WoodWeek – 29 March 2017

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Greetings from your WoodWeek news team. Wood continues to be good source of positive business news this week. It’s official – Rotorua now has the largest and newest sawmill in the southern hemisphere. That was enough to get the Prime Minister’s attention to attend the official opening. In fact on the day the speeches were delayed while the Prime Minister took to the controls of the new saws to cut a house- lot of timber. It was a family affair too – as Bill English mentioned in his speech, he knew Marty Verry’s late father, Phil, quite well and for many years before the family got into sawmilling.

With several hundred guests including a large group of the Red Stag site team, there were some unique aspects to the official opening. The first was that no ribbons were cut. Rather, more appropriately, they revealed a large historic circular saw adorned with a plaque. Assembled guests also got to see the mill equipment from the inside, courtesy of the site electrical team. With a cleverly mounted video camera on a log we all got to see what happens on its journey to becoming lumber!

In more breaking news - STIMBR’s research programme has identified Ethanedinitrile (EDN) as a possible alternative to methyl bromide for fumigating export logs. Efficacy testing is underway to provide scientific data for the Ministry for Primary Industries to negotiate the use of EDN as a phytosanitary treatment for logs with our key markets.

Buoyant New Zealand activity has pushed up local log prices to new record highs. Meanwhile, export prices for New Zealand logs softened by about $2 a tonne across the range of logs measured by AgriHQ. So this juxtaposition of domestic demand and pricing compared to export log returns with shipping costs now rising could be good news for local buyers. However, analysts noted that the log specifications for export are often different to those sought by local wood processors.

On the subject of 'good-wood', our industry’s newest wood building system – cross- laminated timber – got a vote of confidence earlier this month by an ex-pat Kiwi. “Use the natural resource in your own backyard”, says Daryl Patterson, Head of Operational Excellence at Lend Lease Australia. He thinks New Zealand is missing a prime opportunity to combine its sustainable timber resources with an innovative manufacturing system to build faster and more efficiently. Patterson says cross-laminated timber (CLT) is that missing link.

Plus, we are overflowing with news that’s not really news to most of us in this industry – the role of forests in enhancing our environment.

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Rotorua's newest sawmill also NZ's largest

Prime Minister opens Rotorua's newest sawmill - Largest in Southern Hemisphere - Last Thursday the world's most advanced sawmill and the first ‘super-mill’ in the Southern Hemisphere was opened by Prime Minister Bill English in Rotorua.

A ‘super-mill’ is a sawmill that processes over one million tonnes of logs per year. There are a number in North America and Europe, but the Red Stag Timber mill is the first of this scale in this hemisphere.

Having grown from the ashes of the Central North Island Forest Partnership receivership over a decade ago, the company has quietly been re-investing and building capacity.

Initially purchased in 2003 by Phil and Marty Verry, the company has remained in private ownership under directors Marty Verry and Louise Dinmore, and managed by General Manager Tim Rigter.

With its structural timber market share topping out at around 25 percent, Red Stag made the decision in 2014 to commit to a new sawmilling line and upgrade programme, valued in excess of $100 million.

“We could see the current construction boom coming back in 2012”, explains Red Stag Group CEO Marty Verry. “The bottleneck was the sawmill line. We were tapped out on the two lines we used then, so set about planning for a new line.”

That planning resulted in selection of a state-of-the-art line from North American manufacturer, USNR.

“The timing was fortunate, as the industry got short of timber for a month or two last year, but with the new capacity the industry is in balance.”

“We will be bringing on sufficient timber volume in the next year or two to meet the market demand. It’s going to become very competitive as the demand slopes off in the medium term.”

The number of sawmills in New Zealand decreased from 101 in 2003 to 53 in 2016, and forecast to decrease to 39 in the next five years. The rationalisation is an international trend driven by automation, economies of scale and unavailability of logs in some regions.

“A major reason for the new technology was also the desire to produce higher quality timber”, Verry adds. “The scanning and optimising technology allows us to cut with the grain of the timber, and eliminate stresses in the timber. This results in very straight timber.”

