Timberland Investment
113.2K views | +7 today
Follow
 
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
onto Timberland Investment
Scoop.it!

New Mexico endowment commits $100 million to timber

New Mexico endowment commits $100 million to timber | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

New Mexico State Investment Council committed $100 million to Brookfield Timberlands Fund V, a real asset fund; $75 million to private equity fund TowerBrook Investors IV and $50 million to Rockpoint Real Estate Fund IV.

more...
No comment yet.
Timberland Investment
Timber Industry | Deals & Transactions | Investment Rationale | Financial Performance | Investors | Asset Managers
Curated by Sam Radcliffe
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Sponsored by...

Sponsored by... | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Prentiss & Carlisle  is one of the largest timberland asset managers in North America. P&C provides ongoing management services on approximately 1.75 million acres of timberland located in Maine, Michigan, New York, Vermont, Wisconsin, Ontario and Quebec. Nearly every acre under management is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council through either our clients or through P&C itself, which holds FSC certificates for both Forest Management and Chain-of-Custody.

 

P&C provides turnkey land management from long-range forest planning through on-ground forestry, marketing of forest products, harvesting, transportation, road construction and maintenance, stump-to-mill accounting and reporting, client cash management, administration of third-party relationships, public advocacy/representation and strategic asset planning. P&C also provides specialized consulting services in related areas of expertise:

  • Timber inventory design, execution and analysis
  • G&Y modeling and timber harvest scheduling
  • GIS mapping and data management services
  • Timberland valuations and appraisals
  • Acquisition and disposition due diligence
  • Market studies
  • Timber supply modeling

 

About this magazine

Our aim is to provide a gathering place for news and opinion about timberland investing. We cover both publicly traded issues including listed timber companies, real estate investment trusts (REIT's), and exchange traded funds (ETF's), and the more private world of institutional investing in timberland. Our focus is on: the rationale for investing in timberland; performance of publicly traded timber investments; timberland deals and transactions; timber supply, demand and prices, and; public policy issues that impact timberland investing. Not interested in all of these topics? You can easily filter the stories by using the Tags button above.

 

We encourage readers to interact with our site:

  • Click on the Follow  button (upper left), and Scoop.it! will deliver a summary of our new content to your inbox every morning.
  • Click the Share button above or at an individual story to Tweet or post a link on Facebook.
  • Click the Suggest button above to propose content for inclusion in the magazine. If the story is accepted, you will be credited as the source with a link that can drive traffic to your own website, Facebook page, blog, etc.

 

Some useful links

 

Stock quotes, news and financial metrics

These links take you to customized Google Finance pages for timber REITS, indexes and other publicly traded companies of interest:

 

Prentiss & Carlisle newsletters

Quarterly updates on conditions in our operating regions

 

Timber Mart North 

Lake States price reporting service published by P&C

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Endowment Index Declines 0.36% in Q1

Endowment Index Declines 0.36% in Q1 | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The Endowment Index calculated by Nasdaq OMX ended a rollercoaster first quarter down 0.36%, after having risen 5.51% in the first 26 days of the year.

 

After gaining 17.6% in 2017, the index looked poised for another strong year as it surged along with the equity markets in January. However, it made an abrupt U-turn when concerns over rising US interest rates led to a correction in global markets. According to Nasdaq OMX, the index peaked on Jan. 26, up 5.51% from the end of December. However, the volatile markets helped push the index to a loss of 2.34% on Feb. 8, before rebounding to end the quarter slightly lower. The loss was below that of the S&P 500, which fell 0.76% during the same period.

 

***

Of the index’s 19 components, 11 posted loses, while eight saw gains during the quarter. Natural resources-timber was the top performer, rising 2.58%, followed by gold, and emerging markets, which increased 2.09% and 1.20% respectively. Domestic real estate weighed down the index, falling 8.12% during the first three months of 2018, while natural resources – metals & mining, and emerging market bonds lost 4.18% and 2.16% respectively.

 

For 2017, the top earners were natural resources-metals and mining, emerging markets equity, emerging markets equity-China, natural resources-timber, international real estate, and equity-international developed.


