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Coal Tits thrive in Sitka Spruce plantation forests

International Forest Industries - Mi, 07/08/2019 - 09:28

The Coal Tit is smaller than the Blue Tit and is very common in coniferous woodland and makes greater use of this habitat than other tit species. Their small size and agile nature allow them to glean food from between pine needles and pine cones with its narrow bill. Coal Tits use broadleaf woodland to a greater extent than their continental cousins and consequently have slightly larger bills. In Ireland, Coal Tit bills are even larger than their UK counterparts.

Periparus ater hibernicus is a unique sub species found only on this island. Irish coal tits have creamy yellow face patches whereas the cheeks of birds elsewhere are white. Small differences in bill size between individuals using different habitats may seem inconsequential but it is widely known among ornithologists that even very small differences in bill size can give a competitive advantage.

An analysis of records in 2007 by Ailsa McKenzie of Newcastle University in the UK, revealed that in the years when the seed crop was good in Sitka Spruce plantations in the UK, there was a decline in the use of garden feeding by the Coal Tit, but in those years when the Sitka Spruce seed crop was poor, Coal Tits increased their use of garden feeders. This pattern was also seen in Siskin.

The Coal Tit is the only member of its family that has learned to make a larder. Individual birds will visit feeders frequently but rarely eat the food immediately instead they take it away to a store so that when times get hard, they have something in reserve.

Seeds form an important component of the diet during autumn and winter, the lack of favoured invertebrates forcing the Coal Tit to switch its attentions to what is available. Even so, they will take any hibernating insects that they can find, sometimes even from the undersides of conifer branches heavy with snow. The combination of hoarding, the switch to tree seeds and the agility of this small bird, may explain why it seems to cope with cold winters more successfully than other small species.

The planting of conifers over the last century has been a blessing with the tits repaying the forester by eating harmful insects. In winter coal tits gather into flocks to roam the countryside. The ancestors of our coal tits probably came with the conifers at the end of the last ice age and the bird has been on its own here ever since.

The growth and stabilisation of the Cold Tit is thought to have been the result of Sitka Spruce seed feeding opportunities afforded by thousands of acres of maturing plantation forestry across Ireland.

FACTS: Coal Tit Periparus ater
Conservation status: Favourable

Insects and spiders; also seeds in winter. Mostly taken from outer branches of conifers.

Typical lifespan: 2 years
Lifespan: Up to 18 years

Breeding Ecology:
Clutch size: 9–10 eggs Number of broods: 1–2
Incubation: 14–16 days
Young in nest: 16–19 days
Age at first breeding: 1 year

Source: Veon

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Sveaskog’s 2Q operating profit decreased by 15% to SEK 323 million ($33 million)

International Forest Industries - Di, 06/08/2019 - 14:53

Sveaskog’s 2Q net sales, which comprise both deliveries from its own forest and externally acquired wood raw materials, increased to SEK 1,925 million. Prices increased by 9% on average and total delivery volumes were down by 10%. The sales of wood raw materials amounted to 5.5 million cubic metres whilst deliveries of seedlings have increased.

2Q 2019 operating profit decreased by 15% to SEK 323 million ($33 million). The positive effect of higher prices has been counteracted by lower volumes. Costs for harvesting and forest management have increased. Income from other property transactions is also down. The increased sales of seedlings have affected the result positively.

1 January – 30 June 2019 net sales increased by 8% to SEK 3,849 million.

1H 2019 operating profit increased by 7% to SEK 832 million ($85.3 million). Higher prices are partly offset by lower volumes from own forest. Costs for harvesting and forest management have increased. Income from other property transactions is also down.

Sveaskog is Sweden’s leading forest company and sells sawlogs, pulpwood, biofuel, forest seedlings and silvicultural services.

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New chief executive for Forestry England

International Forest Industries - Di, 06/08/2019 - 14:10
Forestry England, the country’s largest land manager and the arm of the Forestry Commission that manages the nation’s forests, has a new chief executive.

Mike Seddon has almost 30 years of experience in forestry and forestry policy and begins his new role 1 August 2019.

Mike said:

Forestry England manages one of the country’s greatest public assets: the nation’s forests.

“The need for public forests came from tough times between the two World Wars and I am incredibly proud to be leading the organisation towards another hundred years. From an emerging climate crisis to wildlife decline, the challenges for the next century will be tough, but I am driven to expand on the great things the nation’s forests already achieve today.

“Our forests welcome more than 230 million visits every year – and we will make forests even more accessible by planting some forests closer to where people live. As they grow they will create places to relax and improve people’s physical and mental health. All of the forests in our care will continue to work for society and we will increase their natural capital. From cleaner air and reduced flooding to walking trails and play equipment we are making wildlife-rich, connected landscapes.”

