The results of the Island Specialty Timbers October auction have been posted. Lot 13 didn’t quite make the magic number of $10,000 as I had hoped but came very close at $9,600. On a cubic metre basis the log sold for $2,900, $200 per cubic metre more than the head log at the August tender.
That’s a total of $17,000 for the two logs totalling six (6) cubic metres from the one tree! An extraordinary price for one extraordinary blackwood tree.
Here’s a description of the Lot 13:
IST described the October tender price results as “sensible, fair prices” which is a very odd thing to say.
Anyway it was a fantastic result!
One reason this log achieved such a great price was the tear drop figured grain. Feature grain in any quality log such as fiddleback or tear drop will improve the market value significantly. While little research has been done into the origins and causes of feature grain in any species, it is generally believed that this trait is at least under partial genetic control. This means it can potentially be cloned.
But cloning of feature grain blackwood (like Lot 13) will only happen within the context of a profitable, commercially driven blackwood growers cooperative. There is no point cloning feature grain blackwood unless you can grow the stuff in profitable plantations. The sooner we get Tasmanian farmers growing commercial blackwood the sooner we can start thinking about cloning tear drop and fiddleback blackwood.
The two plain grain logs in the October tender (lots 11 and 12) went for good prices although the logic behind the prices seems contrary. The larger log (lot 11) sold for $300 per cubic metre while the smaller log (lot 12) sold for $600 per cubic metre!! Was there a typo or a data entry error? It makes no sense, unless there was some quality aspect in the larger log that was not properly reported. Either way the results were good, and indicates that plain grain blackwood logs are attracting good prices. At $300 per cubic metre a well managed blackwood plantation would be worth $90,000 per hectare after 30-35 years. And at $600 a hectare of plantation would be worth……..