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Cameroon moves to curb forest loss linked to Chinese investment

Cameroon moves to curb forest loss linked to Chinese investment | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

A rise in Chinese companies operating in Cameroon’s timber sector, combined with weak law enforcement, have fuelled a surge in illegal logging that is fast depleting the nation’s forests, experts warn. But the government is hoping a new association it has set up for Chinese firms exploiting forests will strengthen links with officials and enable those companies to work within the law.


Every night, trucks laden with logs negotiate hundreds of kilometres of bumpy earth roads, headed to the port in Douala, Cameroon’s commercial capital, where the wood – some of it logged illegally – is shipped to foreign markets.


“We have observed a surge in timber trade activities with the increased presence of Chinese business operators in the sector,” said Bernard Njonga, coordinator of Cameroon-based NGO Support Service for Local Development Initiatives (SAILD). “The illegal forest exploitation and logging business has been compounded by weak laws applied to some groups of persons and not others,” he added.

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Timber Smuggling Could Eliminate Senegalese Forests In Two Years

Timber Smuggling Could Eliminate Senegalese Forests In Two Years | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
Illegal timber smuggling is devastating the lush Casamance region of Senegal and could strip it completely within two years.

That’s the predication of Senegalese environmentalist and former minister Haidar El Ali.

Casamance in southern Senegal contains the country’s last remaining forests, an area of 74,000 acres that could be depleted by 2018 as smugglers feed the demand for rosewood furniture in China, said El Ali.

Exporting timber from Senegal is illegal, so traffickers smuggle it to neighboring Gambia for shipping to China.

Gambian exports of rosewood to China totaled $238.5 million between 2010-2015, the second highest in West Africa after Nigeria, he said. Gambia has only 4,000 hectares of forests.

“This unacceptable trafficking is devastating for our forests and it has to stop,” Haidar told a news conference.
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China Aims to Increase the Volume of Timber Imports from the U.S. Despite Stagnant Economy

China Aims to Increase the Volume of Timber Imports from the U.S. Despite Stagnant Economy | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
Despite the currenteconomic stagnation, China plans to significantly increase the volume of timber imports from the U.S. during the next several years, according to recent statements by a spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources.
This will be due primarily to several factors: modification of the Chinese export/import policy with regard to timber; a significant decline of further imports from tropical countries; and the recently announced plans of the Chinese government to have more than 30 percent of the buildings in the country environmentally-friendly by 2020.
At present, China consumes more than 169 billion board feet of timber annually, and it is predicted that these figures will remain at least the same level, despite the country’s economic downturn.
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Phaunos Timber Fund Sells Green Nature Forestry For USD2.9 Million

Phaunos Timber Fund Sells Green Nature Forestry For USD2.9 Million | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
Phaunos Timber Fund Ltd on Monday said it has struck a USD2.9 million deal to sell its holding in Green Nature Forestry China to an undisclosed buyer.

The sale includes properties owned by Green China (Jiangxi) Forestry Co Ltd, a unit of Green Nature.

Phaunos said the sale was in line with its strategy of rebalancing its portfolio towards more mature, yield-producing assets and said the sale means it has completed the divestment of its assets in China.
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Chinese demand for US hardwood soars to 1.53b

Chinese demand for US hardwood soars to 1.53b | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
The export value of United States hardwood to China jumped 34 percent year-on-year in 2014 as the country increased its demand for more sustainably sourced materials for its urbanization program and for environmental projects.
The value of US hardwood products sold into China reached $1.53 billion last year, according to data from the foreign agricultural service of the US Department of Agriculture.
The most popular timber was red oak, tulipwood and ash, mainly for furniture, veneers, flooring, and decorative plywoods. The market now accounts for 42.6 percent of total export volume of US hardwoods, by far the world’s largest single customer.
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Ernst & Young agrees to pay $8 million to settle Sino-Forest allegations

Ernst & Young agrees to pay $8 million to settle Sino-Forest allegations | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The Ontario Securities Commission has agreed to an $8 million settlement agreement with giant auditing firm Ernst & Young LLP over its work for two defunct companies operating in China. The deal with Ernst & Young, approved Tuesday by OSC vice chairman James Turner, is the first time that a new “no contest” rule is being used. That means Ernst & Young neither admits or denies the allegations set out by the OSC staff in the cases of Sino-Forest and Zungui Haixin Corp.


