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Tasmanian Blackwood Growers

Will this blackwood sawlog sell for over $10,000?

Not content with breaking the blackwood sawlog price record at their August tender, Island Specialty Timbers have saved the best til last. It turns out that the record breaking August sawlog was just the head log from what must have been a truly magnificent blackwood tree. The butt log from this same tree is now up for tender at IST Geeveston – lot 13. Tenders close 22nd October 2013.

Lot 13

Here’s the description of this log:

Lot 13, Blackwood, figured.  A fresh, very large diameter log with little taper, excellent dark colour and tear drop figure.  This is the butt log from below log 3 sold in the August tender. One of the best logs offered in an IST tender!  Length 4.4 metres, butt diameter 103 cm, head diameter 93 cm, volume 3.31 cubic metres, weight about 3650 kg.

This butt log is of similar length to the August sawlog but has 20% more volume, so the potential sawn recovery will be very high. The August sawlog went for $2750 per cubic metre for a total value of $7,500. What will this massive sawlog sell for?

The October IST tender also includes two other blackwood sawlogs amongst the 22 lots, one of which equates in size and quality to what might be grown in a blackwood plantation (lot 11). It will be interesting to see what price this log achieves.

Blackwood is the only Tasmanian special species which has the potential to be grown commercially and profitably by Tasmanian farmers in either plantations (like NZ farmers) or through better management of existing on-farm blackwood. While sawlogs of this quality are not common, the prices being achieved should be gaining interest amongst the rural community. Clearly the market for premium appearance grade timber is very much alive and in good health. When will the Tasmanian rural community wake up to the opportunity?



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