WoodWeek – 8 February 2017

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Greetings from your WoodWeek news team. Wow, registrations for the Forest Industry Safety Summit series are looking fantastic. There is a great mix of contractors, health and safety leaders, forest managers and technical people registered already. If you want to see what the leaders in our industry are doing to keep their people safe - you need to be here. Not registered yet? Do it now - before it sells out! Go online to www.forestsafety.events or call 07 921 1382 for the Rotorua event; or in Australia call 1800 126 398.

A stern reminder comes as the coroner has strongly criticised the employer of a forestry worker killed on the job, despite a jury acquitting him of a manslaughter charge. The media report, highlighted here today, details some basic failings by the employer. The message speaks loudly to others who fail to follow the guidance of the ACoP and the new Health and Safety at Work Act.

A major primary industry technology event returns in March this year. Once again Rotorua will host over 300 industry representatives from throughout the primary industries sector. MobileTECH 2017 is a major industry conference focusing on new technologies and innovations designed and developed for New Zealand’s agricultural, horticultural and forestry industries. See more details to register below.

Entries are now open for the Eastland Wood Council Forestry Awards on the East Coast of the North Island, New Zealand for the eighth year. The 31 March closing date gives all nominees plenty of time to roll out their entry forms. This year sees the introduction of a mentor scheme, with up to 3 hours support to assist with the writing of the nomination. The highlight of the awards each year is the gathering of over 500 guests. This year, former All Black and rugby sevens legend Eric Rush is Master of Ceremonies.

With China being a key export market for wood products from Canada, especially softwood lumber, there is a lot of information made freely available by the Canada Wood Group on market activity and forecasting. We’ve got a sample of that this week for you.

The carbon market in New Zealand has started the 2017 year similar to where 2016 finished. Even though the market doubled in 2016 – the final quarter of last year was soft and subdued. This could be put down to two main factors. The first one being the changes implemented by the government in May 2016 to strengthen the ETS by removing the “buy one – get one free” setting over the next three years starting this year.

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Coroner condemns slack attitude

Coroner condemns 'she'll be right' attitude that played a part in Lincoln Kidd's forestry death - A coroner has strongly criticised the boss of a forestry worker killed on the job, despite a jury acquitting him of the manslaughter charge.

Lincoln Kidd, 20, died when a tree felled by his boss, Paul Burr, crushed him on the Aratangata forestry block between Foxton and Levin on December 19, 2013.

Burr, who was in a mechanical harvester, cut down three trees without looking around to see if anyone was nearby.

A fourth tree fell in an unexpected manner, crushing Kidd, who was 7 metres away from the harvester.

The coroner said he entered the inquest quite sure Lincoln Kidd knew the two-tree rule, requiring forestry workers to stand two tree lengths away from anyone cutting down a tree.

But by the end of the inquest, he was satisfied there was no basis on which to deem Kidd a competent forestry worker.

More >>

Source: Stuff news

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China market news

Canada Wood Market Report - With China being a key export market for wood products from Canada, especially softwood lumber there is a lot of information (freely available) on market activitiy and forecasting.

Here are two samples of the latest information published in January.

October/November economic highlights:
  • As the world’s second largest economy China’s growth-rate has stayed constant for the last three consecutive quarters of 2016.

  • With the strong growth in Q4, the Central Economic Work Conference (CEWC) which is expected to be held in mid-December will set the tone for China’s economy and policy next year. The growth target is expected to be maintained at the current range between 6.5% and 7.0%.

  • In October China’s overall wood imports decreased 10.7% month-on-month, but both Canadian log and lumber imports increased compared to the previous month.

  • In November China log imports increased 25.93% month-on-month and lumber imports increased 15.97% month-on-month.


China’s GDP growth rate in Q3 2016 stayed at 6.7% which is identical to the forecast made for 2017 by International Financial Research Institute of the Bank of China.[iii] Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong, Zhejiang and Henan are the top five provinces in terms of GDP in the third quarter of 2016.

Caixin PMI dropped to 50.90 in November from 51.20 in October and then increased to 51.9 in December 2016. China Exports grew by 0.1% year-on-year to USD 196.81 billion in November 2016 which was the first increase in eight months; exports also increased 5.9% year-on-year following a 3.2% decrease in a month earlier.