Sino-Forest, a forestry company, was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange while Zungui Haixin, a footwear and apparel company, traded on the Toronto venture exchange. Both companies raised millions from investors in Canada, but eventually questions were raised about fraudulent practices with overstated assets and revenues.
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As well, Chisholm noted that Ernst & Young officials have agreed to co-operate with the OSC in an ongoing case against Sino-Forest’s executives, including making partners and executives available to testify.
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In a statement of allegations filed in 2012, the OSC said Ernst & Young failed to conduct their audits in accordance with relevant industry standards, including performing sufficient audit work to verify Sino-Forest Corp.’s ownership and existence of its most significant assets.
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Hearings are currently under way at the OSC against five former executives of Sino-Forest Corp. accused of fraud.

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China plans to establish strategic timber reserves over 14 million hectares by 2020

China plans to establish strategic timber reserves over 14 million hectares by 2020 | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

In order to balance timber supply and demand and guarantee national timber security China plans to establish, by 2020, strategic commercial timber reserves over 14 million hectares in 25 provinces including Guangxi, Guangdong, Hu’nan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang, ITTO reported.


Of the 14 million hectares, 4.5 million will be new plantations, 5 million will be improvement of existing mature forests and a further 4.5 million hectares will require intensive management of young and maturing forest. The aim is to create a base yielding an annual average volume of around 142 million cubic metres.


According to the China National Timber Strategic Reserve Production Base Plan (2013-2020), 1.87 million hectares will be established in Guangxi Province to yield 13% of the target production.

Sam Radcliffe's insight:

For context, 14 million hectares is nearly twice the combined acreage of the four major timber REIT's -- Plum Creek, Potlatch, Rayonier and Weyerhaeuser.

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China Forestry Faces Bond Coupon Deadline Amid Audit Delays

China Forestry Faces Bond Coupon Deadline Amid Audit Delays | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

China Forestry Holdings Co., a timber producer backed by private equity firm Carlyle Group LP, faces a payment deadline on its U.S. dollar bonds today as it seeks more time to audit its books and complete a debt buyback.


The company must pay the overdue half-yearly 10.25 percent coupon on $180 million of November 2015 securities to avoid a default, according to a May 16 Hong Kong stock exchange filing. A one-month grace period expires today. China Forestry paid the previous coupon in November after a similar delay.


“They’re effectively in default by our definition,” Johnson Ng, an analyst in Hong Kong at Standard & Poor’s, said by phone June 13. “The nature of their business requires a lot of capital for harvesting and trading. We think they’ll face difficulty in getting financing support, especially against the backdrop of accounting issues.”


The specter of default serves as a reminder that companies in emerging markets may not always employ the best corporate governance and accounting standards. Since discovering financial irregularities in early 2011, China Forestry has only been able to account for less than 1 percent of sales, it said in April 2012. Sino-Forest Corp., once China’s largest timber grower, defaulted on its dollar bonds before filing for bankruptcy in March last year after short-seller Muddy Waters LLC said it overstated its timber holdings.

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China’s timber production rose 2% in 2013

China’s timber production rose 2% in 2013 | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

China’s domestic timber production rose 2% to 83.67 million cubic metres in 2013. Timber imports (logs and sawnwood) rose 18% to 79.16 million cubic metres log equivalent and the value of China’s timber imports grew 26% to $16.1 billion in 2013, ITTO reported.


In terms of volume the proportion of domestic to imported timber in 2013 was 51:49 which is roughly similar to that in 2012.


Domestic timber is mainly used for fibreboard, mine timber and private purposes in rural areas while imported timber is mainly used for construction, home interior decoration and improvements and furniture production.


Softwoods dominate China’s timber imports and have increased rapidly in recent years. China’s softwood timber imports were 57.18 million cubic metres in 2013 and have been growing at almost 20% per year since 2008.

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Surging Western Log Prices Have Peaked for Now

Surging Western Log Prices Have Peaked for Now | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Early in 2014, Western log prices soared to levels not seen in nearly twenty years. Escalating softwood lumber prices and a strong appetite for Asian exports fueled competition to meet Western log consumption.


