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Wood Matters

Log Market - May 2013

Continued strong demand from China and the strengthening New Zealand and USA housing markets are the main positive features affecting the log market in New Zealand at present. Countering this is the strengthening NZ$ and weak demand from Australia and Europe.

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Forestry and the Emissions Trading Scheme - May 2013

NZUs have hovered around the $2 mark in April, currently around $1.90. ERUs dropped from $0.15 to $0.13 on the back of weakening European carbon prices. Demand for NZUs is weak with emitters concentrating on the purchase of cheap UN offsets for 2013 and 2014.

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Subsidies for burning wood having perverse outcomes

Human kind has used wood for fuel for as long as fire was discovered. Even in recent times, there have been estimates that of all the wood used in the world, 50% is used as fuel, often in small, low-tech communities to stay warm and cook food.

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View from Australia – In Search of Higher and Better Land Use

With the slide in recent years of the FOB price for blue gum woodchips from Australian ports from over US$200/tonne to below US$165/tonne, there are serious questions being asked about whether the hardwood plantation estate can be sustained in more marginal areas which are further from port.

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China Trip Report

Peter Clark and Peter Weblin travelled to China in mid March to visit log purchasers, ports and log processing facilities. We were impressed with the highly efficient way logs are received and handled in China and the developing focus on value-added higher end uses. Rather than bore readers with waffly text, we present below some interesting photos taken along the way, with some, hopefully, interesting snippits of information.

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Log Market - April 2013

Harvesting levels continued at a high level in March/early April with (largely) favourable weather and markets. Demand remained strong for all log grades apart from pulp/chip logs in some regions, particularly Southland/Otago.

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Forestry and the Emissions Trading Scheme - April 2013

NZUs lifted from the low of $1.50 in February and traded in the $1.90 to $2.10 range in March. Currently the price is around $2.10. The lift in prices has been brought about by tight supply and emitters on the hunt for volume while NZUs are cheap. ERUs traded in the $0.15 to $0.18 range during March, currently at $0.15.

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Clarky's Comment - March 2013, Opening Export Markets

If the popular media was your only source of information as to the importance of opening up export markets for New Zealand goods and services then you could be forgiven for thinking that such efforts had no impact on the living standards of ordinary New Zealanders, or were even damaging.

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Log Market - March 2013

The big dry continues over much of New Zealand. Unlike our farming cousins there is minimal impact from the lack of water on established forests, other than increased fire prevention vigilance.

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Forestry and the Emissions Trading Scheme

In February NZUs broke through $2, and got as low as $1.50 and are currently trading around $1.70. This sudden drop from $2.40 in a matter of days appears to be due to a large volume being dumped on the market.

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Better use of new technology for operational efficiency

Finding more efficient ways of getting work done is absolutely critical in the forestry business. Most forestry companies realise that every bit of time freed up from manual, cumbersome or duplicated processes means better results, more staff capacity and better profitability.

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Critical Stage in Forestry Research

Three big Government funding contracts totalling $5.8M come to an end on 30 September of this year. These contracts, supported by $1.0M of funding from Future Forest Research (FFR) membership fees, have supported the FFR programmes in Radiata Management, Diverse Species and Environment since the formation of FFR in 2007.

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Rare and Threatened Species Sightings

There is a common misunderstanding widely held in New Zealand that our plantations are poor suppliers of habitat for our native biodiversity. While it is true that a plantation will never be able to replace a well developed native forest in terms of its total provision of habitat for native species, it is well established in science that New Zealand's plantations can and do provide important habitat for native biodiversity.

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