University of Canterbury (UC) School of Forestry. Visser will work with the FIEA conference team to coordinate the event.

He emphasised, “It's a real complement to the quality of work currently occurring in Australasia.”

“Not just research here at Canterbury, but with the harvesting work at Future Forests Research, and the AFORA programme based at University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia, we are seen internationally as leaders in pushing the boundaries with innovation.”

“While New Zealand’s forest industry leads in cost effective large scale harvesting operations, and has good logistical systems, we can learn a lot in terms of the latest developments in areas such as safety, integration of technology, and automated control systems,” added Visser.

Professor Mark Brown and his AFORA research team will be co-hosts. They will also organise a pre-conference field trip in Queensland to ensure that this is truly an Australasian event.

“We are already working with experienced event team at the Forest industry Engineering Association (FIEA) to manage the event,” reports Visser. “By combining it with one of the scheduled FIEA events in 2018 we’ll be well-placed to attract a good number of industry delegates from around the Southern Hemisphere. While we can learn a lot from our international colleagues, they too will benefit greatly from engaging with the New Zealand’s forest industry.”

A recent participant and contributor at the event in France was Alex Tolan. He recently completed his Masters at UC and is now part of the planning team with Rayonier based in Auckland.

“Attending a major international event such as this really opens your eyes to all of the different and new developments. It is also nice to enjoy the forestry camaraderie that is very much alive and well at these events. There is a lot more to forestry than just harvesting trees,” Tolan said.

Alex’s research presentation on the effect of log sorts on productivity at the landings was well very well received and is currently being published in the International Journal of Forest Engineering. It is important to retain an international presence says Visser, and providing such opportunities to our young forestry professionals is important for both training, and retaining our best and brightest talent.

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Safety at Work: Is There a Better Way?

While complacency or familiarity is the often the cause of so many accidents, necessity is the motherhood of innovation that often leads to an invention.
One of the keys to creative thinking and innovation is to always challenge the status quo, not only when there has been a problem, but also for the continual improvement to your business. As a business owner faced with a challenging situation that requires a change of process or method, never think you are an island. Use the creative talents of your business associates and crew and ask them, “Is there a better way to do this?” You may well be surprised at the collective knowledge, experience and talent you have among them that is just waiting to be released.

One of the problems of working in the same industry or place is that too often we can’t see the woods for the trees (no pun intended) and the activities around you become common place. Is this but one of the number of reasons why there is a strong focus on safety in NZ forest industry?

The following is a little and potentially rewarding test to see how good you are at thinking outside of the square or to put it another way, at a problem from a different perspective, angle or from a distance.

The first to give the correct answer at the HASMATE display stand at the Forest Industry Safety Summit in March the 3rd & 4th 2015 will receive a sample of Hawkes Bay wine.

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2015 Forestry Events Planner

After an incredibly busy year, the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) has in conjunction with a wide cross section of industry on both sides of the Tasman, developed an Events Planner for next year. With record turnouts at FIEA technology events that have been run this year, we’re excited with what 2015 holds.

Events being planned for 2015 include;

1. Forest Industry Safety Summit 2015
3-4 March, Rotorua, New Zealand
10-11 March 2015, Melbourne, Australia


2. MobileTECH 2015 Primary Industries
UAV's - Robotics – Automation

21-22 April, Gold Coast, Australia
29-30 April 2015, Auckland, New Zealand


3. HarvestTECH 2015 Steep Slope Harvesting
Improving Safety & Productivity in Forest Harvesting

24-25 June 2015, Rotorua, New Zealand
29-30 June 2015, Melbourne, Australia


4. WoodTECH 2015
Mill Scanning - Sawing - Optimisation

16-17 September 2015, Melbourne, Australia
22-23 September 2015, Rotorua, New Zealand


5. ForestTECH 2015 e-Forestry
IT Innovations for Forest Products Companies

18-19 November 2015, Rotorua, New Zealand
24-25 November 2015, Melbourne, Australia


Mark the dates into your 2015 calendars. At this early stage, if interested in either presenting or exhibiting, let us know and if appropriate, we can look to build you into the planned programmes.

Attached for your information is a PDF of 2015-16 Technology Events which provides you with further information on the schedule of events planned for next year.