The index represents an asset allocation used by major universities’ endowments, which includes stocks, bonds, and alternative investments, such as hedge funds, private equity, and real assets. It is intended to provide an objective tool for portfolio comparison, investment analysis, research, and benchmarking. Its methodology is based on the portfolio allocations of more than 800 higher learning institutions managing over $500 billion in total assets. Contained within each of the 19 components are more than 30,000 underlying securities, with a current target allocation of 52% alternatives, 36% equity, 8% fixed income, and 4% liquidity, which is represented by the SPDR Bloomberg Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF, which seeks to provide investment results that correspond to the performance of the Bloomberg Barclays 1-3 Month U.S. Treasury Bill Index.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Conservation groups oppose development changes proposed for Maine woods

Conservation groups oppose development changes proposed for Maine woods | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Conservation groups in Maine on Wednesday urged state officials not to expand the distance limit that determines where subdivisions and commercial projects can be built in the state’s Unorganized Territory.

 

The Land Use Planning Commission is considering a change in policy that would allow zoning changes to occur in unorganized areas of the state within at least 10 linear miles of the boundary of a designated “retail hub” community — an area that encompasses 1.8 million mostly undeveloped acres, not including land protected from development by conservation restrictions.

 

Under the commission’s current policy, any new subdivision or commercial development in unorganized townships has to be within one road mile of existing similar development.

 

The commission has said that the so-called one-mile rule is overly blunt and can result in a “leapfrogging” effect in which each development can serve as a springboard for another development a mile or less down the road, without concern to how close it may be to any of more than 40 retail hubs identified by the commission. And it doesn’t differentiate between types of commercial development, or whether some types of commercial development may be suitable in the area where they are proposed.
***
“We believe the [proposed] rule changes threaten the scenic beauty” of the Unorganized Territory, Claire Polfus of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy told the commission Wednesday during a meeting in Bangor. “This type of development could cause habitat fragmentation and public safety concerns.”
***
Under the proposed policy, any land less than two miles from a public road and less than 10 aerial miles from a retail hub — or in such a hub — would be considered “primary” locations for subdivision or commercial development. Land that is less than five miles away from a public road and which abuts a retail hub community would be considered “secondary” locations for potential development.
***
Some opponents at the meeting said the proposed changes could affect scenic byways, allowing development along forested stretches of public roads where it currently is not allowed.
***
Some at Wednesday’s meeting voiced support for the proposed changes. John Kelly of land management firm Prentiss & Carlisle called the current one-mile rule “arbitrary and a bit inflexible.”
***
The commission expects to schedule more public hearings on the proposed changes before possibly taking a final vote sometime this fall.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Timberland Prices Rise and Fall, but Ultimately Return to Trend

Timberland Prices Rise and Fall, but Ultimately Return to Trend | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

In June of 2011, Pete Stewart wrote one of Forest2Market’s most popular blog posts to date titled “Are $350 per Acre Timberland Prices around the Corner?” He had just returned from a beach vacation and the blog post focused on some of his observations about coastal housing prices and the trends he recalled over a period of years.

***

However, the economic theory that all pricing returns to trend line proved to be the most significant market dynamic that Pete observed in his comparison. While it is an important concept generally applied to commodity pricing, it can be applied to other pricing trends as well.

***

The initial post was written in a very different economic climate over six years ago, so we thought that it might be a good time to add another observation into the mix and reassess Pete’s premise with fresh data and perspective.

To that end, we started with information for timberland sales that occurred in 2017, and we developed an average to represent that year. Going back to Pete’s original blog post and adding the updated 2017 average gives us the following data points to look at in a trend line—this time from both an actual or nominal standpoint, as well as a CPI/inflation-adjusted look with all observations in 2017 dollar equivalents.

***

At a fundamental level, the real price trend for timberland from 1977 to 2017 is almost flat, with an annual change of around -0.3 percent for the data points and +0.3 percent for the linear trend line based on the beginning (1977) and final (2017) values. This assessment is by no means meant to assert that there hasn’t been significant variance from the trend line; there definitely has been variance, but the overall movement over time is back toward a long-term trend.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

U.S. trade rep shows no urgency on Canadian softwood lumber trade dispute

U.S. trade rep shows no urgency on Canadian softwood lumber trade dispute | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has little faith that the Canadian softwood lumber trade dispute will be resolved anytime soon, he revealed at a March 21 hearing on U.S. trade policy agenda.
 
