WoodWeek – 11 November 2020

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Greetings from Rotorua, heart of the forest and wood industries. First, the biggest news today in our world – It’s great to have you all back again to our conferences! Next week’s ForestTECH conference is well and truly a global affair. We’ve got over 300 people registered from 18 countries with an equal mix of virtual and real delegates confirmed. It’s going to be busy at question-time and of course we look forward to networking with all of our New Zealand delegates next week in person. See you there!

Next up, we have news on our most popular conference – HarvestTECH 2021. This massive networking and technology event will run in Rotorua on 13-14 April. In speaking to many people across a wide range of wood harvesting, transport and logistics operations, we’ve assembled a great cross-section of speakers to again make this event the must attend event of 2021. In 2019 we hosted 500 people from both New Zealand and Australia and five other countries. In 2021 we’ll be working hard to beat our ForestTECH record and host people from 20 countries – bring it on!

To the markets where Champion Freight's latest report shows shipments to China month-on-month to end of September were up by 12 percent, thus bumping overall log export values up by 5 percent for the same period. In other reporting, European timber harvests were down in 2019 after six years of year-over-year increases. This is important as the considerable volumes going to export have been impacting log import pricing in China.

In other market updates, the China Bulletin reports softwood log stocks at China’s main ocean ports totalled 4.6 million m3 at the end of September 2020, up 3 percent from the previous month. Radiata pine log inventories recorded an increase of 2.9 percent, and European spruce log inventories totalled 680,000 m3, up 28 percent.

Finally today, as Norske Skog in Kawerau look to complete their strategic review of their operations there, the local economic development agency, Toi EDA is looking to capitalise on the opportunities that change may offer. They are keen to rethink how to create value from the trees growing around Kawerau. They have looked at the energy expertise and woodflow and see their region as being well placed to lead with some of the best engineers in the country located in a strategic coastal location, with clean energy in abundance. Watch this space!

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Log export market update

Thanks to the Champion Freight team we have a graphic summary of the latest monthly update for export log markets. Champion Freight's latest report shows shipments to China month-on-month to end of September were up by 12 percent, thus bumping overall log export values to 5 percent.

Log export values to South Korea were down 8 percent month-on-month in September. Logs to India were down 96 percent compared to September 2019.

Log export values into China year-on-year (y-o-y) to the end of September were down 17 percent. The negative trend was mirrored across most other export markets leaving the total down 19 percent y-o-y. Logs to South Korea, now our second largest log market, decreased by 18 percent y-o-y to end of September.

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Europe: 2019 harvest down after 6 years

European timber harvests down in 2019 after six years of year-over-year increases - European timber harvests fell slightly in 2019, following six consecutive years of year- over-year increases. An estimated 428 million m3 of logs were utilized for industrial purposes (78 percent conifer species), while 145 million m3 were used for energy, according to new data from the UN-ECE.

Log removals reached record-high levels in 2018 and 2019, driven by a combination of both a large supply of insect and storm damaged timber in central Europe, and a healthy demand for lumber, panels and pulp. The biggest increases in log production in the past two years occurred in the Czech Republic (up 49 percent from 17 million m3 in 2017 to 25.5 million m3 in 2019) and Germany (up 23 percent from 43 million m3 in 2017 to 53 million m3 in 2019). Other countries with incremental expansions of timber harvests during the same period included Turkey, Sweden, Spain, Finland, Romania, Ireland, and Austria (in descending order).

The large volumes of damaged timber in the Czech Republic and Germany have been consumed not only by their domestic industries, but also by forest products manufacturers in neighboring countries and in China. By far, the biggest beneficiary of the log surplus in Europe has been China. From 2017 to 2019, China’s softwood log imports from Europe increased from 440,000 m3 to almost seven million m3. This upward trend continued during 2020H1 when European log imports reached nearly four million m3 and the European share of China’s total log import volume increased to 23 percent (up from nine percent in early 2019).

Source: Wood Resources International

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China wood imports update

Softwood log stocks at China’s main ocean ports totalled 4.6 million m3 at the end of September 2020, up 3 percent from the previous month. Radiata pine log inventories recorded an increase of 2.9 percent, and European spruce log inventories totalled 680,000 m3, up 28 percent.

According to the China Bulletin, China’s total softwood log imports in 2020 YTD was 26,952,000 m3. The largest exporter was New Zealand, which exported 9,348,000 m3 softwood log to China in 2020 YTD. China’s softwood log imports from Canada in 2020 YTD was 747,000 m3, a significant drop of 50.6 percent compared to 2019.