That’s important as the markets move more towards prefabrication and off-site construction.

The building was constructed by Hawkins in 2015 and the new plant was installed during 2016 and has recently passed commissioning tests and is fully operational, cutting at a rate of 550,000 cubic metres of timber annually.

“We have had excellent support from our supply chain partners to underpin this project. The large timber investment management companies, particularly Timberlands and Hancock Natural Resources, were key enablers by providing assurance of log supply. We commend and appreciate their recognition of the importance of a strong domestic sawmilling sector.”

“The support from our key customer groups, including PlaceMakers, ITM, Mitre10, and their desire to stock higher quality timber also underpinned the investment decision.”

“But what really gave us confidence in embarking on what will prove to be one of the milestone projects in the forestry industry was the track record our staff had generated in delivering successful projects. In the board’s view, they had earned the right to complete what for most will be a career-defining project, and so we backed their teams, lead by sawmill manager Steve Roberts and project manager, Mike Carlton.”

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Potential new export log treatment identified

STIMBR’s research programme has identified Ethanedinitrile (EDN) as a possible alternative to methyl bromide for fumigating export logs.

Draslovka, the manufacturer of EDN, intends to make a registration application to the New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in July 2017. The EPA should hopefully make a decision before the end of 2017. The application will be supported by dossiers prepared by Draslovka for a similar application to officials in the Czech Republic as part of the company’s application for EDN registration in the EU.

STIMBR is working closely with Draslovka preparing the application for submission in New Zealand. Once the application is lodged with the EPA, the EPA will call for submissions. It is important that the forest industry and log exporters make submissions in support of the application for registration when these are called.

Unlike methyl bromide, EDN is not an ozone-depleting gas, nor is it a greenhouse gas. EDN disperses quickly when released to the atmosphere. EDN does not remain in the environment accumulating as harmful residues in the soil, or in plants, or animals. It breaks down to form common compounds such as ammonia, nitrates, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.

Efficacy testing is underway to provide scientific data for the Ministry for Primary Industries to negotiate the use of EDN as a phytosanitary treatment for logs with our key markets.

This research is evaluating EDN’s effectiveness against the different life stages of three forest insects: burnt pine longhorn; and the two bark beetle species Hylurgus ligniperda and Hylastes ater to determine treatment rates and efficacy. The initial results from the tests being conducted by Plant and Food Research, Palmerston North are promising.

Once completed, the data will be presented by MPI to government officials in China and India seeking their approval to allow the use of EDN on timber products imported from New Zealand.

STIMBR is Stakeholders in Methyl Bromide Reduction Incorporated. For more information on their work see: http://www.stimbr.org.nz

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Domestic log prices hit new record highs

Buoyant New Zealand activity has pushed up local log prices to new record highs – Buoyant demand from sawmills has pushed up local log prices to new record highs.

The average price for roundwood logs used in the horticulture sector rose to $92 a tonne in March, up $2 from February’s average price and at the highest level since AgriHQ began collecting the data in early 2002, according to AgriHQ’s monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and saw millers. Structural log prices also increased, with S3 logs hitting $114 a tonne, the highest since AgriHQ began collecting the data in early 1995, while S1 logs rose to $122 a tonne, the highest since mid-1994.

Record high net migration and low interest rates are putting pressure on the nation’s housing market, driving up prices and stoking construction activity. A booming horticulture industry is also spurring investment activity in that sector, helping drive demand for roundwood.

“The NZ domestic log market has maintained its incredible strength in recent weeks,” AgriHQ analyst Reece Brick said in his report. “Orders were flowing into sawmills at a constant but rapid rate, mainly underpinned by the ever present housing construction sector, especially around Auckland. This procurement competition between mills meant the AgriHQ price for the majority of key domestic log grades lifted.”

Brick said demand remained firm in the pulp, pruned and roundwood markets. “There’s been little sign of any stagnation in the roundwood trade,” he said. “Reports suggest many mills are running at or near their maximum capacity as orders keep coming in, and log supply is too tight to prevent any prices increases.”