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Softwood lumber demand growing steadily

Softwood lumber prices have trended downward in the US, Russia and Japan this fall, while they have gone up in China and the Nordic countries, according to a report from the Wood Resource Quarterly this week.

Prices for softwood lumber imported to China increased this fall, while they fell in Japan as the housing market weakened. In the US, lumber prices were moving downward in the 3Q, while still being close to their highest levels in ten years, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. In the Nordic countries and Russia, lumber exports have increased because of higher demand for wood in key markets in Europe and the MENA countries.

Demand for softwood lumber has been steadily increasing on a worldwide basis since the great recession. The higher consumption of lumber has resulted in a rise in the global trade of lumber with shipments in 2014 on pace to be the highest since 2007, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). Following is a brief excerpt from the newly released WRQ regarding of the developments in key markets during the fall of 2014:

Lumber market – the US
After lumber prices peaked in the US in the late summer, prices have trended downward during the fall and November prices were about ten percent below those in August with the biggest decline in prices being for southern yellow pine. The Random Lengths Price Index, a composite of 15 common lumber grades in North America, has also fallen this autumn. Despite the recent decline, the Index is nearing higher levels than we have seen in over ten years.

Lumber market – Northern Europe
Lumber prices in both Sweden and Finland have been trending upward since early 2012, and in the 3Q/14 they were at their highest levels in 3 1/2 years. Swedish lumber exports have increased by as much as seven percent over the first eight months of the year and total lumber shipments in 2014 are projected to be at their highest level since 2008. The markets in Egypt, the United Kingdom and Denmark in particular have grown this year.

Lumber market – Russia
Benefiting from a weakening currency, Russian lumber exporters have increased export volumes during the summer and fall this year with the 3Q/14 shipments reaching a record high. The biggest increase in exports has been to China, the largest market for Russian lumber, where the shipments for the first nine months this year were 11% higher than the same period last year. The average value for lumber exported during the 2Q/14 and 3Q/14 has fell slightly. Lumber market - Japan
The housing market in Japan took a hit this year when the economy was impacted by the increase in the country’s sales tax in April. The reduced activity in the construction sector has impacted demand for lumber, with domestic lumber production falling and lumber import volumes declining 16%. Prices for both domestic and imported lumber have declined this fall compared to the first half of the year.

Lumber market – China
Despite the reduction in house sales, China has increased the importation of softwood lumber by five percent during the first nine months of this year as compared to the same period in 2013, reports the WRQ (www.woodprices.com). The 3Q/14 import volume was actually the second highest quarterly import volume on record. The average import prices for softwood lumber have trended upward for almost five years and were close to record highs in the 3Q/14.

Global lumber, sawlog and pulpwood market reporting is included in the 52-page quarterly publication Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). The report, which was established in 1988 and has subscribers in over 30 countries, tracks sawlog, pulpwood, lumber and pellet prices, trade and market developments in most key regions around the world. To subscribe to the WRQ, please go to www.woodprices.com

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WorkSafe: One Year On...

  • 15% increase in the number of inspectors in the field.
  • Released new, clearer guidance including updated forestry code of practice and mining guidelines.
  • Invested in our operational intelligence team - to be intelligence-led rather than intelligence-fed.
  • Helped establish the Health and Safety Alliance of New Zealand to give health and safety professionals one voice.
  • Ramped up Safer Forest Harvesting and Preventing Falls From Height programmes – drop in fatalities and serious harms in 2014.
  • Implemented new Adventure Activities Regulations regime.
  • Doubled the team of assessment inspectors since 2013 in Canterbury and had over 2,200 people attend trade breakfasts and seminars.

    01. Get New Zealand ready for the new Health and Safety at Work Act.
    02. Accelerate sector engagement with business, workers and key stakeholders.
    03. Increase the focus on occupational health, particularly clean air in the workplace.
    04. Design and implementing longer term ‘culture change’ programmes such as Safer Farms.
    05. Take charge of the oversight of workplace hazardous substances and environmental and disposal controls.

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    Network for Women in Forestry

    Issue 37 of the Network for Women in Forestry (NWIF) newsletter is the final issue for the 2014 year. We focus on important notes for the holiday season such as the new drink driving law, and making sure your holiday pay is set up correctly.
    Also, we finally have some news on safety gear designed especially for women in the industry.
    From here at the Network for Women in Forestry, we wish you all a safe Christmas and a happy New Year.