Moderate weather encouraged log suppliers to step up deliveries, quickly filling sawmill log yards to the brim. A Western Oregon third party organization who measures logs for buyer-seller transactions reports volumes for Q1 2014 are up nearly 20 percent over the corresponding period last year.


Douglas fir prices are now reversing direction in many areas. At the close of the first quarter, F2M log benchmark data indicated a 2.5 percent decline for Douglas fir logs is leading the way in Southwest Oregon. Chinese port facilities report an oversupply of softwood logs, and US domestic lumber prices have softened in recent weeks. 


Maybe we are still recovering from extreme winter weather in the east or the resulting transportation slowdowns. However, I suspect mills and builders alike have oversupplied a still shaky housing market, and the supply pipeline is simply full.


Better spring weather may refresh home building demand, and historically healthy log prices will stimulate additional harvest of private timber.A likely correction in export values for China sales will push more whitewood into the domestic markets. Considering these implications of supply and demand, we have seen the highest prices for the year. 

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China to Boost Timber Investment in Russia Amid Western Threats to Isolate Moscow

China to Boost Timber Investment in Russia Amid Western Threats to Isolate Moscow | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Chinese investors plan to launch the first phase of a major Siberian timber complex later this year, part of a push by Beijing to cement business ties with Moscow amid strained relations between Russia and the EU, a senior manager of the venture said Thursday.


A timber processing park in the Tomsk region of Western Siberia will be part of the first phase of the project, including three mills and a dedicated power plant for industrial needs, said Boris Kaznacheyev, Deputy Director General of Roskitinvest.


Investment in the project has already reached 9 billion rubles ($250 million), Kaznacheyev said. The overall investment in timber logging, processing and related infrastructure is expected to reach 30 billion rubles ($830 million) by 2022.

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Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 24, 2014 1:18 PM

This is interesting and also somewhat scary.  China has swooped in on Russia when the EU has turned their backs to Russia after the reunification of Crimea.  China is ready to set up shop in Western Siberia to create a thriving timber business.  Also they plan to create a renewable energy project in Crimea.  With China making these developments in Russia, Putin has also noted that some of Russia's gas lines would run into China as part of the deal.  The scary part of this deal is if it leads to more than just China and Russia working together on timber companies, gas lines and renewable energy.

Cyrena & Chloe's curator insight, October 27, 2014 3:53 PM

Economic: The article represents economic because China is trying to make a timber investment. The article discusses about the attempt of investment in Russia. China's first part of the plan is to create a few mills and a power plant for industrial needs in Russia. China has admitted 250 million USD in an expectation to procure at least 830 million USD by 2022.

Rachael's curator insight, October 29, 2014 2:33 PM

EQ: Why might the Chinese want to build a treaty with Russia to trade timber? What purpose does the timber have to the Chinese?

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China: Green timber preferred overseas but not locally

China: Green timber preferred overseas but not locally | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Forest farms and timber producers that have green certificates to trade internationally are having a difficult time selling their eco-friendly products on the domestic market.

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Chen Qinglai, a manager at Paiyangshan Forest Farm in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, said the economic benefits of responsible and sustainable forestry have not been recognized yet in China.
The State-owned forest farm was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council in November 2010, becoming the first forestry center in Guangxi to win certification. The farm, set up in 1955, is 99,300 hectares and was once the biggest forestry in Southeast Asia.


Chen told China Daily the motivation to get certification came from buyers in Europe. "Our client, a timber manufacturer, who buys our wood and sells it to Germany, asked us to get certified as the Germans only buy certified forestry products," Chen said.


The costs, both direct and indirect, of getting certified were around 4 million yuan ($655,000). "Besides the certification fee, the strict standards on environmental aspects inevitably increases forest management costs," Chen said.
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Every year, the farm produces 150,000 to 200,000 cubic meters of timber with about half labeled environmentally friendly. That timber sells for about 30 yuan per cubic meter more than uncertified timber.
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Pan Zhenyue, a senior manager at Liheng Timber Manufacturer in Guangzhou, an FSC certified flooring company, said that using certified timber adds 25 percent to the product cost, but the market price in China is not much different as customers will not spend the extra.