Brick said there was some concern about whether structural log prices may soften as inventory levels increased at North Island mills heading into winter when construction demand tended to slow.

Meanwhile, export prices for New Zealand logs softened by about $2 a tonne across the range of logs measured by AgriHQ.

“The key factor behind the weaker wharf-gate markets was the sudden increase in shipping rates,” Brick said. “Unlike other months, it was not oil prices that created this small surge. Instead, an increase in commodity shipments to China, such as iron ore from Australia, has been the key factor. This has engaged a significant amount of previously idle shipping capacity in the Pacific, shifting the market in shipping companies favour.”

Brick said exporters were watching the situation closely to see if the change was short-term, or part of a longer-term trend.

“From a domestic mill’s perspective, this softening is a step in the right direction, as it may entice more logs to stay within the NZ market,” he said. “That said, a number of logs are still making premiums over domestic trading at the wharf gate, so any change in trading patterns is unlikely to be major for now. Additionally, exported pruned logs tend to be of lower quality than locally traded product, so not all of these logs would be sought after by NZ mills.”

Shipping rates to China edged up to US$20/JAS from US$19/JAS last month and US$15.50/JAS a year ago, while rates to South Korea advanced to US$19.10/JAS from US$17.80/JAS last month and US$15.20/JAS a year ago, and rates to India lifted to US$26.30/JAS from US$23.60/JAS last month and US$20.90/JAS a year ago.

Source: BusinessDesk via Scoop

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HarvestTECH conference seats selling fast

“Feedback from the 450 or so logging contractors and forest managers that came into Rotorua for the HarvestTECH 2015 event told us that rather than contractors setting up their own site visits in and around the conference, field tours to local logging operations should be set up to capitalise on those travelling into Rotorua” says Brent Apthorp, FIEA Director.

“At this stage for HarvestTECH 2017 which is running in Rotorua, New Zealand on 20-21 June 2017, two one-day field tours have already been planned”.

Note: Places to both tours are filling up fast.

1. The Future Forests Research Tour. It runs the day before the conference, Monday 19 June 2017. Visits will be to a local logging contractor demonstrating an array of innovative products and equipment that have been recently developed by equipment manufacturers in conjunction with FFR and local logging contractors designed to improve both safety and productivity on steeper slopes.

The demo site is Ian Harvey’s logging operation in FPNZ Ltd’s Gammons forest, 25km North West of Rotorua. The harvesting operation consists of a Thunderbird 6355 swing yarder along with ground based operations.

Equipment to be demonstrated includes:

- Skyshifter twin winch tail hold carriage (Awdon Technologies Ltd)
- New model CutoverCam hauler vision system (Cutover Systems Ltd)
- Alpine Grapple Carriage (Logpro Ltd)
- HarvestNAV machine navigation system (Margules Groome Ltd)
- Teleoperation of a feller-buncher (Cutover Systems Ltd)
- Teleoperation tail-hold machine (Cutover Systems Ltd)
- Automatic quick coupler (Doherty Engineered Attachments Ltd)
- New UAV (‘drone’) technology (Interpine Group)

A marquee will be set up to display the drone view of the harvesting operation, the CutoverCam view of the grappling site, and other video of products which are part of the Steepland Harvesting Programme.

2. The AB Equipment Harvesting Tour. The second tour, runs the day after the conference on Thursday 22 June 2017. Visits will be made to two logging sites in the Tokoroa region of the central North Island including;

- Baird Logging (Gaza Baird) where the Tigercat LS855C leveller tethered machine along with skidders and excavator will be demonstrated, and
- Fast & Evans Harvesting Ltd's (Jess Evans and Mike Alexander) operation with the T-Mar Log-Champ 550 swing yarder operating along with skidders, processors and excavators.

As we've mentioned, numbers will need to be limited to both. By early planning, logging contractors and their crews can really maximise their time during the harvesting week being planned. Registrations to both are being taken on a first in-first served basis. Registrations can be made on the event website, www.harvesttech.events.