The nation’s forests supply around half of the country’s home-grown timber, all meeting international standards for sustainability. Some of country’s rarest wildlife thrives under Forestry England’s careful management in heathland, wetlands and, of course forests. From majestic hen harriers to fascinating ladybird spiders they all rely on experienced ecologists and foresters.

Looking forward, Mike continued:

“All forests, and the wildlife that depends on them, will need to survive and thrive in a changing climate. We will also need more forests to absorb carbon while they grow and we can keep that carbon locked up by using more timber products.

“The challenge is huge and we are ambitious: we want to connect everyone to the nation’s forests.”

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UPM’s sawmills are running at full speed

International Forest Industries - Fr, 02/08/2019 - 12:45
Strong demand in the sawn timber market

The new Senior Vice President of Business at UPM Timber, Aki Temmes, estimates that the demand for sawn timber remains at a healthy level, even though the peak of the economic cycle might have been reached last year.

“We made good deals and the volumes moved very well in the first quarter of 2019.”

In Finland, UPM Timber consists of four sawmills with a total capacity of over 1.5 million cubic metres. UPM Kaukas sawmill is the largest, producing over 500,000 cubic metres of sawn timber per year.

A lot of UPM Timber’s production is sold domestically in Finland. “After Finland come China, Japan and the UK,” Temmes explains.

Even though the sawn timber trade was brisk during the beginning of the year, there are uncertainties in the global economy that could also weaken the outlook for sawmills. The principal concerns are related to the trade war between China and the United States, and the effects of Brexit.

“Since we cannot affect the global market, we must do our best in business. We have a clear strategy, high-performance sawmills and professional sales — all the necessary components for successful business. We intend to be a reliable partner to our customers in the future, too,” promises Temmes.

Efficient sawmills

In 2012, UPM decided to stop the further processing of sawn timber and to concentrate on sawing alone. Since this decision, the sawmills have been running at full speed.

“Since then, we have operated the sawmills based on the full-run strategy. There have been no market-related limitations on production. This sets us apart from most of our competitors,” says Temmes.

He states that industrial operations such as the sawmill industry are most efficient when the facilities are in full use.

“All wood that arrives at our sawmills is carefully used for production. Not even a single stick is wasted. Sawn timber generates value: wood chips, sawdust and other by-products are used for pulp, paper and energy production,” Temmes clarifies.

A sustainable product with a bright future

UPM sells most of its sawn timber to industrial customers in the furniture, construction and packaging sectors, or to customers for various further processing procedures.

“The range of customers and end-uses for our product is extensive. UPM Timber aims to establish and maintain international long-term partnerships. From the standpoint of future challenges, we are a great partner with a solid foundation, and we concentrate on our core capability: producing sawn timber for the right end-use applications at the right time,” says Temmes.

All UPM sawn timber is certified according to the FSC or PEFC certification schemes.

“Customer and market preferences vary, and we can use both certificates flexibly.”

Temmes believes that the future of sawn timber is bright.

“Our product is amazing. Sawn timber binds carbon throughout its lifecycle, which can last for hundreds of years. It is produced in a responsible and environmentally friendly way and it meets all the sustainability requirements.”

Aki Temmes emphasises that the quality of the end-product is based on the production expertise, good forestry and close collaboration with forest owners.

“We naturally aim to be able to provide our customers with added value and bring peace of mind and flexibility to their operations. We will succeed in providing sustainably produced Finnish sawn timber at a consistently high standard, as well as excellent service,” Temmes concludes.

Photo: Aki Temmes – Senior Vice President of Business

UPM Timber welcomed Aki Temmes, 41, to the position of Senior Vice President of Business in late April. He transferred to the position of head of UPM Timber from the position of Vice President of Business Control at UPM Biorefining. Aki has worked at UPM for over 16 years; in addition to Biorefining, he has worked in the Paper Business, UPM Timber and Wood Sourcing.

“I am excited to return to UPM Timber after being away for about six years. A lot of good work has been done at Timber under the supervision of my predecessors, and the business operations have improved significantly over the past few years,” Aki says.

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Weyerhaeuser Company reports 2Q net sales of $1.7 billion

International Forest Industries - Mi, 31/07/2019 - 11:22
Weyerhaeuser Company reported 2Q 2019 net earnings of $128 million, or 17 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $1.7 billion. This compares with net earnings of $317 million, or 42 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $2.1 billion for the same period last year.

Adjusted EBITDA for the 2Q 2019 was $343 million compared with $637million for the same period last year and $365 million for the 1Q2019.

“Our businesses delivered strong operating performance in the 2Q despite various market and weather-related challenges,” said Devin W. Stockfish, president and CEO. “This includes the lowest controllable lumber manufacturing cost we have ever reported. Looking forward, although record-setting rainfall has held back U.S. housing activity in the first half of 2019, we see solid underlying market conditions and continue to expect the housing market will follow a modest growth trajectory. We remain committed to delivering industry-leading performance, fully capitalizing on all market conditions, and driving superior value for shareholders.”

Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world’s largest private owners of timberlands, began operations in 1900.

Photo: Devin W. Stockfish, Weyerhaeuser President and CEO.

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Confor welcomes tighter restrictions on oak imports

International Forest Industries - Mi, 31/07/2019 - 10:42
Confor has welcomed strengthened measures on the import of oak into England that are to be introduced to protect trees from the threat of Oak Processionary Moth (OPM).

Caroline Ayre, National Manager for England, said Confor had worked closely with the UK Government and its agencies to introduce the tighter controls. She added: “We had already produced a paper calling for an immediate ban of high risk trees. We hope that these restrictions are not ‘too little too late’ and ask that industry remains vigilant. The constant message is ‘inspect, inspect and inspect again.”

The new measures will only permit imports of certain oak trees, including those from OPM-free countries and those from designated pest-free areas including Protected Zones (PZs), an area of the EU declared free of OPM.

A Statutory Instrument (SI) – due to be introduced in Parliament shortly – builds on measures introduced in August 2018 and applies to all oak trees, except cork oak, over a certain size. This is because these trees represent the greatest likelihood of introducing OPM into the UK PZ, as they are more susceptible to pest populations and more difficult to inspect.

The restrictions will cover both imports from overseas and the movement of trees from areas of the country where OPM is already present – in London and surrounding counties.

Woodland managers, land owners, the forest industry and tree nurserieshave bneen reminded to remain vigilant  and to check recently planted large oak trees as a priority. The alert was csounded after the Plant Health Service identified OPM caterpillars on trees recently imported from the Netherlands.

OPM caterpillars feed on oak leaves and can increase trees’ vulnerability to attack by other pests and diseases making them less able to withstand adverse weather conditions, such as drought and floods.

Biosecurity Minister Lord Gardner said: “Biosecurity is absolutely key to everything we do and we must do more to stop pests and diseases crossing continents and borders. That is why as a country we have more Protected Zones than anywhere else in the EU. It is essential that we further strengthen our import controls on oak trees. These new measures will ensure robust protection for our oak trees from pests such as the Oak Processionary Moth.”

Nicola Spence, Defra Chief Plant Health Officer said: “We will continue to wortk with local authorities and land managers to tackle OPM in areas where it is present with a control programme of treatment and surveillancce. The strengthened measures will help protect against further arrivals of the pest on our shores.”

“The Plant Health Service has received reports of an exceptional expansion of the OPM population in parts of Europe due to the hot weather experienced last year.”

OPM caterpillars feed on oak leaves and can increase trees’ vulnerability to attack by other pests and diseases making them less able to withstand adverse weather conditions, such as drought and floods.

Dr Anna Brown, Head of Tree Health & Contingency Planning, Forestry Commission, said: “Those of us involved in importing or trading plants must maintain our vigilance against exotic pests and diseases such as OPM. There is a lot we can do such as buying British, only buying stock from reputable, responsible suppliers and inspecting imported plants.

“These stronger requirements will increase our protection but my message remains the same: inspect, inspect and inspect again. We can’t check imported plants too often for signs of trouble. Don’t presume that because your supplier found no evidence of a pest or disease that you won’t either. You might spot something that they have missed.

If you suspect OPM, you should not attempt to destroy or move infected material as the nests and caterpillars can pose a risk to human health. To report sightings of pests and diseases, use the Tree Alert Online Portal.

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Planting target ‘smashed’ in Scotland

International Forest Industries - Di, 30/07/2019 - 14:41
More than 10,000 hectares of new woodland have been planted in Scotland for the first time in almost 20 years, it was recently announced.

Confor has welcomed the figures – 11,200 hectares of new planting, up from 7,100 the previous year – and called on the forestry industry to maintain the momentum and drive on to meet the next landmark Scottish Government target of 15,000 hectares by 2025.

Stuart Goodall, Confor’s CEO, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve met and gone well beyond our planting target in Scotland.

“This is great news for the sector, but also for all Scotland now that the First Minister has announced a climate emergency.

“Planting trees locks up carbon and by harvesting and replanting them sustainably, we can produce an infinitely renewable supply of wood with which to build homes and to manufacture an array of everyday products – while also reducing carbon in the atmosphere.

“Scotland is leading the way in the UK, with 84 per cent of all new planting happening in Scotland.

“Confor has worked long and hard with the Scottish Government to get to this point and I truly hope the momentum will be maintained in the coming years. We now need the rest of the UK to move beyond ramped-up rhetoric on a climate emergency and begin to take the positive action that we see in Scotland.”

Confor has set a target of 18,000 hectares of new planting annually in Scotland by 2030 as part of its ambitious but achievable targets to drive up UK-wide planting to help mitigate climate change – part of Confor’s campaign #ThinkGlobalPlantLocal.