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Jones hits out at 'arrogant' forest owners

Jones hits out at 'arrogant' forest owners | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Labour's outspoken economic development spokesman Shane Jones has lashed out at "arrogant" foreign owners of New Zealand's forests, saying their pursuit of the highest possible profits comes at the expense of local workers, communities and the wood processing industry.


Jones' comments come as he and industry figures ring alarm bells that local processors are being priced out of the log market as skyrocketing Chinese demand drives prices higher.


"There's a hell of a lot of fear now in the wood processing sector that they cannot secure adequate contracts that give them affordable and durable supplies," Jones said. "It's got to the point that the viability of their businesses is being threatened.

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He pointed the finger at the foreign-owned timber management organisations (timos) which own much of New Zealand's forests including US company Hancock.


"The timos, in particular Hancock, have become arrogant," he said. "They're flicking away all the domestic New Zealand producers and they're chasing the speculative Asian market."

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New Zealand exported a record 3 million cubic metres of logs to China in the September quarter, a 40 per cent increase on the same period a year earlier and log prices approached record highs during the period.

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Hancock did not return the Herald's calls but Forest Owners Association president Paul Nicholls said owners were looking for the best return on their investment.


"Most forest owners sell somewhere between half and two thirds of their product to domestic mills but there's always competition for those logs from overseas buyers, so it does come down to a matter of economics, which markets the domestic mills are selling into and what they can afford to pay for logs."


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Vietnam’s timber industry faces Chinese threat

Vietnam’s timber industry faces Chinese threat | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Wood manufacturers across Vietnam attended a seminar in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday hosted by the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), which focused on the risks of exporting timber products in the context of Vietnam joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
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Huynh Van Hanh, vice president of the Ho Chi Minh City Handcraft and Wood Industry Association, explained that the fear came from the recent tendency of Chinese wood companies investing in Vietnam in order to avoid an anti-dumping taxation imposed on Chinese exports by the U.S.


Chinese products, Hanh said, face a very high anti-dumping duty in the U.S., and Chinese companies are looking toward Vietnam to avoid the tax by exporting their products under Vietnamese labels.

According to Hanh, instead of manufacturing timber products in Vietnam, these companies only import goods from China, make some minor adjustments, then ‘re-export’ them to foreign markets within the TPP to take advantage of the favorable tax conditions that Vietnamese products enjoy as part of the agreement.

 

The surge in Chinese investment in Vietnam’s timber industry and subsequently in the country’s wood export to the U.S. has the potential to leave domestic manufacturers vulnerable to anti-dumping lawsuits filed by American companies, Hanh explained.

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Global Timber and Wood Products Market Update

Global Timber and Wood Products Market Update | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
Softwood log imports to China picked up in March to the highest level in 12 months. The total import volume for the first quarter of 2016 was just over seven million m3, which was about two percent higher than in the 1Q/15, as reported in the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). With declining log inventories at the Chinese ports (about 40% lower this year than the same time last year), and an uptick in demand for wood in the domestic market, importation of logs has been trending upward since last fall when import volumes were the lowest in almost three years.

The real estate market in China has been strong so far in 2016, and the sector has been the fastest-growing sector in a relatively shaky economy. Newly built houses in the largest cities in March were up almost 30% as compared to the same month of 2015. Although China does not use as much wood per housing start as is the case in North America, Europe or in Japan, there are still large volumes of wood consumed, particularly lumber for concrete forming.

New Zealand and Russia continue to be the major suppliers of logs to China, together accounting for almost 70 percent of all imports. In the 4Q/15 and 1Q/16, New Zealand fell behind Russia after having been the major supply source for almost three years.
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Import Value of Logs and Lumber to China Falls 25% in 12 Months

Import Value of Logs and Lumber to China Falls 25% in 12  Months | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
Seattle, USA. China imported softwood logs and lumber valued at 498 million dollars during the month of November in 2015. This was 26% lower than the same month in 2014 and the third lowest monthly level in three years. As recently as April 2014, the import value was at an all-time high of almost 900 million dollars, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ).


The reduction in house construction in China has resulted in a substantial decline in the importation of forest products during 2015, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. The total value of imported softwood logs and lumber has fallen 25% and import prices have declined almost 30% that past 12 months.


The reduced demand for both overseas and domestic wood products in 2015 has been a consequence of the slowdown in the Chinese economy, which has not only reduced construction activities but also consumer spending on home remodeling and furniture.