This is the largest tech update for wood harvesting operations in New Zealand since 2015. Plan to be in Rotorua, New Zealand with your team in mid-June, 2017.

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Joint climate change action plan revealed

NZ and China Climate Action Plan Announced - Minister Bennett has released details of a Climate Action Plan to be put in place with China.

The announcement coincides with a visit to New Zealand by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and forms part of a package of bilateral initiatives released on Monday.

As part of the plan, China and New Zealand have decided to share ETS learnings, information on the role of afforestation, and to share knowledge and best practice on measuring, reporting and verifying livestock greenhouse gas emissions.

The announcement is also the latest in many signals from government that New Zealand intends - and needs - to rely strongly on international carbon markets in order to meet our Paris Agreement committments.

“Both our countries are serious about responding to climate change and this arrangement will assist both of us in delivering on our long-term commitments under the Paris Agreement,” Minister Bennett said, in her press release.

“China is a key player in the global response to climate change and the implementation of China’s commitments under the Paris Agreement will be critical for its success.

“New Zealand has ambitious climate change targets backed by an emissions trading scheme that we are currently reviewing. China is rolling out its own emissions trading scheme, by far the largest ETS in the world, and is potentially an important future carbon markets partner.”

The journey towards an actual linkage could be a long one, but China would certainly be a natural partner, and could potentially represent deep capacity to deliver offsets into New Zealand, having been the biggest supplier of offsets under the CDM. In turn it is also conceivable that NZ forest owners might one day find a home for their NZUs in China.

China already has 7 pilot ETS schemes and is expected to launch a national ETS later this year. China's top official for climate change, Mr Zhang Yong, also visited NZ last month.

China's national ETS, once implemented, is expected to be by far the largest in the world, at perhaps 4 billion tonnes per annum. New Zealand's by contrast will be in the order of 40 million tonnes by 2019. But who says a dragonfly can't co-exist happily with a dragon?

NZUs - last/settle $17.15. Check it out - Carbon Match - open every weekday 1pm- 5pm every weekday.

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Its 'harvest time' says ANZ

A new report produced by ANZ Bank rural economist Con Williams has picked up on the economic benefits the New Zealand forest industry is bringing to the country, in a variety of ways.

New Zealand’s forestry sector is experiencing a period of strong returns fuelled by a combination of steady Chinese demand, restrictions in export markets on native- forest harvesting, low shipping costs, a local building boom and a supportive NZ dollar.

Many of these trends look like they could extend for a number of years, supporting demand for forestry products and returns. In addition, there is a range of new applications emerging in the likes of housing fitouts, wood remanufacturing, furniture end-uses and cellulose fibre which could open up new opportunities in the sector.

Despite this positive outlook the overall plantation area has declined 5 per cent over the last 10 years. Such levels of deforestation are leading many industry participants to worry about the long-term supply of wood beyond 2030.

This is restricting investment further along the supply chain in new wood-processing facilities which produce higher-margin products.

Recent returns should encourage replanting. Prices over the last 12 months suggest forests good-to-excellent in quality and yield located within 200 kilometres of a port and/or mill would have shown an average pre-tax real rate of return (excluding carbon revenue) of 6.3 per cent, with a range from 4.4 per cent to 7.9 per cent.

If you include carbon revenue the average pre-tax real rate of return lifts to 9.9 per cent, with a range of 8.3 per cent to 11.25 per cent.

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Source: ANZ Bluenotes

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Forest owners want carbon action

Forest Owners want Vivid Economics Report implemented - The Forest Owners Association says policy makers must decide soon on which option to adopt from the just released Vivid report recommending various scenarios for making New Zealand carbon neutral.

The President of the Forest Owners Association, Peter Clark says the means to achieve a reduction in New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions have been well known for a long time.

“It’s quite simple. Our landscape needs to have fewer livestock and more trees. The report from the Parliamentary Commission for the Environment last October stated there are no other immediate options but to put more trees into the ground to soak up agriculture’s greenhouse gasses.”

Peter Clark says it is not up to forest owners or farm foresters to tell to the government what ultimate degree of stock reduction there ought to be.