“Fergus Ewing supported the 18,000 hectare target when it was announced, although it went beyond existing Scottish Government targets, which is very positive,” said Mr Goodall. “We look forward to continued constructive partnership with Scottish Government, Scottish Forestry and all stakeholders to keep driving up planting to deliver multiple benefits, including creating jobs, supporting wildlife and tackling climate change.”

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “This is fantastic news that we’ve smashed the targets. It is testament to the Scottish Government making forestry a priority and investing and helping growing the industry.

“The whole tree planting effort has truly been a national endeavour with all forestry interests, both large and small, pulling together.”

The statistics were released the day after the UK Government signed up to deliver net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Successive reports by the Committee on Climate Change have highlighted planting new forests as crucial in removing atmospheric carbon and reaching the net zero position.

Mr Goodall added: “It is also encouraging that the conifer percentage of the new planting is higher than in the last decade, as they will be the lifeblood for the Scottish timber processing industry of the future and help both Scotland (and the rest of the UK) attain future new housing targets – and deliver many of the wood products we all use.”

Andrew Heald, Confor’s Technical Director, said: “What is particularly good to see is that so much of this new woodland has been created at relatively small scale by farmers and estate owners, indicating that the message of integrated land use is better understood. There is much greater understanding that planting trees can provide excellent shelter-belts for livestock, helping with animal health and welfare and a diversified income in the long term.

“We also welcome the investment by others to buy land and create larger new forests and woodlands. We need that mix of large and small areas of planting to deliver on our wide-ranging economic, environmental and social ambitions.”

Stuart Goodall, Confor’s CEO

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Under Brazil’s Far Right Leader, Amazon Protections Slashed and Forests Fall

NYT Logging Industry - So, 28/07/2019 - 08:55
Cutting down trees at the current rate could lead to runaway deforestation, environmentalists say. But President Bolsonaro is sticking to his promise to curb enforcement.

UPM to build 2.1 million tonne greenfield eucalyptus pulp mill near Paso de los Toros in central Uruguay

International Forest Industries - Fr, 26/07/2019 - 12:08

UPM will construct a 2.1 million tonne greenfield eucalyptus pulp mill near Paso de los Toros in central Uruguay, company announced. The mill investment of $2.7 billion will grow UPM’s current pulp capacity by more than 50%, resulting in a step change in the scale of UPM’s pulp business as well as in UPM’s future earnings. Additionally, UPMwill invest $350 million in port operations in Montevideo and local facilities in Paso de los Toros. The mill is scheduled to start up in the second half of 2022.

With a combination of competitive wood supply, scale, best available techniques and efficient logistics the mill is expected to reach a highly competitive cash cost level, approximately $280 per delivered tonne of pulp. This figure includes the variable and fixed costs of plantation operations, wood sourcing, mill operations and logistics delivered to the main markets. This would position the mill as one of the most competitive mills in the world and enable attractive returns for the investment in various market scenarios. Furthermore, the safety and sustainability performance of the value chain from plantations to customer delivery is expected to be on an industry leading level.

The prerequisites for the investment have been carefully prepared in cooperation with the state of Uruguay. For UPM, it has been important to ensure sustainable, competitive operations long-term and to minimize risks both in the project phase and during continuous operations. For Uruguay, the project and the infrastructure development offer significant opportunities for economic and social development.

“During the past decade UPM has developed additional plantation areas in Uruguay and created a market driven pulp business with wide customer base in growing end uses. At the same time, we have consistently improved our financial performance and achieved a truly industry leading balance sheet. We are now in an excellent position to take this transformative step and capture the opportunities of attractive, growing markets in a sustainable and highly competitive way,” says Jussi Pesonen, President and CEO of UPM.


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New Zealand export more logs and wood in June 2019, despite falling log prices overseas

International Forest Industries - Fr, 26/07/2019 - 11:48

In June 2019, exports of logs and wood led the rise in New Zealand’s exports, up 16% or $43.5 million (NZ$65 million) from June 2018 to $316.1 million (NZ$472 million) in June 2019. These commodities are the third-largest goods export group, behind milk powder, butter, and cheese (NZ$1.1 billion) and meat and edible offal (NZ$678 million).

The rise in logs and wood was led by untreated logs, up 20% or $36.8 million (NZ$55 million) on a year earlier. The quantity rose 26% and unit values fell 4.6%.

“The average value of untreated log exports fell to $109 (NZ$163) per m3 in June, down from a recent high of $119 (NZ$177) in February,” international statistics manager Geraldine Duoba said.

New Zealand exports of untreated logs to China were worth about $2 billion (NZ$3.0 billion) in the past year, or 80% of the $2.54 billion (NZ$3.8 billion) in total untreated log exports.

Chart: Stats NZ

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Canada investing to grow markets for B.C. wood products

International Forest Industries - Fr, 26/07/2019 - 10:32
The Government of Canada is investing in Canada’s resources to boost economic competitiveness while protecting the environment. By promoting innovative wood products from sustainably managed forests, Canada is supporting its forestry sector by expanding market access and creating jobs and economic opportunities for Canadians, Natural Resources Canada announced.