Not only have log and lumber imports plummeted the past year, but so has the price paid for imported products. In November 2015, the average costs of imported softwood logs were down 30% from their peak in April of 2014 to reach their lowest level since early 2009. The biggest price drops during 2015 were for logs from New Zealand, Australia and Russia. According to the WRQ (woodprices.com), domestic log prices have fallen much less than import prices during 2015, with Chinese fir sawlog prices declining less than six percent from the 1Q/15 to the 4Q/15.

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Timber imports through Shanghai Port down 47% in H1/2015

Timber imports through Shanghai Port down 47% in H1/2015 | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
China’s Customs has reported that timber imports through Shanghai Port in the first half of 2015 amounted to 4.43 million cubic metres, a year on year decline of 47%.

Timber imports from North America, Africa and Russia, accounted for about 70% of total timber imports through Shanghai Port.

Timber imports from North America, Africa and Russia fell by more than 50%. On the other hand imports from Southeast Asia and South America were about the same level as in the same period in 2014

Imports from North America, Russia, Africa, South America and Southeast Asia were 1.31 million cubic metres, 1.04 million cubic metres, 0.88 million cubic metres, 0.46 million cubic metres and 0.14 million cubic metres respectively.
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Record volume of Southern Pine lumber exports to China

Record volume of Southern Pine lumber exports to China | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Exports of Southern Pine lumber to China are soaring, thanks to promotional efforts funded by the USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP).


Southern Pine lumber exports to China are expected to reach $54 million this year, a ten-fold increase since the U.S. wood products industry began promoting this species, grown in the southeastern United States. Meanwhile, Chinese demand for pressure-treated Southern Pine lumber, a key value-added item produced in the U.S., is forecasted to reach $15 million this year, an all-time sales record and 245% above levels five years ago.


The Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA), a nonprofit trade association representing Southern Pine lumber manufacturers, leverages USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)-administered Market Access Program (MAP) funds to promote Southern Pine lumber exports. This funding allows the U.S. forest products industry to expand sales in existing markets and enter new emerging markets. Over recent years, MAP funds have helped SFPA sponsor exhibits at trade fairs and to translate technical product literature into Chinese.


As a result, interest in Southern Pine lumber has grown sharply: U.S. companies participating in MAP-sponsored events last year reported immediate sales of nearly $2.2 million and estimate another $16.5 million in sales over the coming months, thanks to contacts made at the trade events.

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West coast log exports up, lumber exports down in second quarter of 2014

West coast log exports up, lumber exports down in second quarter of 2014 | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Log exports from Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Alaska totaled 515 million board feet in volume in the second quarter of 2014, an increase of more than 10 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014, the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station reported today. During this same period, West coast lumber exports decreased by 4 percent to 247 million board feet.


The total value of these log exports increased by more than 5 percent to $390 million in the same quarter, while the total value of lumber exports decreased less than 2 percent to $183 million.

China remains a significant market.


“West coast log exports to China remained strong in the second quarter of 2014, increasing by more than 22 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014,” said Xiaoping Zhou, a research economist with the station who conducted the analysis and compiled the data. “China’s demand for West coast lumber, however, continued to decline, dropping by nearly 20 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014.”


Over 70 percent of the West coast’s log exports was shipped to China in the second quarter of 2014, compared to 64 percent in the first quarter of 2014, while lumber exports to China dropped to 35 percent of the total compared to 42 percent during the first quarter of 2014.

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US Lumber Prices To Rise As Increased US House Building Offsets Effect Of Decreased Chinese Construction

US Lumber Prices To Rise As Increased US House Building Offsets Effect Of Decreased Chinese Construction | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

An increase in U.S. housing construction is expected to raise significantly the price of lumber by the end of the year, offsetting the depressing effect China's recent downturn in property investment has had on lumber demand.


Capital Economics, a London-based financial research consultancy group, expects prices to increase almost 30 percent, from $313 per 1,000 board feet to $400, by the end of 2014. The group attributes the expected rise to increased demand in the U.S. housing market.

Lumber's recent price weakness stems partially from China slowing down property investments. China’s “reduction in commodity-intensive activity” had a hand in the fall in lumber prices, as well as construction metals, because Chinese demand accounts for roughly 10 percent of North American production exports, Capital Economics said in a note Friday.