“We do know that there are too many dairy cows in an environment which cannot sustain them without a severe destruction of water quality, such as in the Central North Island. This land is far better in trees, which enhance water quality.”

“With a parliamentary cross party accord developing we look forward to seeing what the policy goals will be. We have been anticipating this since New Zealand signed on to the Paris Agreement.”

“But if the afforestation is anywhere near the degree of Vivid’s scenarios it will represent a massive increase in planting trees, up to nearly doubling our plantation forest cover in little more than 30 years.” Peter Clark says.

“If we are to achieve this, we need support. We need the nurseries to escalate production. We need workers to plant the seedlings. We need to be able to develop a local processing industry to cope with the volume.”

Peter Clark says farmers should welcome a forest option on their properties.

“Returns are comparable to drystock farming. The price of carbon credits is increasing. Growing trees is another income stream when meat and wool prices are in the doldrums.”

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Use your own natural resources says developer

Use the natural resource in your own backyard says Australian developer - New Zealand is missing a prime opportunity to combine its sustainable timber resources with an innovative manufacturing system to build faster and more efficiently. Daryl Patterson, Head of Operational Excellence at Lend Lease Australia, says cross laminated timber (CLT) is that missing link.

CLT is an engineered wood system made from several layers of dimensional lumber boards, stacked crossways and bonded together.

Speaking at the Wood Processors & Manufacturers Association of New Zealand (WPMA) and Property Council New Zealand Tall Timber Buildings seminar last week, Mr Patterson questioned why, given New Zealand’s ample timber resources, there is not greater use of CLT in our construction sector.

“New Zealand is fortunate as all manufactured timber is made here. In Australia, we import manufactured timber as we don’t have the large timber resources to supply the raw product. You also have the design talent, a market that accepts timber and local manufacturers who have invested heavily in the technology to deliver and supply CLT.”

Mr Patterson says he investigated CLT after seeing how 3D printing and robotic technology could be used to manufacture multi storey buildings.

“We had a design team look at this and the challenge was not the printer but the ink. We had to ask what will we make these buildings from. We needed a lightweight, strong, easy to manufacture, raw material.

“We looked at over 100 options and it kept coming back to timber: easy to construct, sustainable, durable and cost efficient.”

CLT provides the dimensional stability, strength and rigidity of alternative products at similar costs and can be digitally fabricated.

“This technology allows for mass customisation as the tools of design talk to the tools of production. We can now design and manufacture an entire apartment block in a warehouse, from a computer software program and robotics operated by one guy.”

Mr Patterson cites London’s Graphite Apartments as an example.

“We looked first at the 2008 construction of the Graphite Apartments, in London. This was social and affordable housing where CLT was being used in very economically tight circumstances. They had to make it work and reducing cost was the rationale for using CLT. They could build faster, cheaper and break the height record for timber buildings by 50 per cent.”

Mr Patterson believes the cost saving is partly due to the speed of construction and the ability to make the building water tight far earlier in the construction process than can be achieved with traditional materials.

Bringing that knowledge back to Australia, Lend Lease went on to build the Forté, Melbourne’s tallest timber building in 2013.

“What we found using CLT was, not only was it faster to build than a conventional building by 30 per cent, we also reduced truck movements to and from the site by 90 per cent.”

Mr Patterson says other benefits included a quieter construction site, a smaller construction crew and significant thermal properties. He adds the feedback from buyers was overwhelmingly positive.

“Buyers were not concerned about what the building was built out of. They just wanted a nice, modern home and we were able to deliver that on time, at a reasonable price using CLT.” Mr Patterson also made reference to the recent, $150 million 5 King development in Brisbane, which is busting the scale for timber buildings at 52 meters high and features over 25,000 square meters of CLT.

“Brisbane is a tough market to sell commercial buildings in. We wanted to bring construction costs down to reduce rent and attract tenants.

“There is strong interest by investors in sustainable, well-designed, CLT constructed buildings as they are known to attract and retain tenants.

“These buildings offer a lower carbon footprint than other building materials and they are also great environments to work in.”

