19 items were sold at the IST Geeveston April 2014 tender, only one of which was a blackwood log. The monster blackwood log of 3.46 cubic metres sold for just under $1,500 or $430 per cubic metre. The log measured 5.1 metres long, with 104 cm and 82 cm large end (LED) and small end diameters (SED). This was a plain-grain log but with significant spiral grain and butt fluting, so getting large straight grain boards from this log will be difficult. Despite this a good price was paid.
Good prices were also paid for the other 18 lots comprising mostly small sassafras logs.
Even in these uncertain times quality wood is still attracting good prices.
At $430 per cubic metre a hectare of blackwood plantation would be worth approximately $120,000 at maturity.
How can I get Tasmanian farmers interested?
Tasmanian economic commentator John Lawrence has written a magnificent summary of current “on-the-fly” forest policy, especially as it relates to the public native forest special timbers industry. It is deeply disturbing and illustrates the madness and stupidity that continues to be forest policy and management in Tasmania. Good reading.
What Mr Lawrence fails to point out that is especially relevant is that since 2010 Forestry Tasmania have deliberately run their special timbers operations as “non-profit non-commercial”. They harvest these timbers to deliberately lose money! Makes absolutely no sense to me, and within the current economic, political and policy context is completely insane.
As Mr. Lawrence summaries, “I can’t recall such monumental idiocy”.
All this mismanagement and poor policy deliberately undermines the ability of private tree growers to make a living and destroys market confidence. And all of this stupidity is supported by the Australian Forestry Standard. Obviously good commercial and financial management is not part of good forest management. It certainly makes a mockery of the forest certification process.
The sooner we get the special timbers industry into the hands of farmers and away from the politicians, Forestry Tasmania and public native forest the better it will be for just about everyone.