Wood Export to China:
BOABC (Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant) analysts predict the domestic wood market may continue to grow for two reasons:

  • The demand for wood will increase in later period thanks to the prosperous sales of commercial housing this year.

  • Wood import cost will continue to grow due to the RMB devaluation.


Source: http://canadawood.org/

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Eastland Wood Council Awards open

Eastland Wood Council Awards nominations open - Entries are now open for the Eastland Wood Council Forestry Awards on the East Coast of the North Island, New Zealand for the eighth year. The March 31 closing date gives all nominees plenty of time to roll out their entry forms. This year sees the introduction of a mentor scheme, with up to three hours of support to help understand, critique and assist with the writing of the nomination.

The highlight of the awards each year is the gathering of over 500 guests at the Showgrounds Event Centre – a far cry from the 200 who attended the inaugural awards evening. Former All Black and rugby sevens legend Eric Rush is Master of Ceremonies and will be sure to entertain with his witty repartee.

Last year’s Eastland Wood Council Forestry Professional of the Year was awarded to William (Hoot) Knowles who has the reputation for working more than just a little magic in his job, so it was fitting the 36-year veteran of the forestry industry walked off with two big prizes at the seventh annual Eastland Wood Council Forestry Awards last May.

Awards night is a celebration that brings this industry and all its associated service providers together to acknowledge the work being done at the coal face and the great teams and initiatives that make this industry such a success on the East Coast.

Check out the Eastland Wood Council website (www.eastlandwood.co.nz). Then think seriously about getting someone within your region to complete the process of nomination that you know deserves the accolades and opportunity to stand up on stage and be recognised.

Photo: Eric Rush


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Carbon market - 2017 factors

The carbon market in New Zealand has started the 2017 year similar to where 2016 finished. Even though the market doubled in 2016 – the final quarter of last year was soft and subdued. This could be put down to two main factors. The first one being changes implemented by the government in May 2016 to strengthen the ETS by removing the “buy one – get one free” setting over the next three years starting this year.

This will see demand increase from 20 million tonnes in 2016 to 40 million tonnes in 2019. This caused emitters to rush in to secure as much volume as they could and we believe many bought enough for the 2016 year and even some of the 2017 year. Hence the final quarter didn’t see the usual demand we have historically seen.

The second factor was the election of President Trump - a person who thinks man-made climate change is a hoax. He threatened to rip up the Paris Agreement but since his election – he has mellowed in the position. We are not so convinced that he can or will follow through - it would be deemed an extreme isolationist move.

The USA is only 15% of global emissions and 127 countries of 197 have already ratified Paris. We still have four years of Kyoto left. Trump could be thrown out before Paris even begins. Risk management applies here – buy NZUs.

Source: Nigel Brunel, Director - Financial Markets, OMF

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Major primary industries event returns

Major primary industry tech event returns in March - In just under two months, Rotorua will again be playing host to nearly 300 industry representatives from throughout the primary industries sector. MobileTECH 2017 is a major industry conference focusing on new technologies and innovations designed and developed for New Zealand’s agricultural, horticultural and forestry industries.

This event has been running for five years. The technology has in this time advanced significantly.

“The focus though of the conversation amongst leading tech developers, service suppliers and users has changed” says Ken Wilson, Programme Manager with Connex; Event Innovators.

“We are no longer talking about early trials or the potential integration of innovations like advanced remote sensors, UAVs, wireless networks or cloud computing into day to day operations. Instead we now have financial and operational data being shared by some of the early adopters of these technologies”.

“The Internet of Things (IoT) is a great example. It’s evolved from the relatively simple RFID tagging and data tracking of cattle” says Mr Wilson. “IoT is now the backbone of a centralised system tracking and analysing data from multiple sources right across the farm. Spark is now working with over 100 farmers to install the Internet of Things systems into their operations”.

KotahiNet is another building a New Zealand-wide wireless network for the rural sector. One of their earlier projects involved the installation of sensors in a Wairarapa olive grove. Real-time data and analytics assists the owners better map growth rates, set spraying schedules and respond to critical events as they happen.