The multi-year investment will amount to over $24 million in six wood product associations based in British Columbia to help strengthen international demand for Canadian wood products. The federal government’s partnership with industry and the province of British Columbia in promoting this work is critical to its long-term success.

This investment includes:
$16,786,200 for Canada Wood Group in Vancouver — which brings together Canadian wood product associations — to help diversify and expand Canadian forest product exports to traditional and emerging offshore markets. Support will enable market research; assist in the transfer of technology; advance standards that will increase the use of wood in construction; and deliver training in wood design and construction in China, Japan, South Korea, India and Europe.

$3,394,709 for Forestry Innovation Investment in Vancouver — British Columbia’s market development agency for forest products — to advance training, education and wood use overseas, specifically in Asian markets such as India, Vietnam and China.

$1,925,378 for the Council of Forest Industries in Vancouver — an association that represents British Columbia’s forest industry — to help create business leads to increase the use of wood-frame construction in China, Japan and South Korea, and to reinforce the Canada Wood brand as a “go-to” source for wood construction and manufacturing technology.

$944,028 for BC Wood Specialties Group in Langley — a non-profit trade association that represents British Columbia’s value-added wood products manufacturers — to support small and medium-sized companies in their efforts to become export-ready and facilitate business-to-business opportunities for their membership through trade shows and missions.

$926,360 for the Wood Pellet Association of Canada in Revelstoke — a member-driven organization for wood pellet producers — to advance the interests of domestic wood pellet producers, to help members grow through promoting the uses of wood pellets in Canadian and global markets, and to support market and technical research and encourage fair and open energy trade.

$33,000 for Western Red Cedar Lumber Association in Vancouver — a non-profit association representing producers of cedar products — to maintain and grow the demand for western red cedar by helping increase its online presence in a number of key international markets.

Government of Canada funding is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Expanding Market Opportunities (EMO) program, which supports market development for Canada’s forest products industry. Through Budget 2019, the government committed an additional $64 million over three years, starting in 2020–21, for EMO. This investment will help Canada’s forest sector continue to grow demand for Canadian wood products around the world in both traditional and emerging markets.

“We are proud to partner with these Canadian associations who are opening doors for our wood products in international markets. This is a great example of how we are working with industry partners to create jobs and build a more prosperous future for the many Canadian communities that depend on forestry,” said Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.

“Forestry remains B.C.’s largest manufacturing industry and a cornerstone of regional economies across the province. The federal government’s partnership with the province and industry is instrumental in diversifying markets for B.C.’s forest products and helps ensure the sector continues to be a leading contributor to our economy,” said Bruce Ralston, BC Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology.

“The partnership between the Government of Canada and Canada Wood and our funding partners has resulted in significant positive results leading to the growth of global markets for Canadian forest products. Canada Woodreflects the strength and diversity of the Canadian forest sector through a Team Canada approach that brings together industry in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and B.C. An example of our success is the 27-fold increase in lumber shipments to China, making it Canada’s largest market after the U.S. in less than 15 years. The Government of Canada’s $8.5-million commitment to Canada Wood gives certainty to build on past successes and continue to diversify Canadian forest products and energy-efficient building systems to new markets,” said Bruce St.John, President, Canada Wood Group.

“This partnership between industry and government has been extremely successful as we work together to expand and diversify overseas markets for the high-quality, carbon-friendly wood products manufactured in B.C. The long-term federal funding enables us to cultivate strong relationships with overseas customers while supporting 140,000 forestry-reliant jobs in communities across British Columbia. We look forward to this continued partnership between industry and the governments of Canada and British Columbia,” said Paul Newman, Executive Director, Market and Trade, Council of Forest Industries.

“The federal government’s announcement of funding support for BC Wood’s 2019–20 market development activities is welcome news, indeed. Natural Resources Canada’s Expanding Market Opportunities program will greatly benefit the many small and medium-sized manufacturers in B.C. as they work to promote high-value products, develop new export markets, grow their businesses and generate new economic benefits and employment opportunities for the province,” said Greg Stewart, Chairman, Board of the Directors, BC Wood Specialties Group Association.

“The wood pellet industry has grown from almost nothing to 35 million tons a year globally in 25 years. Canadian pellet producers have been part of that astonishing growth from the beginning, exporting our first ship-load of pellets to Sweden in 1998. Today, Canadian pellet companies export around 3 million tons a year, contributing to Canada’s economy, jobs growth at home, forest health and the global roll-out of renewable, on-demand electricity, all while optimizing the beneficial use of waste residuals from the forestry sector. This success story has been strongly supported by the Government of Canada’s Expanding Market Opportunities (EMO) program. EMO has enabled us to be fully engaged in seeking out new customers in our export markets, carrying out market research, developing international quality standards, solving market access issues, demonstrating Canadian forest and wood pellet sustainability and many other areas of export market development. We see ongoing funding as crucial to the future growth of Canada’s share of business in key export markets, particularly those in Asia and Europe,” said Vaughan Bassett, President, Wood Pellet Association of Canada.

