New Zealand Cypress Market Report

And one VERY switched on sawmiller!!

Macdirect

This has little to do with farm grown Tasmanian blackwood, but in terms of where I wish the forest industry in Tasmania was right now, this is a fantastic example. In fact I would rate this little piece as one of the best things I’ve read in my 40 year career as a forester:

http://www.nzffa.org.nz/specialty-timber-market/headlines/member-profile—macdirect/

It’s a shame it’s hidden away in a corner of the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association (NZFFA) website so that very few people will ever read it.

I suspect Murray Grant, Director/Owner of MacDirect Ltd., didn’t set out to write a cypress market report. But that is exactly what this is. This “member profile” is jam packed with lots of useful information for existing and potential cypress growers.

Most Tasmanians would only know macrocarpa cypress as large scraggly farm windbreak trees. Only a handful of Tasmanians know that this tree is fast growing and produces a high value, high quality, durable timber. New Zealand farmers have been growing it in commercial plantations for 40 years. There are only a handful of small cypress plantations in Tasmania.

MacDirect Ltd is NZ’s number 1 Building Grade Macrocarpa supplier.

https://www.macdirect.co.nz/

To me the thing that makes Murray Grant unique is that he’s not just thinking about how to improve his sawmills profitability; he’s not just thinking about the logs that will be coming into his sawmill tomorrow or next week.

He’s thinking about the logs that will be harvested in 10, 20 and 30 years time!!

He’s thinking about the trees that need to be planted tomorrow!!

The major priority of EVERY sawmiller is NOT to produce profitable sawn timber! That’s the easy part of the business!!

Given that timber takes 30+ years to grow, the major priority of every sawmiller is to ensure that farmers are growing more (profitable) trees for wood production to meet market demand.

Sawing up logs is the easy part!!!

And Murray Grant knows this when he says:

We would love to hear from any farm foresters who are keen to work closely with us to grow plantations into the future, get our perspective on silviculture for the marketplace and/or look at log price and harvesting.

Murray Grant knows the critical part that sawmillers (and the market generally) play in ensuring their own future.

Murray Grant is a hero!

He needs a medal!!

 

 

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Bunnings Timber Price List Update

Bunnings

It’s been almost 2 years since I last reviewed Bunnings timber prices.

https://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/2016/07/01/bunnings-timber-price-lists/

Bunnings timber prices (per linear metre) are readily available on their web page.

https://www.bunnings.com.au/our-range/building-hardware/timber/dressed-timber/hardwood

From these I have created the following chart showing the current retail price for Tasmanian Oak Select Grade Dressed All Round (DAR), together with two previous price points.

Prices are shown per linear and cubic metre.

BunningsTasOak3

The retail price for tas oak hasn’t increased that much over the last 2 years. This is curious given there is supposed to be a timber shortage due to the building boom. Obviously the building boom is doing nothing for the fortunes of public native forestry.

Current retail prices range from $5,850 to $8,900 per cubic metre.

These prices do not reflect the actual cost of growing the wood and managing our public native forests as this recent article in The Guardian newspaper makes perfectly clear:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/29/tasmanian-forest-agreement-delivers-13bn-losses-in-giant-on-taxpayers

Almost all Tasmanian oak comes from the harvesting of Tasmanian public native forests.

Bringing Tas oak to market comes at the expense of Tasmanian schools and hospitals, roads and public housing; never mind the 35 years of bitter community conflict.

Australia will never have a real forest industry whilst the market continues to support uneconomical public native forestry.

So where does that leave Bunnings?

Bunnings seems to be a pretty good company and corporate citizen. They have some good policies:

https://www.bunnings.com.au/about-us/our-actions/bunnings-and-timber

Our actions

We pursue sustainability within our operations by striving to make them socially responsible, environmentally aware and economically viable.

Bunnings has a great Responsible Timber Sourcing Policy and is obviously proactive in helping protect the world’s forests:

We are confident that more than 99 per cent of timber products are confirmed as originating from low-risk sources including plantation, verified legal, or certified responsibly sourced forests. Within that, more than 85 per cent of our total timber products are sourced from independently certified forests or sourced with demonstrated progress towards achieving independent certification, such as that provided by the Forest Stewardship Council and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).

We continue to seek advice from Greenpeace and WWF on our procurement and we remain grateful for their ongoing support.

We are proud that our long term efforts and commitment to timber procurement has provided customers and team members with the knowledge that our timber is responsibly sourced.

Bunnings is Australia’s leading retailer of Tasmanian oak timber, legally sourced from public native forests in Tasmania, and certified under the Australian Forestry Standard/PEFC, but not under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

I think it is time for Bunnings to live up to its policies and stop plundering Tasmania’s forests and Tasmanian taxpayers.

It is time for Bunnings to stop selling Tasmanian oak.

Public native forestry in Tasmania is not profitable or sustainable. Never has been and never will be.

Bunnings in New Zealand does not sell any dressed hardwood timber at all. None.

I can’t see why Bunnings Australia can’t do the same.

Come on Bunnings!

Live up to your policies!

 

Tasmanian Forest and Forest Products Network

TFFPN

Tasmanian taxpayers have generously sponsored the creation of a new forest industry representative body (goodness knows the forest industry can’t afford to fund such luxuries themselves).

Not only do we have FIAT (Forest Industry Association of Tasmania) as the sawmillers representative, but we now have the Tasmanian Forest and Forest Products Network (TFFPN).

