WoodWeek – 26 May 2021

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Greetings from your WoodWeek news team. This week we have the latest log export market update from PF Olsen: Despite a strengthening NZD, the At Wharf Gate (AWG) prices for export logs in May increased an average of $13 per JASm3 from April prices.

Log demand in China is outpacing supply with the Chinese construction activity now above pre-Covid levels. The Chinese government which had stimulated the economy post Covid-19, has signalled an intention to take the heat out of the commodities market.

The PF Olsen Log Price Index increased $6 to a record $138 in May. The index is currently $18 above the two-year average, and $14 above the three and five-year averages.

With our growing carbon forestry market capturing the interest of investors, emitters and a range of landowners, we now have over 300 delegates registered for next month’s Carbon Forestry Conference. It’s running in Rotorua on 15- 16 June. With our social media marketing we've generated considerable interest from outside the country, so for the first time this event will be live- streamed to an international audience. Recently, interest has been piqued with some commentators suggesting that EU carbon prices could double by the end of the year. Places can still be secured at this event by registering here.

Russia tariff news update - From July 1, 2021, Russia introduces new duties on the export of raw lumber with a moisture content exceeding 22%. The duty rate for conifers and oak will be 10%, but not less than Euro 13 and Euro 15 per 1 m3, respectively.

New Zealand forest owners look set to benefit from Russia's move. But, for local sawmillers, it could be a different story. Russia exported 15 million cubic metres of logs in 2020, accounting for almost 12 per cent of globally traded roundwood, but much of this trade may come to a halt in 2022 as the ban comes into force.

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What a Russian log export ban could mean

(Jamie Gray, NZ Herald, 26 March) New Zealand forest owners look set to benefit if Russia goes ahead with its ban on log exports but, for local sawmillers, it could be a different story. Russia exported 15 million cubic metres of logs in 2020, accounting for almost 12 per cent of globally traded roundwood, but much of this trade may come to a halt in 2022 if a proposed ban goes ahead.

A ban would be the culmination of efforts by Russia to disincentivise the export of logs, through tariffs, to promote local industry. Russia - which is home to 15 per cent of global wood resources - will strive to process the logs domestically into lumber and other forest products.

Forestry economist Glen O'Kelly, who heads up Sweden-based consultancy O'Kelly Acumen, said Russia had been a leading log exporter for decades but that this could come to an end in 2022. He said a ban would have immediate impact on global trade flows of logs and lumber and China will be forced to explore new supply regions.

O'Kelly, a Kiwi and New Zealand forestry owner, said a ban was likely to result in more competition on the New Zealand domestic sawlog market, as Chinese buyers need to replace the logs they will no longer be able to import from Russia.

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Source: NZ Herald


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Clear advantages from technology upgrade

Windows upgrade for new harvesters/forwarders – Improving the durability of its machines, John Deere now features RENCRAFT® Super Hard Coat polycarbonate windows as a standard offering on its G- Series harvesters and G-Series forwarders. Providing enhancements over the windows previously used, the upgraded windows are designed to withstand external wear. Additionally, the windows are improved to enhance scratch resistance and withstand chemicals and cleaning solutions, while also enhancing optic quality. “The optics of the new window are clearly better, and, as a bonus, the cabin is now even quieter. The new kind of coating enabled by the manufacturing technique and the wear protection it brings are also significant improvements on the previous ones,” said Sami Kulmala, marketing manager, John Deere.

The new, more durable coating on the windows is created during the manufacturing process, eliminating the need for separate coating or minor distortions. Additionally, the new windows comply with the ISO 21876 Saw Chain Shot Testing standard, proving their durability.

With the new windows, the front window of the rotating cab and the rear window of the John G-Series Forwarder fixed cab are almost 50% thicker than before. Additionally, due to the thicker material, the cab is better insulated, resulting in a quieter environment on the job site.

The RENCRAFT Super Hard Coat polycarbonate windows are available as a standard offering on all Model Year 2021 G-Series harvesters and forwarders. To learn more about the new windows, as well as the G- Series harvesters and forwarders, visit www.JohnDeere.ca or your local John Deere dealer.



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Mental wellbeing tips for your workplace

Six key mental wellbeing lessons for your workplace - ”Fruit on Fridays won’t cut it when it comes to protecting your workers’ mental wellbeing”, says Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum Executive Director Francois Barton.

Nor will it meet your legal obligations, if workers remain in workplaces that harm their mental wellbeing, according to new findings from the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum.

The 2020 NZ Workplace Barometer found nearly 70 per cent of respondents reported an absence from work during the last 12 months due to ‘physical or mental health’ issues.

A recent guide by the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum describes risks to mental wellbeing as a “wicked challenge” – the risks are widespread, highly personal and rarely open to easy solutions. Forum Executive Director Francois Barton says “businesses can’t manage these risks just by building up the resilience of their workers. They also need to fix things in the work environment – by replacing toxic work with good work”.