Softwood lumber inventories at the Taicang port and surrounding area were an estimated 1.5 million m3 at the end of September 2020, a decline of 80,000 m3 from August. SPF lumber stocks were an estimated 200,000 m3, reflecting a month-over-month decrease of 25,000 m3. The wholesale market prices for softwood lumber increased moderately during the month due to the stronger demand.

China’s total softwood lumber imports in 2020 YTD was 17,694,000 m3. The largest exporter was Russia, which exported 10,531,000 m3 softwood lumber to China in 2020. Canada, the second major softwood lumber exporter, exported 2,148,000 m3 softwood lumber to China in 2020 YTD, a decline of 34.9 percent compared to 2019.

Source: China Bulletin via Canada Wood Group

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Election meddling with billion trees success

Forest owners are concerned forest plantings under the Government’s One Billion Trees plan risks stalling and becoming politicised as election year debate rises over forest plantings. Forest Owners Association president Phil Taylor says the Government goal of an additional 500,000ha of trees over 10 years had always been an ambitious target.

“If you look at the One Billion Trees policy, it was a New Zealand First initiative. I think it did get to the nub of the issue on how to deal with global warming in the short term,” he said. “Unfortunately, the initiative has become embroiled in an unnecessary two-sided “trees versus farming” argument that did neither group, nor the country, any favours.”

“The point is the NZ government made a significant and binding commitment to the Paris Accord to reduce carbon emissions by 2050,” he said. “This includes a reduction of 30% of 2005 levels by 2030, these are big and fast approaching targets.”

He says while not perfect, the forestation scheme offers NZ a short-term approach to helping meet those targets as the country adopts new low-carbon technologies like wood fired boilers over coal in the dairy sector, for example.

A Ministry for Environment (MfE) paper released earlier this year, indicated if 75% of the estimated 600,000ha of land available for planting went into trees over 10 years, it would amount to 8% of agriculture’s emissions absorbed over the next 30 years.

“The increasing political pressure on the initiative is also ignoring the potential impact of climate change on our ability as a country to produce food,” it said.

Proposals to restrict forestry have included Environment Minister David Parker suggesting Labour would use the RMA to limit forest planting on areas of less than 50ha if it was classed as arable land.

But Taylor says it was these smaller land areas that offered the most benefit to the scheme, and to farmers.

Should the billion trees scheme falter, there would be some tough questions NZ had to answer to global signatories to the Paris Accord, and we may also be compelled to source carbon credits offshore.

While NZ carbon credits are capped at $35 a unit at present, overseas prices are already riding significantly higher. Finland, for example, was NZ$107 a unit, France NZ$52 and Canada NZ$76.

More >>

Source: Farmers Weekly

Our Carbon Forestry Conference is back for 2021 to serve a range of delegates. Strategically motivated corporate investors are acquiring land for carbon planting as are niche international investors. Click here to visit the event website for more information.

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Toi EDA: Fibre futures for Bay Of Plenty

In light of recent announcements from timber processors based in Kawerau and the implications of COVID being felt around the world, the Eastern Bay’s economic development agency, Toi EDA, highlighted what this might mean for one of the region’s biggest industries.

Norske Skog, the multinational owners of the newsprint pulp and paper mill in Kawerau, recently announced a strategic review of their production options for its Kawerau operations. The company reiterated that it was a process that would look at all the options on the table before any decisions were made.

Toi EDA General Manager of Strategy, Karl Gradon said that it was a significant announcement with implications across the Eastern Bay but that it also shone a spotlight on a huge opportunity for the region and Māori forest owners.

“I don’t think that the announcement was a particular surprise to anyone who is across the international wood-processing scene. COVID has been the spark, but this is a consequence of some big changes happening across the globe. Changes in Europe and China particularly will impact Aotearoa in the medium and long term and we are fortunate to have Maori forest and landowners that will take long term views on this opportunity.

“As an economic development agency, we see the region sitting on a goldmine and we are at a key moment in time to make a few changes to the way we do things and then really lead the charge into this new space. Collaboration across the entire value chain is going to be important for us all.

“Kawerau has one of the world’s largest plantation forests literally on its doorstep, with the land owned by Māori entities. It has an affordable and green geothermal energy resource under its feet and it has a rail link and a container terminal being built right now. We are perfectly placed to take advantage of these natural and man-made assets and keep the region humming.

“This marks an inflection point - a way to rethink the how we create value from the trees growing around us. Kawerau is well placed to lead this as it has some of the best engineers in the country located in an amazing strategic location, with clean energy in abundance,” Mr Gradon said.

Some of these changes are already underway. Central government recently announced their plans for a $50 million fund to research alternatives for single-use plastics. Mr Gradon said that this could provide the perfect opportunity for our local processing facilities to see what changes (to plant or processes) would be needed to take advantage of the massive international move to compostable and recyclable packaging.