Tasmania now as not one but TWO forest industry representative bodies. That should work well! NOT!!

Two bands of thieves to plunder our forests and the State Treasury.

Check out their website:

https://www.tffpn.com.au/

This new body exists to represent everyone; everyone that is except real forest growers. No one is representing forest growers. Not even the TFGA.

One of the reasons forest industry reform has been so difficult in Tasmania is because there are too many forest industry people with their hands in the taxpayer’s pocket. With the creation of the TFFPN that list of people has grown substantially longer. Forest industry reform will henceforth be nigh impossible.

The TFFPN will be launched in Hobart next week.

It will be interesting to see who signs up to the TFFPN to join the war games and get their hands on the money.

No doubt the Government will describe it as a major achievement.

What a joke!

The Government will use the TFFPN to wedge the community by promoting bitterness and division. No doubt the TFFPN will be more than happy to play this game.

FIAT is obviously not disappearing anytime soon.

FIAT no longer has the support of the Government because they had the temerity to go and talk to The Greens and negotiate the Tasmanian Forest Agreement, which has since been rescinded.

The forest industry in Tasmania is a complete mess.

Stand by for another 4 years of forest industry chaos and waste.

This article was in Wednesday’s Mercury newspaper:

MercuryTFFPN

Softwood growers seek sector review

SWANpine

https://www.bdtimes.com.au/?news%2Fbusselton-dunsborough-times%2Fsoftwood-growers-seek-sector-review-ng-b88817681z

WOW!!

This must be the first time in my 40 year career as a forester that I’ve heard farm foresters openly complaining about Government control of forestry markets in Australia.

This is a unique event.

Hopefully this is the beginning of the major reform of the forest industry that is so desperately needed in Australia.

We really need to keep this discussion going.

And it’s not just about softwood prices.

It’s also about native forest log prices, and markets, transparency and competition.

It’s also about Government forest policy which is firmly focused on subsidising sawmills, and not about profitable tree growers.

This is true right around Australia!

I wish the WA farmers luck in their discussions with the State Government.

Even if you don’t succeed initially, keep the discussion going. Keep the campaign alive.

The fact that here we have farmers wanting to grow trees for wood production and yet we have Government policy directly hindering their efforts is beyond madness.

GOOD LUCK!

The Australian International Timber and Woodworking Festival

Otherwise known as Wood Dust.

wooddust

https://www.wooddustaustralia.com/

Now this is ambition.

I wrote recently how I thought New Zealand needed a national wood festival to take their already successful forest industry to the next level.

Well it seems Australia is looking to go one better with an international wood festival, which is extraordinary given the parlous state of our forest industry.

I’ve also written recently about wood-based festivals in the 21st century that fail to recognise where the wood comes from and who grows it:

https://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/2018/02/13/all-about-the-wood-nothing-about-the-growers/

And finally I wrote recently about the Maleny Wood Expo in Queensland that is a much better example of what a 21st century wood festival should be like:

https://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/2018/02/19/maleny-wood-expo/

Every single wood-based festival in the 21st century should:

  • Demonstrate concern for where the wood comes from (is it sustainable and not just certified); and
  • Encourage and support profitable private tree growers.

The Maleny Wood Expo does this by having clearly defined mission and objectives.

The Expo aims to promote the whole ‘timber’ story – from seed collection through planting forests, harvesting and milling to the end product, the furniture.

The Maleny Wood Expo comes from a landcare base, whilst Wood Dust comes from a wood craft base, and the difference in attitude is immediately apparent.

Don’t get me wrong.

I think Australia desperately needs a major wood festival to help rebuild our battered forest industry, but on a proper basis. Encourage profitable private tree growing. No wood from public native forests.

Wood Dust is on October 17 – 21, 2018 in Bungendore and Queanbeyan, NSW, Australia.

Tickets are available online.

So whilst this year’s Wood Dust Festival falls well short of what I regard a modern wood festival should be I hope it is a great success and can grow to include the “whole timber story”.

 

Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) delivers $1.3bn losses in ‘giant fraud’ on taxpayers

logging2

This is an excellent rewrite of John Lawrence’s article from last December now published in The Guardian.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/29/tasmanian-forest-agreement-delivers-13bn-losses-in-giant-on-taxpayers

Giant Fraud is an understatement!

Tasmanian’s have been completely swindled!!

That’s a $billion dollars that should have gone to our struggling schools and hospitals, not the forest industry.

So now the RFA has been renewed and Tasmanian’s will be swindled for another 20 years.

Veteran journalist Gregg Borschmann has been writing a veritable broadside of scathing articles about public native forestry in Australia. They are all worth reading:

https://www.theguardian.com/profile/gregg-borschmann

Greenpeace leaves the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

rainforest3

It’s a grim day for the world’s forests.

On Monday 26th March Greenpeace International announced it was leaving the FSC.

Greenpeace said that the FSC has become a “tool for forestry and timber extraction” and it wouldn’t renew its membership.

Greenpeace International to not renew FSC membership

Here’s how the Washington Post reported the story:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/greenpeace-leaves-sustainable-wood-certification-group/2018/03/27/aa6c0a4e-3184-11e8-b6bd-0084a1666987_story.html?utm_term=.1993de3f7510

The FSC’s response to the Greenpeace announcement clearly shows no interest in rebuilding the relationship. Is this an indication that vested interests have indeed successfully taken control of the FSC?

FSC Statement about Greenpeace International

Is this the end of third party forest certification?