“This is not an easy switch for business owners and managers, but if you don’t do it concerns such as high turnover, absenteeism and other performance issues will remain. Risks to wellbeing must be confronted and managed systematically, and managers must lead that.” Here are six lessons from the Forum’s guide:
> Risks to mental wellbeing can affect every person and every business
> There is no such thing as a single ‘psychosocial’ risk
> Many factors affect mental wellbeing
> Mental wellbeing operates on a continuum
> Not all work is equal
> Responsibility and influence rest with the boss

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Forestry and farming: No conflict necessary

A forest industry leader wants to change the Otago Regional Council’s views on carbon forest management. Last week, councillors voted to lobby central government for national changes to standards for carbon forestry, following concerns raised by the public over the sale of Hazeldean, a 2590ha farm near Tokarahi, to New Zealand Carbon Farming.

Councillors also visited the site of October’s Livingstone fire, of which carbon forestry was a fuel source.

New Zealand Farm Forestry Association vice-president Howard Moore said he sympathised with the council in its grappling with the question of where forests should go, but there were many misconceptions regarding carbon forests. Carbon forests were important for carbon storage, valuable for ecosystem services and potentially harvestable for timber once climate change was under control, he said.

"Every official report written about managing climate change in New Zealand has promoted the use of forests for carbon sequestration. Planting forests buys us time to find ways to permanently cut emissions from fossil fuels.”

If climate change had not been solved within 50 years, the council’s present anxiety would be somewhat irrelevant, he said.

"And if we have solved climate change, those carbon forests will become very valuable for selective harvesting as steady-state production forests. Any implication that carbon forests were "unmanaged" was naive", he said.

"Every forest owner will want to see their asset increase in value over time, and seek to protect it against pests, diseases, fire and neglect."

Earlier this month, North Otago farmer Murray Simpson called a public meeting at Weston Hall, attracting about 120 people, to discuss the long-term effects of large-scale carbon farming in the headwaters of the Kakanui River.

Those at the meeting cited various environmental worries, as well as concerns that carbon forestry conversions were not subject to the same level of scrutiny as other land-use changes. Mr Moore said it should not be a conflict between forestry and farming.

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Source: ODT



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Call for speakers - ForestTECH Conference

The ForestTECH Conference is Australasia’s premier annual forest technology event - It is in its For over 14 years is has brought together industry leaders together from across Australasia. Our target audience includes resource managers, remote sensing, GIS and mapping specialists, inventory foresters and more recently, tree crop supervisors, forest establishment staff and silvicultural managers.

What happening? - Last year ForestTECH, against all odds, ran in New Zealand to both an in- person and virtual audience. In total we delivered the event tp well over 300 people. Workshops, meetings, field demonstrations and a two-day technology conference and trade exhibitions all ran for the wider industry over the week. The live and virtual hybrid format for ForestTECH 2020 also enabled a much wider cross-section of international presenters and delegates to be involved.

Delegates from 20 different countries for the first time were involved as part of the online streaming of the event out of Rotorua, New Zealand. Companies located in; New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany, Brazil, USA, Canada, Columbia, Chile, Ireland, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, China, South Africa, Latvia, Singapore and the United Kingdom were involved in ForestTECH 2020.

What’s planned for ForestTECH 2021? - For the first time, last year, ForestTECH 2020 was split into two main technology streams:1. Remote sensing, data capture and inventory management, and 2. Forest establishment, mechanised planting and silviculture.

Format and location: - Thus year our event will run in Rotorua. Uncertainties around country borders being open, international travel and a reluctance still by many individuals and companies to travel outside New Zealand means that the format used in 2020 (physical delegates in New Zealand with the full event being streamed to Australian and other international delegates) will be used for ForestTECH 2021.

Sessions will unclude
• Remote sensing/ satellite imagery technologies
• Mechanised & automated planting systems
• Advances in silvicultural treatments
• Data capture technologies and operational use
• Inventory management
• Big data management IT solutions
• Drone based imaging and data capture
• Options for AI and deep learning


Interested in presenting? - We have had a great response to date. If you or someone on your team still interested in presenting at the ForestTECH 2021 this year (either in person in New Zealand or remotely), please register your early interest by emailing brent.apthorp@fiea.org.nz by Friday 28 May 2021.

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East Coast: Forestry Awards winners celebrated

Forestry Champions Toasted at Awards - The forestry industry of Te Tairāwhiti was toasted last week before a sell-out crowd of 500 at the 2021 Eastland Forestry Awards. The coming together of the many men and women who contribute to one of the region’s leading industries is always a cause for celebration, but last night it was to recognise the skill and expertise of the best across the industry.

More than 60 entries were received across the 14 sections and in the end, it was Ben MacArthur from Speirs Logging who was crowned the Supreme Skilled Professional of the Year after earlier winning the award for Faller Mechanised or Manual Excellence.