“Right now, I would say there’s probably not much going on in terms of those negotiations,” said Lighthizer. “Are they part of NAFTA? Not as far as I am concerned. As far as I am concerned this a function of the trade laws working the way Congress designed them to work.”
 
The answer comes after Texas Representative Kenny Merchant said that Texas home builders are concerned that lumber tariffs have escalated lumber prices by 40 to 60 percent over the past year. Merchant asked if there was relief in site.
 
“To me, it is unlikely I think, I wouldn’t put it at zero but it’s unlikely that I’m going to end up solving this issue or trying to resolve this issue,” Lighthizer added. “Right now the positions are kind of intractable.”
 
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported that lumber prices between January 2017 and now are enough to increase the average price of a single-family home by $6,388 and a multifamily housing unit by $2,430. These costs will have to be incurred by both the builder and the consumer.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Wood-Based Biofuels: A drop in the bucket

Wood-Based Biofuels: A drop in the bucket | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

In May of 2011, Forisk published a study that evaluated the viability of the wood-based transportation fuel sector in the U.S. The study detailed 12 technologies and 36 projects that convert wood to fuels including ethanol, butanol, diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel. Forisk’s conclusion of the 2011 study:

“…wood-based biofuels will fail to contribute substantively to EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard targets in 2011 or 2022.”

Revisiting the study in 2018 confirmed that wood-based biofuels have failed to develop commercially, despite conventional ethanol and biodiesel being produced at record levels—the U.S. produced 15,845 million gallons of ethanol and 1,592 million gallons of biodiesel in 2017. Of the original 36 projects, 19 were canceled, 9 were shut down, and 8 remain operational. Of these operational facilities, all are pilot or demonstration plants.
***
Despite scientific progress, there were only 24 operating and advancing projects at the end of 2017, and at least 13 of these were pilot projects or demonstration facilities. Of the 4 projects with stated capacities of 10 million gallons per year or higher, none operate at a commercial level. The entire sector has a maximum potential capacity of 75 million gallons per year. This is less than the 392 million gallons of gasoline that drivers in the U.S. use in one day. Analysis of potential wood use highlights the change within the sector and the minimal relevance these projects currently have on the forest industry (Figure).

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Bonners Ferry forests preserved in conservation easement

Bonners Ferry forests preserved in conservation easement | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
About 5,000 acres of forestland near Bonners Ferry will be preserved under a conservation easement in an agreement announced Wednesday by Idaho Department of Lands officials.

Conveyed to IDL in a partnership between Hancock Timber Resource Group, The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Forest Service, the conservation easement will preserve forests for recreation, wildlife preservation and woodland management. Half of the preserved woodland is located near Hall Mountain and the other half east of McArthur Lake.

The view from the McArthur Lake East Forest Legacy Project, photo courtesy of The Nature Conservancy.

“Conservation easements and the Forest Legacy Program keep private working forests working,” said Karen Sjoquist, IDL Forest Legacy Program coordinator. “The continued use, protection and sustainability of these forests provide local jobs while protecting the social and environmental values that forests provide.”

Partnership planners identified the North Idaho acreage as prime candidates for conservation easements due to its natural beauty and vibrant natural life. The easement will establish permanent public access for hunting, hiking and berry picking while allowing land to be managed for timber harvesting, water quality protection, habitat preservation and other matters of public concern, including grizzly bear management.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Softwood lumber consumption likely to reach record highs in U.S.

Softwood lumber consumption likely to reach record highs in U.S. | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

U.S. consumption of softwood lumber is likely to reach record-highs by 2030 according to a new study from ForestEdge and Wood Resources International.

The study forecasts that U.S. softwood lumber demand will grow at an annual rate of 2.3 percent through 2030, which will be higher than the report's projection of real GDP. The study suggests that U.S. lumber consumption will reach an all-time high by 2030.