“Western Red Cedar Lumber Association (WRCLA) participation in the Canada Wood Group through the support of Expanding Market Opportunities program has allowed the high-value western red cedar (WRC) products to maintain visibility amongst a myriad of non-wood substitute products. The collective effort enables the WRCLA to utilize an extensive resource base with the use of advanced technology to reach target audiences and protect share in key offshore markets (as a result, offshore WRC shipments account for 15% of WRC exports by volume but, more importantly, 25% of total shipment value). This value factor is essential, given that the total annual Canadian softwood lumber exports are $10 billion and WRC, while representing less than 4% of volume, accounts for an impressive 12%, or $1.2 billion, of the value shipped in 2016 and 2017. As a result, WRC provides the primary justification to harvest,” said Jack Draper, Managing Director, Western Red Cedar Lumber Association.

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As the Chinese Cut Down Siberia’s Forests, Tensions with Russians Rise

NYT Logging Industry - Do, 25/07/2019 - 19:54
Moscow welcomes the investment from Beijing, but locals say it mostly benefits China, and they bemoan deforestation and the risk of accidents.

With competitive sawlog costs in Germany, the lumber industry expands its export sales in 2019

International Forest Industries - Mi, 24/07/2019 - 16:06

With more competitive sawlog costs in Germany, the lumber industry has expanded its export sales in 2019, reports the WRQ

Large volumes of storm and insect damaged trees in Germany have resulted in an oversupply of logs and declining sawlog prices in 2018 and 2019, reports the WRQ. Sawmills have ramped up production, and export sales in the 1Q/19 reached their highest level in almost two years.

Historically, Germany was a net exporter of softwood logs, but since 2009 the country has almost doubled import volumes, while exports have only grown modestly.

In 2018, softwood log imports were slightly higher than they were in 2017, reaching 8.3 million m3 (a new record high). Just two countries, Poland and the Czech Republic, together accounted for almost two-thirds of the import volume to Germany.

Log imports from Norway and Estonia fell substantially in 2018 from 2017, while Poland and the Czech Republic increased their shipments, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly.

The average import price dropped slightly during 2018 in US dollar terms, while it has remained practically unchanged in Euro terms. Polish prices have trended upward, whereas prices of logs from the Czech Republic have moved downward during the past year. Many central European nations, including Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, France and Slovakia are hampered by large volumes of storm-damaged trees and beetle-infested forests. As a result, it is very likely that Germany will reverse its pattern and become a net log exporter again in 2019. During the first four months of 2019, export volumes were up 61% as compared to the same period of 2018.

The oversupply of logs in Germany is most likely to result in a continuation of the downward trend for log prices in the country. Prices for spruce sawlogs have declined by about 13% from the 1Q/18 to the 1Q/19, according to the WRQ.

In Euro terms, current price levels are at their lowest since 2009. In US dollar terms, log prices have declined to a level last seen 14 years ago. With plentiful wood raw-material and more competitive costs for logs, German sawmills have increased production levels, and expanded export sales. In the 1Q/19, Germany exported 10% more lumber than in the 1Q/18, reaching the highest quarterly export volume in two years.

With the expected reduction in log costs for the sawmill sector, there will continue to be opportunities for the industry to further increase lumber exports in the coming year.

Contact  Hakan Ekstrom, Seattle, USA info@WoodPrices.com

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Ontario invests $5 million in province first cross laminated timber plant

International Forest Industries - Mi, 24/07/2019 - 15:38

John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, announced an investment of almost $5 million in Element5’s new CLT plant, which will create over 60 jobs in St. Thomas. The $32 million manufacturing facility will help support the forestry sector’s 150,000 direct and indirect jobs in Ontario. Element5’s facility will be one of North America’s first fully automated cross laminated timber plants. It will provide an environmentally friendly product that will be used to construct buildings and other infrastructure projects in Canada and the U.S.

“Our government is working hard to make Ontario open for business and open for jobs by creating an environment where job creators can grow, invest and thrive,” said minister Yakabuski. “Element5’s new facility will showcase the kind of innovation we want to see more of in Ontario.”

“We’re grateful for the support of the Government of Ontario. This is a significant investment in the Ontario forestry industry, job creation, housing, innovation and technology, and the environment in the form of green building practices,” said Frank Dottori, Industry Leadership at Element5. “Through their generous support, Ontario and specifically St. Thomas are well poised to become the centre of the mass timber industry in North America.”

The government committed to increasing the use of timber in the home building industry through the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan and the Housing Supply Action Plan. This includes increasing the use of Ontario timber in buildings, and for construction and renovation to reduce emissions and encouraging mass timber demonstration projects.

