The September tender of special timbers at Island Specialty Timbers achieved yet another record result. The price wasn’t for a blackwood log (none were offered in the September sale) but the result clearly demonstrates that the market for premium timbers is very strong indeed.
An incredible $5,380 per cubic metre was paid for a high quality tiger-stain myrtle sawlog, the highest unit price ever paid at an IST special timbers tender.
Unfortunately Myrtle (Nothofagus cunninghamii) cannot be domesticated as a commercial crop, so this sales result has no direct commercial importance. It takes at least 200 years for Myrtle to reach commercial size, and the fungal infection that produces the tiger staining has not yet been identified. Those few lucky Tasmanian farmers who have existing Myrtle on their properties now have a better appreciation of what they may have growing. Other farmers may have areas suitable for growing a few Myrtles as a hobby or special interest (eg. river reserve or steep south-facing slope).
But if farmers want to grow these high-value premium timbers as a profitable commercial crop then blackwood is the clear and obvious answer. That is the clear indirect message from these latest tender results from IST. The premium timber market is beginning to shout at farmers and landowners – please grow high quality timber. Are any farmers listening?