Lumber prices fell in May for the first time in two years.  Construction is revving back up in the U.S. but slowed considerably because of the unusally cold winter, hitting a nearly two-year low in March.


While the report states the future of the U.S. housing sector looks positive and a quarter of the mills that closed in 2004 have reopened, “a significant amount of capacity is likely to have been permanently lost, as mills fell into disrepair and skilled labour moved onto other jobs. This will prevent output quickly ramping back up to 2004 levels.”

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Japanese firms importing illegal Russian timber

Japanese firms importing illegal Russian timber | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Significant quantities of illegal timber products from the forests of Siberia and the Russian Far East are flowing into Japan, according to a new report by the US-based nonprofit Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). While the United States and European Union have recently enacted new policies that prohibit the import of illegally sourced wood and wood products and require companies to conduct heightened due diligence in their sourcing practices, Japan’s failure to enact similar measures makes it an open market for illegal timber products from around the world.


The report, The Open Door: Japan’s Continuing Failure to Prevent Imports of Illegal Russian Timber,[i] details supply chains for illegally cut Siberian pine, bought by Chinese traders and imported to China, manufactured into wood products and sold on markets all over Japan. In undercover interviews, officials from San Xia, one of the largest Chinese importers of Russian timber, detailed how they purchase this timber from illegal loggers deep inside Siberia and launder this timber across the border using documentation from their forest concession. In factories across northeastern China, San Xia transforms this timber into edge-glued lumber, 90% of which is sold to Japan for housing construction.

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New Zealand: Oversupply chops log prices

New Zealand: Oversupply chops log prices | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

There has been a major drop in the prices of log exports, driven by a buildup of inventory in the main market, China, which is contributing to "a bit of a slowdown" of log exports handled by Port of Tauranga, says commercial manager Leonard Sampson.


"It's not a significant change at this time," he said. "This month we've noticed a small reduction in shipping volumes, but at this stage it's hard to say whether it's a market correction or just a blip. You can't read too much into it and it's such a fluid situation,"
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The current slowdown has been caused by a significant buildup of logs on wharves in China, said Mr Sampson, who noted that overall demand in China was still strong.
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Peter Weblin, PF Olsen's chief marketing manager, said he didn't believe the long-term growth trend driven by China was changing. "The market's been climbing consistently for the last couple of years and we don't see that trend changing."


But the buildup of inventory on Chinese wharves had triggered a fall with April's relatively small reduction in export log prices followed by larger reductions this month. Some prices are down as much as $25/JAS per cubic metre, meaning that in just two months export log prices had lost 14 months of prior month-on-month gains. May export log prices were now equivalent to prices in January 2013. Most market commentators were expecting a further drop in price in June, and then a recovery over the next few months, said Mr Weblin.

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China bans commercial logging in northern forests

China bans commercial logging in northern forests | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Forestry authorities in China have stopped commercial logging in the nation’s largest forest area, marking an end to more than a half-century of intensive deforestation that removed an estimated 600 million cubic meters (21 billion cubic feet) of timber. The logging shutdown was enacted in large part to protect soil and water quality of greater China, which are significantly affected by forest loss in the mountainous region.


The area is in the extreme northeast portion of China, and comprises a huge swath of dense, temperate forest that stretches into Russia. The landscape is dominated by the Hinggan (Khingan) mountain range that spans more than 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) south towards China’s interior, and supports a diverse array of wildlife. The Hinggan Mountains also form an important climatic divide, taking precipitation from southeasterly winds and fueling watersheds that provide water to a tenth of China’s arable land.


Large-scale commercial logging of the area first began in the 1950s to meet growing economic demands. By the 1980s, the landscape of the region had changed dramatically due to the loss of forest cover, and large trees had all but disappeared. From 2000 to 2013 alone, more than half a million hectares of land were deforested in the region, according to data from Global Forest Watch. Logging activity was focused primarily in the northern periphery of the range, where around 20 percent of the land was deforested.

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olyvia Schaefer and Rachel Shaberman's curator insight, October 14, 2014 5:20 PM

area/geography

The Chinese are trying to stop deforestation by stopping logging in the northern forests. They are trying to end the deforestation of logs because  600 million cubic meters have already been cut down.  Commercial logging was used to help the growing economic needs.