Ben has been at the forefront of using certain machines and a key contributor to innovation and mechanisation on the East Coast. He started in the industry as a teenager and has worked his way up to be a very respected foreman and high-skilled mentor and leader. Speirs Logging, known for their high production rates and focus on reducing environmental impact, also won the Crew of the Year crown.

Dan Gray from Forest Management Solutions was honoured for his outstanding health and safety commitment, and particularly for his drive to keep forestry drug free.

Long-time forestry and trucking stalwart Dave Pardoe was honoured for his passion and commitment to the industry after decades of work, and more recently driving the Tairāwhiti Road Transport Training Trust where he is endeavouring to fill a critical need in the region.

Pictured above: Ben MacArthur with Daniel Williams, Chairman of Eastland Wood Council



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Little trees, big investment

OFO nursery set to receive $7 million upgrade – (Mt Gambier, South Australia) OneFortyOne has committed to a $7 million dollar investment at its nursery in Glencoe, to increase container capacity, and improve working conditions across the site. The Glencoe Nursery has been in operation since 1982 and supplies over 10 million trees for OneFortyOne and other forest growers in the region.

OneFortyOne Nursery Manager Craig Torney said the upgrade will improve efficiency, capacity, and working conditions for employees and contractors. “It’s an exciting project,” Craig said.

“Plans began over 4 years ago, with the aim to improve the sustainability of the current site and the wellbeing of our workforce. By introducing technology to assist and streamline the process, the upgrade will increase container growing capacity 3-fold with the potential to grow an additional 4 million container seedlings per year.”

“Instead of needing to bend or crouch down to work at ground level, we’ll have a process where trees will be grown in trays at a bench set to a more ergonomic height.”

The upgrade will move almost all winter production under cover and will also include improved facilities such as new amenities and lunchroom. Also part of the upgrade is a new irrigation system which will improve efficiency, use less water, and result in less chemicals required during the establishment stages of new trees.

“The move away from field growing into bench supported containers will improve our working conditions, site safety and sustainability, and ultimately result in a better end product for forest growers and local timber processing customers across the region,” Craig said.

The investment is a sign of OneFortyOne’s confidence in the future of the industry and our commitment to remaining part of our local community. The nursery upgrade is scheduled to begin in July 2021, and is due for completion in 2023.

Source: OneFortyOne Australia



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New technology: Magnet-free electric motor

MAHLE develops highly efficient magnet-free electric motor - German automotive parts manufacturer MAHLE developed a new highly efficient magnet-free induction motor that is more environmentally friendly to produce, is cheaper to manufacture than comparable motors, and is maintenance-free.

The company says it has combined the strengths of various electric motor concepts in one product, allowing for an efficiency "above 95 percent at almost all operating points" — a level only achieved in Formula E racing cars thus far.

MAHLE explains that its "new kind of magnet-free electric motor does not require rare earth elements." This makes production better for the environment as well as bringing "advantages in terms of costs and resource security," the company says in its release.

These magnetic coils replace the permanent magnets, typically made of neodymium-boron-iron, samarium-cobalt, or ferrite, of traditional EV motors. Where these are typically placed in an EV motor, MAHLE and other designers' induction motors leave an air gap to prevent wear. MAHLE also highlights the fact that their design is easily scalable and can be used in anything from subcompact to commercial vehicles.

"With our new electric motor, we’re living up to our responsibility as a sustainably operating company," says Michael Frick, Chairman of the MAHLE Management Board (ad interim) and CFO. "Dispensing with magnets and therefore the use of rare earth elements offers great potential not only from a geopolitical perspective but also with regard to the responsible use of nature and resources."

In order to come up with their design, MAHLE said it used a state-of-the-art simulation process that allowed it to adjust and combine the parameters of different motor designs incrementally in order to settle on the optimal solution. The company says this new method allows it to "quickly create the necessary technical conditions in order to advance e-mobility in a sustainable manner worldwide."

Though the new motor design was conceived using the very latest simulation processes, the inception of induction motors dates back to the 19th century when they were invented by Nikola Tesla. A new electric vehicle development, EV-charging roads, similarly builds on the inventor's early work on alternating currents.


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... and finally ... family and marriage fun




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Husband's call:

"Honey it's me. I don't want to alarm you but I was hit by a car as I was leaving the office. Paula brought me to the hospital. They have checked me over and done some tests and some x-rays.

The blow to my head was severe. Fortunately, it didn't cause any serious internal injuries. However, I have three broken ribs, a compound fracture in the left leg, and they may have to amputate my right foot if it the operation to re-connect it doesn't work."

However, the doctors feel the foot can be treated and I will be OK, but they just need to monitor the foot for a few days. I'm in room 406 at Baptist East.

Wife's Response: "Who’s Paula?"

And if you find that hard to believe, you've never been married.



That's all for this week's wood news.

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John Stulen
Editor
Innovatek Limited
PO Box 1230
Rotorua, New Zealand
Mob: +64 27 275 8011
Web: www.woodweek.com

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