“I’m pleased to support Element5’s work to create cost-effective and environmentally friendly building materials from sustainable renewable resources,” says Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London. “This investment will reduce carbon dioxide emissions and create jobs right here in Ontario and in St. Thomas, contributing to our goal of balancing a healthy environment and healthy economy.”

“Mass timber construction will be an important innovation that can help bring housing to market faster, while still meeting the high standards in the Ontario Building Code to protect public health and safety,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This is all part of our plan to give the people of Ontario more housing and more choice.”

The investment is being made through Ontario’s Forestry Growth Fund, which provides funding for forestry sector projects that improve productivity and innovation, enhance competitiveness, support new market access, and strengthen supply chains and regional economies.

“Our government’s open for business and open for jobs approach is restoring Ontario’s competitiveness as a place for businesses to invest, innovate and create jobs,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Element5’s new facility will create opportunities for local families, new markets for the forestry sector and reinforce Ontario’s reputation for manufacturing innovation. It’s a project we are proud to support.”

Photo:  John Yakabuski, Ontairio Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry

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North America – John Deere announces Intelligent Boom Control for 1470G Harvesters

International Forest Industries - Mi, 24/07/2019 - 10:42

John Deere now offers Intelligent Boom Control (IBC) on the 1470G Harvester – the largest harvester model available in the John Deere line-up. The IBC technology, first introduced to the harvester category by John Deere in 2018, increases precision and accuracy during operation, boosting operator productivity.

Available exclusively on the CH9 boom, with IBC the operator no longer controls each independent boom joint movement separately. Instead, the operator maneuvers the harvester head and the IBC technology automatically guides the boom accordingly. Designed to suit the work cycle of the harvester, the movement and operation of the boom adjusts as the boom is taken to a tree, and when the tree is in the grapple. With IBC, work is more precise, efficient and enjoyable, and new operators are able to quickly learn how to operate machines.

Another key benefit of the IBC system is the improvement to the durability of the boom. The IBC system features electrical end damping for all the main boom movement directions, stopping strong blow-like loads in the end positions. As a result, work is more fluent and the boom structures and hydraulic cylinders last longer. Additionally, IBC increases the quality of harvested timber, as there are no wounds to the remaining trees.

“John Deere pioneered the IBC technology for harvesters, and we are excited to evolve that offering to include our large 1470G machine,” said Sakari Suuriniemi, product marketing manager for John Deere. “After using an IBC-equipped machine, the boosts to productivity and efficiency are undeniable, making IBC a must-have feature for any logging operation. Understanding the demands of the logging industry and the labor challenges, IBC allows operators – new or seasoned – to work faster, even in difficult conditions.”

Designed to handle difficult terrain and powered by a John Deere 9.0-liter Final Tier 4 engine, the 1470G Harvester is equipped to handle large timber. The stable design of the machine allows for the boom to work efficiently when fully extended. The standard Processing Power Control system optimizes fuel efficiency by coordinating the accurate processing level with the current work conditions and tree size. Another feature, Adaptive Driveline Control, improves the machine drivability and productivity by automatically adjusting engine RPMs to correspond with the engine load. Additionally, the cab on the 1470G automatically adjusts to the boom movements, while the leveling functions absorb any terrain conditions. This decreases machine vibration by as much as 50 percent during operation, increasing operator comfort.

To learn more about IBC and the John Deere 1470G Harvester, as well as the full line of John Deere Forestry Equipment, visit your local John Deere Forestry dealer or www.JohnDeere.com

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Finland – €600k raised for forest inventory platform

International Forest Industries - Di, 23/07/2019 - 13:16

Finland is a land of forests, covering up to 75% of the country. Naturally, forestry is a major industry – but resources are hard to measure. Helsinki-based forestry tech startup CollectiveCrunch is bringing new solutions to the sector, and has just raised a €600k funding round led by Thominvest. Existing and new angel investors also participated in the round. CollectiveCrunch will use the funds to finalize and launch the first commercial version of its Linda Forest platform in the second half of 2019.

Thominvest has a solid background in forestry, and so intimately understands the value CollectiveCrunch brings to the market. The startup uses AI to assess data from multiple sources – such as optical satellite images, Lidar, and wood processing – to predict forest inventory more accurately than existing conventional methods. This helps landowners to more accurately assess and manage their forestry inventory, and buyers of wood resources to target the wood they actually need.

CollectiveCrunch’s Linda Forest AI platform utilizes climate, geo, and customer process data to arrive at better predictions of wood mass and forest inventory. The solution lets foresters know the volumes and species of wood they have on their land without having to drive out for inspection.

The closure of this latest €600k round brings the company’s total funding to €1 million. The round follows a recently announced multi-year partnership with Finland’s Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd. that aims to improve harvesting and forest development planning. The company has offices in Helsinki, Berlin, and Munich, and forestry customers in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, and Brazil.