“We are also getting our heads around the value our forests play in New Zealand’s commitments to Climate Change targets – their value as a carbon sink in addition to their value for the fibres.

“COVID has forced many industries into some serious long-term thinking, which provides us with an opportunity to rethink not just what we produce, but how we produce it. Toi EDA is passionate about turning the current environment to our advantage and coming our stronger on the other side. We are here to support businesses to do just that,” Mr Gradon said.

Source: Scoop News

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HarvestTECH 2021 attracting record interest

Hundreds of you will remember our last major harvesting conference HarvestTECH 2019 - It SOLD OUT well in advance. It was the largest logging conference in a long time with close to 500 harvesting contractors, harvest planners, forestry managers and equipment and technology suppliers attending.

Since lockdown, we've been hard at work planning the 2021 version of this popular event ... and we’ve been blown away with the level of interest already shown by you, our supporters. Thanks for your input and buy-in. Expressions of interest to present were sent out to the wider industry in September. The conference two- day programme now is already full. Exhibition and sponsorship information were sent out only a month ago and already, the venue has all but SOLD OUT. That’s a full house, 33 in-door and 15 outdoor spaces – six months before the event runs. At the time of writing, only two outside stands remain. So, it’s going to be another huge turnout.

Exhibitors include; McFall Fuel, Cookes, Eagle Technology, BOA, Duxon Donaldson, Randalls Equipment, AGrow Quip/John Deere, Tracplus Global, WorkSafe NZ, Porter Equipment, SouthStar Equipment, Lubricants NZ, Komatsu Forest, West-Trak Equipment, Finance NZ, DC Equipment, Remsoft, FISC, TDDA, TerraCat , Braford Industries, Footwear & Apparel, EMS, Husqvarna, Rearsense Warning Systems, Trimble Forestry, Waratah, Toi Ohomai, Seeing Machines, C3, Hydraulink, Shaws, Chainsaw & Outdoor Power

So, roll on 2021. HarvestTECH 2021 is planned to be run in Rotorua, New Zealand on 13-14 April next year. In speaking to forestry and wood harvesting operations across the region, a few extras have also been added that again will make this event THE wood transport and wood harvesting event for next year.

1. As an added bonus, the very popular forestry safety event run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association, Forest Safety & Technology 2021, is also being held at the same venue on the first day, Tuesday 13 April. This is going to enable delegates from both events to network during the breaks and to capitalise on the large number of trade exhibitions that will be present in Rotorua.

2. For the first time, live links from the New Zealand event will be set up for those unable to travel into Rotorua. It can be viewed in real time or later as a recorded event.

3. Two key themes this year. As well as mechanised harvesting on steeper slopes, the integration of automation & robotics into wood harvesting operations and best practices around ensuring environmental sustainability (roading, stream crossings and harvest residues management) in felling and in extracting wood from the forest, log scaling and measurement technologies and wood transport innovations have been built into the two-day programme.

What now? Further information on the event will follow. At this stage, registrations to HarvestTECH 2021 are now live and the early programme has been uploaded to the event website, www.harvesttech.events/ht21. Registrations to attend the event can be made here

Note: The message very clearly is that if you are looking to save a space for yourself or your crew at HarvestTECH 2021 (it was sold out well in advance of the event running last year), register early whilst rates are discounted – and to avoid disappointment of missing out on a space.

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SnapSTAT - sponsored by COP

Reproduced with permission from IndustryEdge: Log exports from Australia are topical right now. What about those from New Zealand? What we think is interesting is the way exports from New Zealand have declined most recently, while those from Australia have increased.

That's interesting enough to examine the underlying data and form your view about what's going to happen next. You can do that - and so much more - on IndustryEdge's Wood Market Edge online, hosted on the world leading SilvaStat360 platform from Forest2Market, Inc.

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MPI: Annual forestry scholarships announced

Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarship is pleased to support another 8 aspiring New Zealanders to study and pursue careers in forestry, with its 2021 scholarship recipients announcement. Now in its third year, the scholarships are increasing diversity in forestry sciences and engineering, with a strong focus on encouraging Māori and women to embark on forestry careers.

"Māori and women represent only a small percentage of the forestry workforce. Te Uru Rākau endeavours to change that and make the forestry and wood processing sector more reflective of our communities," says Henry Weston, acting deputy director-general of Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand).

With the latest cohort, the scholarship programme has to date now supported 22 Māori and women to study forestry science/engineering at the University of Canterbury, providing $8,000 each year during the degrees' 4-year duration. Mr Weston says forestry science and engineering keeps New Zealand wood at the cutting edge of innovation and sought after by customers around the globe.