The Internet of Things is a game-changer.

A recent report from American-based BI Intelligence, predicts that IoT device installations throughout the agricultural sector will increase from 30 million units in 2015 to over 75 million in 2020. On the average farm, the data points collected per day will also increase from 190,000 in 2014 to 4.1 million in 2050.

We are certainly getting better at collecting data. The major challenge now is what to do with it. More connected devices and less human interaction will drive machine learning and automated systems.

New Zealand has had a good start. We already have a number of world-class companies, like Rezare, Agrimap, FarmIQ and Figured, who provide innovative data management software and tools for the rural sector. The Ministry of Primary Industries also sees the value in data. They have set up the Farm Data Code of Practice to help safeguard farmers’ data and ensure that data can more easily move between the different systems. “The Internet of Things and the use of collected data are just some of the big talking points at MobileTECH 2017 this coming March,” says Ken Wilson.

“Never before has the technology and IT sector been so critical to the future success of New Zealand’s primary industries,” said Mr Wilson. “This year we will, once again, have up to 300 industry and technology leaders discuss the issues impacting the future profitably of the primary sector.”

MobileTECH 2017 will be running on 22-23 March 2017 in Rotorua, New Zealand. The full programme and further details can be found on the event website, www.mobiletech.events.

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ANZ Commodity Price Index

The ANZ Commodity Price Index dipped 0.1% m/m in January, led by weakness in a few components, particularly wool products and whole milk powder (WMP). However, broad-based gains were evident elsewhere, with 10 of 17 commodities rising. The index is 19% higher than this time last year.

The stronger currency put a dent in the NZD Commodity Price Index, which fell 1.1% m/m in January. The NZD lifted against most major trading currencies, with the AUD an exception. Notably, on an annual basis, the NZD has made large gains against the USD (+8.2%) and European currencies (GBP +27%, EUR +11%), putting a strain on NZD export returns, particularly in the meat sector.

In world price terms, non-dairy commodity prices were up 0.7% m/m. Six of the 12 non-dairy commodities in the index rose in January. Wool prices were down 8.6% m/m, while hides dipped 0.6% m/m. All major non-dairy groups in the index improved over the year, pushing the ex-dairy index up 7.4% y/y.

In terms of sector specifics:

  • Dairy prices fell slightly in January (-0.4% m/m), due entirely to weaker WMP prices. WMP prices fell 2.3% m/m after a strong finish to the year – prices have improved 55% since June. All other dairy- based products improved in January: skim milk powder rose 1.6% under challenging supply conditions. Butter (+1.0%), cheese (+0.8%) and casein (+0.4%) also saw modest lifts in the month. Dairy prices are up 38% y/y, with tight global milk supplies and improved Chinese import demand key support factors.

  • Across all products, the largest fall was again in wool prices, which fell 8.6% m/m to now be back 30% y/y. This continues a string of losses – prices have fallen by more than 5% per month since September 2016. The main reason has been a lack of interest from China, which accounted for 50% of exports in 2015/16. There have been numerous suggestions as to why Chinese demand has been weaker, including lower end-product demand in Europe/UK, a weaker RMB, changed sourcing patterns towards cheaper product from the UK and Mongolia, liquidation of local cotton stocks, changed local fashion trends, and general high prices last year leading to fibre substitution.

  • Beef and lamb prices started the year on a positive note, with 1.9% and 1.6% m/m gains in January. Lamb products are experiencing good demand from China and the Middle East. Low NZ supply is also supporting lamb prices, which are up 21% y/y. However, it’s notable that lamb prices are down 1.1% y/y in NZD terms. NZD strength against the USD and European currencies is telling for NZ meat exports, particularly when you consider that the US, UK, Germany and the Netherlands accounted for 44% of NZ meat exports in 2016.

  • Seafood prices rose 0.9% m/m and are up 14% y/y.

  • Forestry prices inched up 0.5% m/m; aluminium lifted 3.2% in January. Log prices continue to find support from China and local construction activity. Wood pulp prices lifted 1.4% as surplus inventories have been snapped up by strong Chinese demand.