The implications for New Zealand, Mr Patterson argues, are huge.

“In Christchurch, you have 1000 new buildings constructed with steel and concrete. These products are being imported from other countries when New Zealand is growing and manufacturing even better buildings in timber frame.

“CLT has the durability, strength, stability, seismic resilience, thermal performance, fire resistance, moisture management and vapour diffusion, healthy indoor environment, and design flexibility. New Zealand should champion this system and become the world leader in CLT constructed buildings.”

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Minister visits Timberlink facility

Timber technology and great people are key in Tasmania

Last Wednesday, Timberlink’s CEO, Mr. Ian Tyson, welcomed Tasmanian Minister Guy Barnett to Timberlink’s Bell Bay mill where they discussed the mill’s next major investment. Continuous investment in world class technology, coupled with a well-trained and highly capable team, is what gives Timberlink the edge in manufacturing structural pine. It is also what supports the Tasmanian sawmill’s ability to be competitive and makes it the only large scale, forest integrated plantation softwood sawmill in Tasmania.

This year Timberlink will again be heavily investing in its future. An example is the 21st century technology installation of a Cant Grader in its Bell Bay sawmill. This grading tool, developed in Australia and New Zealand, has X-Ray and acoustic technology that provides minute detail of the cant (the middle, large part of the log remaining after removal of the sideboards), allowing for ideal sawing patterns every single time. Costing almost $700,000, the investment will be partly funded by a $50,000 grant obtained from the Tasmania Jobs and Investment Fund, a joint federal and state government programme. Mr. Tyson, speaking with Minister Barnett expressed the company’s appreciation of the grant, saying that “Timberlink welcomes the financial support as well as the grant’s stated aim of helping Tasmanian businesses through the generation of sustainable jobs and investment”.

Mr. Tyson took the opportunity of last week’s meeting to show Minister Barnett around the mill, highlighting just some of the leading technology currently used. He explained that this technology is used by the mill’s 190 employees to produce large volumes of engineered structural pine products.

Source: TimberLink

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Forest harvesting optimisation project update

In Australia, units of competency from the FWP Forest and Wood Products Training Package are being reviewed and updated in line with current forest harvesting optimisation processes and technologies.

Consultation has begun with the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for the project, to update and develop draft units of competency.

Broad stakeholder consultation is scheduled to commence in May, when draft units will be made available for comment on the Skills Impact website.

Please feel free to register your interest to keep informed of project updates and when draft materials are available for feedback. There is also the opportunity to register your interest in becoming a part of the TAC on the project webpage.

More >>

Source: ForestWorks

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CarbonMatch commentary and update

NZU Update from CarbonMatch - Several important reports with relevance to our NZ ETS also emerged this week. All highlight the crucial role of forestry to our environment.

1. An NZIER report commissioned by the NZFOA and the Farm Forestry Association calls for a satellite account, as run for the Tourism industry, to be set up in order to better track the very significant environmental contribution of plantation forestry not usually factored into its economic value.

With a contribution to GDP of some $1.4 billion p.a. the plantation forestry and logging sector contributes more to the economy than either the sheepmeat and wool or beef sectors, and is at a similar level to horticulture. But this is outstripped by its further contribution to the wider environment, estimated to be worth at least $2b per annum.

2. "Net zero in New Zealand" was also launched on Tuesday at Parliament. Prepared by Vivid Economics, this report for the cross party group of New Zealand MPs known as GLOBE-NZ, sets out scenarios towards domestic emissions neutrality from 2050. In that regard it challenges the country to think hard about land-use alternatives.

It doesn't get much clearer than Vivid's attached schematic. The report finds that it is possible to move NZ onto a pathway consistent with domestic net zero emissions in the second half of the century, but only if it alters its land-use patterns.

The role of forestry in either of the report's "Resourceful" or "Innovative" scenarios is significant, with between 1 million and 1.6 million Ha of afforestation by 2050 implied. Even an "Off-Track" scenario envisages an increase in the forest estate of some half a million hectares, while livestock numbers remain at levels similar to today. This sort of growth from forestry is possible - the NZIER report shows that new plantings peaked in the mid-1990s at nearly 100,000 Ha. But last year's comparative was a mere 3000 Ha.