"The insights and experiences these recipients will bring as future forestry scientists and engineers will help us grow the forestry industry, ensuring science and technology underpin this thriving sector. "We consider many factors in the selection of scholarship recipients, including students' interest and commitment to a career in forestry, as well as their community involvement and leadership skills are considered.”

"Receiving a scholarship is something recipients can take much pride in, as can their whānau and friends. The scholarship recipients, through their study and the summer internship programme will see a huge range of career paths aside from planting, pruning, and harvesting trees in forestry – a sector key to our country's economic wellbeing and to more sustainable environmental outcomes.”

"I'm looking forward to seeing the big things these scholarship recipients achieve throughout their studies and forestry careers," says Mr Weston.

The 8 recipients (in alphabetical order) of the 2021 forestry scholarships are:
> Anaru Walker, Christchurch, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Tamaterā, Muaūpoko
> Angus Syminton, Warkworth, Ngāi Tahu, Te Ātiawa
> Chloe Small, Methven
> Heather Harper, Wellington
> Lana Parker-Hay, Katikati, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Te Whakaue, Ngāi Tūhoe, Te Arawa
> Maude Rogers, Wanaka
> Steven Doherty, Rotorua, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Rongomai, Ngāti Raukawa
> Tessa McCarthy, Rotorua

More >>

Source: MPI

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Ngati Porou keen to purchase local forests

The Ngati Porou Holding Company (NPHC) has an interest in acquiring the Ruatoria and Tokomaru forests being sold by Ernslaw One. Ernslaw owns 12,400ha of pine trees on land owned by NPHC.

Control of the land is being progressively returned to Ngati Porou as it is cleared by Ernslaw One and NPHC has been replanting the forest. The tally of trees planted so far is more than 4000.

“We take a long view to forestry investment,”said NPHC chair Matanuku Mahuika.

“There are real costs and risks associated with these particular forests, but also an opportunity for our people to influence wood flow and ensure the forests are managed for the best environmental and cultural outcomes.”

Beyond being the landowner and landlord, NPHC believes there is an opportunity to work together with parties that are interested in sharing their long-term view.

“We want a partner that shares our vision for forestry,” said company chief executive Shayne Walker.

More >>

Source: Gisborne Herald

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Beware: Concrete industry could go carbon negative

Concrete technology could absorb CO2 - A new technology that enables concrete to become a carbon sink is currently being tested for infrastructure applications. This means we can consume more carbon dioxide (CO2) than we emit during production.

Concrete contributes to the global carbon challenge because it is made with cement. For every ton of cement produced, about a ton of CO2 is released into the atmosphere. As a result, the cement industry is the second largest industrial emitter of CO2, responsible for about eight percent of global emissions.

By changing the chemistry of cement, Solidia both lowers emissions at the cement plant and consumes CO2 in the production of concrete. Our cement reacts with CO2 instead of water. During curing, the chemical reaction with our cement breaks apart the CO2 molecules and captures the carbon to make limestone that glues the concrete together.

For production of precast concrete that is cured in kilns, when you combine the emissions reduction during cement production with CO2 consumption during curing, we reduce cement’s carbon footprint by up to 70%.

There is a different carbon delivery system developed for ready-mix. Since we can’t use CO2 gas at a construction site, we had to introduce it into our concrete in solid or liquid form. We are partnering with companies that are turning waste CO2 into a family of chemicals, like oxalic or even citric acid – the same one in orange juice. We use these acids to react with our cement and pack in as much as four times more carbon, resulting in carbon-negative concrete.

That means that, in just a few hours, one kilometre of road could permanently consume the same amount of CO2 that nearly 100,000 trees absorb in one year. Thanks to chemistry and waste CO2, we have the potential to transform concrete – the second most utilized material on the planet – into a carbon sink for the planet.

More >>

Photo credit: Infrastructurenews.co.nz

Source: Solida Technologies

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Buy and Sell

... and finally ... funny business

... if Trump captained the Titanic (seems a suitable comparison)


The other day my blonde neighbour came running up to me in the driveway just jumping for joy! I didn't know why she was jumping for joy. I thought, what the heck, and I starting jumping up and down along with her.

She said, "I have some really great news!"
I said, "Great. Tell me why you're so happy."
She stopped jumping and, breathing heavily from all the jumping up and down, told me that she was pregnant!

I knew that she had been trying for a while so I told her, "That's great! I couldn't be happier for you!"
Then she said, "There's more."
I asked, "What do you mean 'more'?"

She said, "Well, we are not having just one baby. We are going to have twins.
Amazed at how she could know so soon after getting pregnant, I asked her how she knew. She said:

"That was the easy part. I went to ALDI and they actually had a home pregnancy kit in a twin-pack. Both tests came out positive!"

Thanks for keeping up with the latest wood news with us!
Have a safe and productive week.

John Stulen, Editor

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