Source: ANZ

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Ponsse and Prinoth partnership

Prinoth develops a strategic partnership with Ponsse - The partnership aims at developing a forwarder with rubber tracks.

Prinoth will participate in a consortium of European forestry institutes together with Ponsse. The partnership aims at developing a forwarder with rubber tracks that can protect the forests and soils while improving productivity and access to weak forest soil.

Consortium members are examining more stringent thresholds for soil damage, developing improved operations practices and would like to better regulate rut creation and treatment.

The Prinoth Panther undercarriages, which have a ground pressure as low as 4 psi (pound per square inch) or 281 g/cm2, can provide a good solution to the consortium. This undercarriage has a unique system equipped with rubber tracks and an exclusive high travel large wheel/tandem that were developed to work together to provide the best off-road capabilities with minimal impact on the environment.

This feature will help reach one of the project’s specific objectives which is to significantly diminish wheel rutting and soil disturbance compared to a regular wheeled-forwarder.

The project will comprise of Panther undercarriages assembled into a Ponsse forwarder. The undercarriages will also provide improved speed and as such, increased productivity for businesses. It is envisaged that this forwarder will allow for better machine utilization rates for contractors which will, in turn, translate into a more constant wood supply independent of weather conditions. Prinoth’s undercarriage expertise developed over many years will then be applicable to a very demanding industry like forestry.

Source: https://www.prinoth.com/

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Timber viable for quake zones

Timber a viable option for high-rise buildings in quake zones - Jon Tanner, chief executive of the Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association says a wooden building weighs less than a steel concrete structure with obvious benefits in both construction and resilience in an earthquake.

OPINION: It is indeed overdue for bodies such as Callaghan to develop technology for checking buildings after earthquakes.

After all it is standard for aircraft components to be monitored for performance real time – so why not buildings in quake zones?

But Callaghan Innovation's apparent sole focus on finding more earthquake resistance through concrete technology, and particularly how to prevent steel rods from rusting when water gets through from earthquake cracks, is a one trick structural pony.

We say simply – why not timber? There are four reasons.

First, there are intrinsic properties in wood we have known about and used for years. It is lightweight. A wooden building weighs less than a steel concrete structure with obvious benefits in both construction and resilience. It is flexible. It can bend and stretch. The designed-in 'snap-back' quality is paramount in a quake.

Secondly, timber technology is more versatile now than the standard weatherboard, timber frame construction of a single or two-storey bungalow.

A third reason to use timber is its environmental benefits. Concrete manufacture produces greenhouse gases. In contrast, a tree takes a lot of carbon out of the atmosphere and locks it up for the life of the tree. If the timber from that tree is used in construction the carbon lock lives on.

Fourthly, is the economic advantage of using domestically sourced building materials. A strong domestic market for processed timber construction products is a good foundation for getting an increased volume of processed timber into export markets.

More >>

Source: Stuff news
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Cawthron wants more Marlborough innovators

Marlborough businesses judged on their environmental contribution - Judging for the Cawthron Marlborough Environment Awards is now complete and entrants, sponsors, and the community are looking forward to the awards evening on 31 March in Blenheim.

This awards season there are 22 organisations entered across six categories including Farming, Wine Industry Innovation, Business Innovation, Community Innovation, Landscape and Habitat, and the all-new Marine category.

Cawthron Institute Trust Chair Bob Dickinson said the science organisation is proud to be supporting the awards and extends his congratulations to all entrants.

"Here at Cawthron we focus on enabling industry growth while enhancing environments. Many entrants for these Cawthron Marlborough Environment Awards are doing just that and we applaud them for their commitment and achievements.

“All the finalists have made a positive difference to our environment,” said Bob Dickinson.

The Cawthron Marlborough Environment awards are biannual and supported by the Cawthron Institute, Marlborough District Council and local sponsors. The aim is to showcase businesses or community projects that are good for the environment.

The Cawthron Trust is particularly pleased at the addition of a new category for sustainable use and care of the marine environment. This new category has attracted four quality entries from MDC Cruising Guide, Outward Bound, CraMac 5, and Sanford.