    Check it out here on the new and improved FICA website.

    Please let us know if there is anything you have come across in the news that may be of interest to the Network for Women in Forestry readers.

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    Qube buys ISO stevedoring

    Australian ASX-listed company Qube Holdings Limited announced it has agreed to acquire New Zealand stevedoring and marshalling company, ISO Limited and its related entities (ISO). ISO operates in seven ports throughout New Zealand as well as at Portland and other ports in Australia. Its operations are focussed on the forest products industry, with operations structured across stevedoring, marshalling and transport activities.

    The initial purchase price is approximately NZ$80 million with additional consideration payable in June 2018 if earnings targets for the financial years June 2016 – June 2018 are achieved. The acquisition will be funded from Qube’s existing cash and undrawn debt facilities and is expected to be earnings per share accretive in FY 15.

    Qube’s Managing Director Maurice James said “ISO is a high quality business with a long term customer base, and an experienced and highly regarded management team who will remain with the business”.

    The acquisition gives Qube continued diversification through exposure to a new geographical market and product sector within Qube’s core stevedoring expertise.

    ISO’s managing director Greg Dickson said “I am pleased that ISO is joining Qube and I look forward to continuing to lead the ISO management team and staff to grow the business for the benefit of our customers, our employees and Qube’s shareholders. We look forward to working with the Qube team to continue our drive in applied innovation and further improvement in services to our customers”.

    The business will be operated within Qube’s Ports & Bulk division.

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    Lima call to climate action agreed

    "Lima Call for Climate Action Agreed" - This is the name of the document agreed in Lima yesterday as climate talks ran, predictably, into two days overtime.

    Ho-hum and underwhelming seems to be the verdict of many - indeed our normally ebullient Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser seemed to pause on being asked point blank on Morning Report about what had actually been achieved - many critical decisions have simply been deferred until next year.

    But expectations of progress had already been signalled as low, with all hopes pinned on Paris, and Lima seen as just another step along the way. And yes, you've got to tread water without drowning each other before you can swim.

    One key thing achieved in Lima was to agree ground rules for how all countries can table their "intended nationally determined contributions" - i.e. targets. These are expected to be submitted in the first quarter of 2015.

    Another step was the introduction in Lima of a new multilateral assessment process designed to improve and encourage transparency - some 17 developed countries, including New Zealand, submitted to questions on their progress and policies.

    Questions have been submitted and answered over the last quarter. Those posed to New Zealand make it clear that even though our emissions may be but a drop in the bucket, the world is still watching.

    They included queries from China about whether our 2020 target was actually achievable, questions from Brazil about why we had taken just a 5% target having signalled a much higher range, and questions from the United States about the lack of bottom-up modelling and lack of estimates of the actual impact of our policies.

    New Zealand's responses confirmed afresh our commitment to a 2015 review of the ETS, and noted that this would likely include modelling of ETS impacts at a sector level and that bottom- up modelling was also being conducted as part of the work in order to table our own intended target, expected to be tabled Q1 next year.

    We look forward to seeing this analysis!

    Source: CarbonMatch.co.nz

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    Ocean Freight Index

    The Baltic Supramax Index (BSI) closed yesterday at 942 points, an increase of 67 points (or 7%) since November's report.

    The BSI (Baltic Supramax Index), published by the Baltic Exchange, is the weighted average on 5 major time-charter routes. It is based on a 52,454 mt bulk carrier carrying commodities such as timber.

    Source: Capital Link Shipping & RS Plateau

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    Thanks to FICA Sponsors

    We would like to thank all of the organisations who support FICA, which in turn works to promote business growth and improved safety and efficiency amongst forestry contractors for the benefit of New Zealand's Forestry Industry.


    Sweeney Townsend & Associates (INSURANCE SERVICES)

    Gough CAT
    Cableprice NZ Ltd
    Mini-Tankers (Z Energy)
    Komatsu Forest NZ
    Shaw's Wire Ropes
    GE Capital
    Woodsman Pro
    Blackwoods Protector
    John Deere

    Timbersaws (Levin Sawmakers)
    Total Lubricants
    Active Equipment

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    The Energy Boom you haven't heard of

    The Energy Boom You Haven't Heard About: Wood Pellets.
    It's feeding Europe's energy needs, but how green is burning wood?