Emily and Kevria's curator insight, October 16, 2014 4:46 PM

Area/Geography

 

The logging was suppose to help protect the water and soil but has become a loss of  21 billion cubic feet of wood.  This is effecting the weather. This fits into the category area and geography because it is talking about chinas largest forest area and how it is effecting the area. 

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Global Timber and Wood Products Market Update

Global Timber and Wood Products Market Update | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

China’s importation of softwood lumber was 19 percent higher in 2013 than in 2012, reaching a new record high. The unprecedented increase in lumber shipments to the Chinese market that began in 2008 is continuing.
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Canada and Russia are the two major suppliers of lumber to China, with Canada having overtaken Russia as the largest supplier in 2010. Together, these two countries supplied almost 80 percent of all imports. However, this year Europe, Russia, Chile and New Zealand have all increased their shipments to China at a higher pace than has Canada.
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This trend, where countries that just a few years ago were virtually non-existent in the Chinese market are now expanding is likely to continue in the coming years both because China’s continued hunger for more wood and because Canada is not likely to increase exports much more than the levels seen over the past few years.
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With record shipments of logs and lumber from North America to China during 2013, it will be very interesting to see if Chinese wood buyers can continue to increase their imports from the US and Canada in 2014 and 2015 when demand for lumber is likely to go up in the US market.

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Stars align for NZ foresters as 'wall of wood' comes on stream, prices reach record highs

Stars align for NZ foresters as 'wall of wood' comes on stream, prices reach record highs | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

New Zealand forest growers, long overshadowed by booming returns from the dairy industry, look set to cash in on record prices for logs as they prepare to harvest trees planted in a flurry of activity two decades ago.


Forestry plantation activity in New Zealand jumped between 1992 and 1998, as a surge in Asian log prices lured investment syndicates to the sector. Radiata pine, which makes up about 90 percent of the nation's plantations, are typically felled between 26 and 32 years, meaning the "wall of wood" will start being harvested from about 2018, according to government figures.
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China is underpinning New Zealand commodity price strength as Asia's largest economy undergoes urbanisation, growing incomes and demand for better housing, says ASB rural economist Nathan Penny.


Forestry exports to China rose more than 50 percent in 2013, putting New Zealand ahead of Russia as the biggest seller of logs into that market. Russia's log exports have dipped as a result of an export tax aimed at stimulating its domestic timber processing industry. At the same time, shipments from the US and Canada have dwindled as demand picked up in their home markets.
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While an increase in supply in coming years may put some pressure on prices, foresters have the ability to stagger harvests and continued Chinese demand is likely to underpin the sector, Penny said.
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Increased demand in New Zealand from the rebuilding of earthquake damaged Christchurch and a surging Auckland housing market are also adding to wood demand and supporting prices, Penny said. New Zealand exports of logs and wood surged 22 percent last year to $3.86 billion. In comparison, meat exports rose just 2.2 percent to $5.28 billion and dairy exports increased 17 percent to $13.4 billion. The Wood Council of New Zealand, which represents forestry and wood processors, aims to triple export earnings to $12 billion by 2022.

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The New Zealand Superannuation Fund partnered with Harvard Management Company, the endowment fund of Harvard University, and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, Canada's largest pension investment managers, for the harvesting rights to the 178,000 hectare Kaingaroa Forest, New Zealand's largest plantation forest and one of the largest contiguous plantation forests in the Southern Hemisphere.

The NZ Super Fund valued its 41.25 percent stake in Kaingaroa at $1 billion as at June 30, saying it has delivered an 18.05 percent return since it was purchased in 2006.


Other large plantations are owned by US-based Hancock Natural Resource Group, the world's largest timberland investment manager which bought 260,000 hectares of forests from Carter Holt Harvey, and Matariki Forests, a consortium managed by US-based Rayonier which owns 130,000 hectares of forests, according to Forest Owners Association records.


Demand for logs from China is hurting the local sawmilling industry as forest owners send their logs overseas rather than sell them to local processors, according to the New Zealand Timber Industry Federation.


Some 40 sawmills have closed since 2003, according to the New Zealand Forest Owners Association. In October, the Tachikawa Forest Products sawmill in Rotorua was put in receivership with the loss of 120 jobs.

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