NZ Forest Owner's Association CEO David Rhodes refers to the situation as the lost decade. "Even a modest 25,000 Ha a year from about the time forestry entered the ETS would mean we'd already have an extra 250,000 Ha ...Vivid's numbers are much more ambitious than that."

The Vivid team observe that not only a higher, but also a robust and predictable emissions price is required, ideally extended in some way to cover biological emissions from the agriculture sector.

3. Also released Tuesday was the OECD's 3rd Environmental Performance Review of New Zealand. "New Zealanders enjoy a high environmental quality of life and access to pristine wilderness. However, New Zealand’s growth model, based largely on exploiting natural resources, is starting to show its environmental limits with increasing greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution."

Among other recommendations, that report similarly suggests either setting a firm date for incorporation of emissions from agriculture into the Emissions Trading Scheme, or developing alternative measures to counter the pressures of farming.

Minister for Environment Nick Smith welcomed the OECD report, concurring generally with the its assessment of New Zealand’s future environmental challenges.

Source: https://carbonmatch.co.nz

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China's changing appetite for logs

Appetite for logs continues but not tropical logs - The firm appetite of Chinese companies for imported logs continued into 2016. Total log imports topped 19 million cubic metres (17% up year on year) but what was startling was the decline in tropical log imports.

In 2015 tropical log imports accounted for around 40% of all log imports but this tumbled in 2016 to just 18%. 2016 imports of tropical logs amounted to just 9.3 million cubic metres from the 19 million imported in 2015.

In contrast to the trend in tropical log imports, China’s 2016 tropical sawnwood imports continued an upward trend that had been observed over the past few years. Of the 32 million cubic metres of sawnwood imported in 2016, some 20% was from tropical suppliers and the proportion of tropical to total sawnwood imports (18%) was maintained into 2016.

Source: ITTO TTM Report – March 2017

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Why wood really is better for us

Nature-connected design is the key to making offices less stressful, hospital stays shorter and children better learners, according to a new report released today last week by Planet Ark.

It points out the benefits of using timbers and biophilic design to attract higher rents and building values due to improvements in indoor environmental quality, and bottom-line business benefits due to the mitigation of stress and the resultant impact on employee productivity.

Nature-connected design using timber is also central to reducing the embodied emissions of the built environment, Planet Ark Make It Wood campaign manager David Rowlinson told The Fifth Estate.

Launched to coincide with World Wood Day, Wood–Nature Inspired Design is an update on the landmark 2015 Planet Ark report, Wood – Housing, Health Humanity.

Mr Rowlinson said the new report examined the “why” of wood’s wellbeing benefits when it is used for the fabric and furnishings of buildings.

There are 91 international research references behind the report’s findings.

“It is a significant body of work. It isn’t just some whim,” Mr Rowlinson said. Research has established benefits including improving levels of interaction for elderly people in aged care homes, managing humidity levels and improving comfort levels in homes and offices, and faster healing times for hospital patients due to reduced stress levels.

One of the studies, from New Zealand, also showed timber in the interior of an office generates more positive feelings about the workplace, and makes it more attractive to potential employees.

More >>

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Buy and Sell

... and finally ... its that time of year again

When you get your chance to pay for the wonderful work our politicians do ... Yes its 'TAX- time'.

"A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well."

Q. What is the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion?
A. Jail.

And with tax comes that need to work with your accountant ...

Q. What's the definition of an accountant?
A. Someone who solves a problem you didn't know you had in a way you don't understand.

Q. What's the definition of a good tax accountant?
A. Someone who has a loophole named after him/her.

Q. Why did the auditor cross the road?
A. Because he/she looked in the file and that's what they did last year.

Q: How many Accountants does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: How much money do you have?

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

If you enjoy WoodWeek - pass it on. And tell a mate to subscribe as well – it’s FREE!

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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