Source: eu-startups.com

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Woodchip price in Australia still strong

International Forest Industries - Di, 23/07/2019 - 12:25

Key points:

  • The woodchip price in Australia has reached a record $US182/bdmt (AU$260)
  • Demand from China now exceeds Japan
  • The woodchip price is up, but export demand for logs is on the slide

    Australia’s largest processor and exporter of woodfibre, Midway Limited, which has recently acquired a logging and haul business in Western Australia, expects demand will continue to grow and has been steadily investing in forestry projects around the nation, including in the Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory.
    Midway’s managing director Tony Price said it was a good time to be in woodchips. “Over the last couple of years we’ve enjoyed a couple of significant price increases, with the current price for Tasmanian blue gum (woodchip) in the order of US$182 (AU$260) per bone-dry tonne and that’s the highest it’s ever been,” Mr Price said.
    “Not so long ago we were down around US$150 (per bone-dry tonne) when there was a glut of blue gum on the market, which largely came about due to the MIS (Managed Investment Scheme) era. There was lower demand and a glut in the market which drove the price down, but in the last two years we’ve seen some significant price increases.”
    Mr Price said demand from China had now exceeded Japan, and some mills in Indonesia were emerging as valued customers as well. Mr Price said Tasmanian blue gum remained the premium woodchip in the market, but lesser-quality timber chips such as acacia mangium had all increased in price this year.
    He expected the woodchip price would experience some “short-term softening” in the coming months, but overall the industry expected ongoing “modest price increases” over the next few years.
    “There’s been plenty of ups and downs over the years, and post the global financial crisis for about five years it was pretty tough,” he said. “So we have enjoyed a resurgence in the last few years and I’m very positive about the industry as it currently sits and where it’s heading in the future.”
    Source: ABC News

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NZ – Tree seedling deliveries by drones tested

International Forest Industries - Di, 23/07/2019 - 12:01

David Herries from Interpine was able to open the minds of many of the harvesting contractors and forest managers who attended the HarvestTECH 2019 event a couple of weeks ago. The opportunities of using drones operationally in a raft of forestry activities was outlined to those attending.

Already in New Zealand, some 118 foresters have successfully gone through the Interpine training courses and UAV’s are appearing and being used routinely in forests from North to South.

In this clip at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhenTtWaHZU

As part of the presentation, drones are being used to deliver radiata pine seedlings to the planters in some pretty steep terrain. Think of the alternative here – planters carrying and ferrying tree seedlings by hand into those areas that need to be planted – and the opportunities that UAV deliveries could offer in future savings.

Planting crews that they worked with as part of the trial say that they were immediately 30% more efficient. That’s aside from the upside of not putting stress and strain on the workers

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NZ$19.5 m for Wood Cluster Centre of Excellence

International Forest Industries - Di, 23/07/2019 - 11:10

The New Zealand Government is to contribute NZ$19.5 million to establish a Wood Cluster Centre of Excellence in Gisborne. The funding has been announced by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, and is part of NZ$27.1 million extra for the region from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).

Jones said the centre was being developed as a hub for wood processing, wood products, marketing and distribution, and training and research. “This first funding tranche will be for NZ$5 million and will generate at least 30 full-time jobs,” he said.

He said it was expected that employment would continue to grow as the centre was developed in stages. The NZ$27.1 million is in addition to the NZ$152 million already committed to the region from the PGF.

Source: Newshub, Stuff
Photo: Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones

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Ghana signs agreement with World Bank to cut carbon emissions and reduce deforestation

International Forest Industries - Di, 23/07/2019 - 10:32

Ghana – with one of the highest deforestation rates in Africa – has become the third country to sign a landmark agreement with the World Bank that rewards community efforts to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

Ghana’s five-year Emission Reductions Payment Agreement (ERPA) with the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Carbon Fund, which is administered by the World Bank, unlocks performance-based payments of up to $50 million for carbon emission reductions from the forest and land use sectors.

In Ghana, forest degradation and deforestation are driven primarily by cocoa farm expansion, coupled with logging and a recent increase in illegal mining. Working in close partnership with the Forestry Commission, Cocoa Board, and private sector, Ghana’s program with the FCPF Carbon Fund seeks to reduce carbon emissions through the promotion of climate-smart cocoa production.

In Ghana’s ERPA, the FCPF Carbon Fund commits to making initial results-based payments for reductions of 10 million tons of CO2 emissions (up to US$50 million). Ghana’s ERPA also specifies on carbon emission baselines, price per ton of avoided CO2 emissions, and a benefit-sharing mechanism that has been prepared based on extensive consultations with local stakeholders and civil society organizations throughout the country.

Ghana’s emission reductions program area, located in the south of the country, covers almost 6 million hectares (ha) of the West Africa Guinean Forest biodiversity hotspot. The wider program area covers 1.2 million ha of forest reserves and national parks and is home to 12 million people.

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by Dr. Radut