Following the awards evening, locals will get the opportunity to see what impressed the judges by attending open field days. Category winners host these during April and May to share their knowledge and experience.

“The field days provide the public with a greater understanding of the positive environmental work local organisations are engaged in. It’s also an excellent networking opportunity for businesses to meet others who are at the top of their game in the region,” said Bob Dickenson.

The awards have been running two decades during which 268 organisations have entered. Past entrants and other local businesses have experienced success as a result the awards.

In 2015, NZ Dryland won the supreme award for their research into growing hardwood eucalyptus species that could replace chemically treated vineyard posts. This particular venture began after a 2003 awards field day when an organic winegrower said they were importing hardwood posts from Australia, but would rather have a New Zealand supplier. This conversation sowed the seed for NZ Dryland Forests, and it is now a multi- million-dollar project.

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Northland forests to get health boost

Expanded predator control in Northland forests - Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has announced a major expansion of predator control work in Northland’s precious native forests.

“Controlling predators is vital if the forests are going to be safe for native birds like the kiwi, kokako, kakariki and rifleman to breed and thrive,” Ms Barry says.

“The expansion is part of a nationwide ramping up of predator control as part of ‘Battle for our Birds’ and is a key priority as we move towards our goal of a predator free New Zealand by 2050.

“Introduced predators threaten our natural taonga, our economy and primary sector. Predator Free 2050 will bring huge benefits for our regional economies, tourism and our threatened native species.”

The Government committed $20.7 million to fund Battle for our Birds last year. Predator control now covers more than 800,000 hectares of land nationally.

DOC administers just over 133,000ha of forest in Northland, around half the region’s native forest cover. Last year, it spent more than $1.2 million on pest control across 31,350ha of forest.

“An extra $380,000 will be invested in Northland in this financial year – a 23% increase. It means sustained predator control over more than 40,000ha,” Ms Barry says.

“Getting communities involved in managing forest health is the best way forward for Northland.” Ms Barry says.

“There have been encouraging recent projects such as the joint DOC/ Te Rarawa work in the rugged Warawara Ranges which has had significant success, and I hope we can build on that example,” Ms Barry says.

“One area where DOC is looking to expand pest control is in the Russell State Forest.”

The department will also work with Treaty partners to develop a 20-year Forest Health Plan for Northland.

“DOC will work in collaboration with iwi and hap? on the long term Forest Health Plan to protect threatened species and their forest environments across Northland,” Ms Barry says.

Photo: North Island Kokako, Sarah King

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Jobs


Buy and Sell


... and finally ... Funnies for married folks

Smith goes to see his supervisor in the front office. "Boss," he says, "we're doing some heavy house-cleaning at home tomorrow, and my wife needs me to help with the attic and the garage, moving and hauling stuff."

"We're short-handed, Smith," the boss replies. "I can't give you the day off."

"Thanks, boss," says Smith, "I knew I could count on you!"

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From George… mothers will love this…

One day a man comes home from work to find total mayhem at home.The kids were outside still in their pajamas playing in the mud and muck. There were empty food boxes and wrappers all around.

As he proceeded into the house, he found an even bigger mess. Dishes on the counter, dog food spilled on the floor, a broken glass under the table, and a small pile of sand by the back door.

The family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing, and a lamp had been knocked over.

He headed up the stairs, stepping over toys, to look for his wife. He was becoming worried that she may be ill, or that something had happened to her.

He found her in the bedroom, still in bed with her pajamas on, reading a book. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went.

He looked at her bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?"

She again smiled and answered, "You know everyday when you come home from work and ask me what I did today?"

"Yes," came his startled reply.

She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it!"

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My wife, a registered nurse, once fussed over every pain or mishap that came my way. Recently, however, I got an indication that the honeymoon is over.

I was about to fix the attic fan, and as I lifted myself from the ladder in the attic, I scratched my forehead on a crossbeam.

Crawling along, I picked up splinters in both hands, and I cut one hand replacing the fan belt.

On the way down the ladder, I missed the last two rungs and twisted my ankle.

When I limped into the kitchen, covered in dust and blood, my wife took one look and said, "Are those your good pants?"



That's all for our mid-week wood news roundup.

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John Stulen
Editor
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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