    Deep in the forests of the US South, tree scraps are fueling a little-known but controversial energy boom: wood pellets. Long used to heat homes in the country's Northeast, they're now destined for a new market.

    A Billionaire's Bet on Biofuels
    Europe is importing the pellets in ever higher volumes, burning them for electricity to meet renewable energy targets. The demand has transformed the U.S. industry, prompting a doubling of biomass exports last year.

    More than half of the exports go to the United Kingdom, where the utility company Drax is converting three of its six power plants to burn wood pellets instead of coal. Drax is setting up shop in the US to feed those plants, building two pellet mills in Louisiana and Mississippi that are slated to open next year.

    Maryland-based Enviva, a Drax supplier, has opened five wood pellet mills in the last four years. At least four additional export-focused plants are under construction in the South, and a handful of others have been proposed, according to a database at Biomass magazine.

    The pellet boom is not without controversy. While it hasn't generated the headlines or large protests that have accompanied the surge in U.S. oil and natural gas production, there's still debate. The pellet industry says it's using wood by-products that would otherwise go to waste. Critics say the expansion hurts forests and does not help the climate.

    Unlike fossil fuels such as coal and oil, wood is a renewable fuel: Where one tree goes down, another can grow. As a weapon against climate change, however, harvesting mass quantities of forest and shipping them across the Atlantic has drawn skepticism.

    "It's just crazy that there's an idea out there to cut down the things that are supposed to protect us from climate change," said Adam Macon, campaign director at the Dogwood Alliance, an Asheville, North Carolina-based environmental group. "It's backwards thinking."

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    Trinity forestry bankruptcy proceeding

    An architect of the Trinity forestry tax scheme has failed to convince the High Court to halt bankruptcy action against him. The Bank of New Zealand launched the action against Garry Muir after being awarded a $160,000 judgment against him and Justitiae Trustee Company in August.

    The BNZ has also applied to wind up the trustee company, which is the trustee of Carbon Trust.

    Muir and this trustee company are challenging the $160,000 judgment and applied earlier this month to halt the bankruptcy and wind-up proceedings pending this appeal. But Associate Judge John Matthews, when considering these applications, dismissed both of them. He said if the bankruptcy application came before a judge, it would be for the court to decide whether to put it off to await the decision on the appeal.

    To read the full story click here

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    Almost finally ... Try doing that in steel

    Being the last issue for the year we thought you'd like something a bit more interesting than how many logs a log boat holds when has its hold full to go to China!

    So here it is -- a nice story about the forests and wood Stradivari used to make his violins.

    In The Italian Alps, Stradivari's Trees Live On: Antonio Stradivari, the master violin maker whose instruments sell for millions of dollars today, has been dead for nearly three centuries. Only 650 of his instruments are estimated to survive.

    But the forest where the luthier got his lumber is alive and well. And thanks to the surprising teamwork of modern instrument makers and forest rangers, Stradivari's trees are doing better than ever.
    These spruce trees have been growing for hundreds of years in the Fiemme Valley, the same corner of the Italian Alps where Renaissance luthiers such as Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati hand-picked the trees that would be turned into some of the world's finest instruments. Thanks to a serendipitous combination of climate and altitude, these have come to be called "Il Bosco Che Suona" — The Musical Woods.

    Marcello Mazzucchi, a retired forest ranger with an uncanny knack for spotting timber that's ideal for instruments, walks among the trees, tapping on their trunks.

    To read the full story click here

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    Buy and Sell

    ... and finally ... why, Why, oh, WHY?

    Why is it that ... ???

    Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety-one?

    If people from Poland are called Poles, then why aren't people from Holland called Holes?

    If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

    Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a racecar is not called a racist?

    If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?

    If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, then doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?

    If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?

    What hair color do they put on the driver's licenses of bald men?

    AND -- LAST but not least - SANTA CLAUS: An Engineering Analysis ... and now ... THE REBUTTAL!
    Read the Rebuttal here

    Have a safe and happy Christmas, and we will see you in the New Year.

    John Stulen
    PO Box 1230
    Building X91, Scion Campus, 99 Sala Street
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    Tel +64 27 275 8011
    Web www.woodweek.com

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