From softwood lumber consumption in residential housing, repair and remodeling, non-residential construction, material handling, ForestEdge and Wood Resources project that non-residential construction will grow at the fastest rate and will increase its share of the total softwood lumber usage from just over 11 percent in 2016 to almost 14 percent by 2030. Lumber consumed by the residential housing sector, including repair and remodeling, will continue to account for the almost 70 percent of the end-use market.

The Canadian lumber producers market share in the U.S. is expected to decline in the coming years, with the biggest reduction occurring between 2017 and 2025. The outlook for available log supply to the sawmilling sector will be different in the two major lumber-producing regions in Canada, with harvest levels falling substantially in British Columbia over the next ten years.

Overseas supply of lumber to the U.S. is forecasted to increase both in volume and market share by 2025, followed by a decline until 2030. Based on the study’s lumber supply curve analysis, the major supplying regions are likely to include Brazil, Chile, Germany and the Nordic countries. In the study’s High Demand Scenario, which projects a very strong rebound in housing starts, R&R, and non-residential construction, overseas supply will be crucial and reach a market share of over 10 percent by 2030.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Local forest land and PENNVEST called into question

Local forest land and PENNVEST called into question | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

One of the region’s state representatives is raising a red flag over state funding being used to the purchase of thousands of acres of private forest land in McKean, Cameron, Potter, Elk, Clinton and Jefferson counties.

During an informational meeting of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee held Monday, state Rep. Martin Causer, R-Turtlepoint, facilitated discussion on the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority approving loans totaling $50.8 million, at an interest rate of 1 percent, to Lyme Timber Company, a timber management firm based in New Hampshire.

The money would be used toward the purchase of more than 60,000 acres of private forest land in Cameron, Clinton, Elk, Jefferson, McKean and Potter counties. About 9,000 acres of the land would be put into a permanent working forest conservation easement.
***
State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Dunn told committee members the use of forest conservation easements was a top recommendation set out by the governor’s Green Ribbon Task Force on Forest Products, Conservation and Jobs.

“The parcelization and changing ownership of these forest tracks does raise a concern for us, especially in the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania,” she said. “It affects rural communities and jobs. It affects our mission as well. We take for granted that the Northern Tier will be forested forever, but I think without some delivered assistance, that would not be the case.”

A total of 70 percent of Pennsylvania’s forests are privately owned, she said. An easement conserves the land while also keeping it in private hands and on the local tax rolls, Dunn said.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Molpus Woodlands Group raises $116m for timber fund

Molpus Woodlands Group raises $116m for timber fund | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
Molpus Woodlands Group, a timberland investment management organization, has raised $116.4 million for its fifth fund, Molpus Woodlands Fund V, according to a filing with the SEC. The firm did not comment on its fundraising efforts.

Molpus Woodlands Fund V will invest in timber assets throughout the United States. The fund seeks to raise $500 million in total equity commitments, according to the filing.

The fund’s predecessor, Molpus Woodlands Fund IV, held a $662.5 million final close in 2014. Molpus Woodlands Group manages more than 2 million acres of timberland nationwide.

U.S. timberland investments have delivered a 10-year annualized return of 5.55 percent as of June 30, 2017.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Research Quarterly (FRQ) Excerpt: 2018 Lumber and Structural Panel Projections

Research Quarterly (FRQ) Excerpt: 2018 Lumber and Structural Panel Projections | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Forisk projects U.S. softwood lumber consumption of 49.8 BBFT in 2018. This represents a 3.7% increase from our 2017 forecast of 48.1 BBFT and is 5.4% higher than 2016 actuals of 47.3 BBFT. Softwood lumber consumption increased every year since 2009, but remained 26.4% below the 2005 consumption high of 64.2 BBFT. U.S. softwood lumber production is forecasted to increase 5.0% to 35.6 billion board feet in 2018. The South drives this growth with production expected to rise 6.4% for the year, reaching 19.5 BBFT. This would be a new high for the region, surpassing the 19.0 BBFT of production in 2005. In the Base Case, the South’s share of national lumber production increases 0.8% to 55% in 2018.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

NASF launches first-of-its kind resource: TimberAssurance.Org

NASF launches first-of-its kind resource: TimberAssurance.Org | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
With encouragement from federal trade agencies and support from the USDA Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters has created an open-access clearinghouse for national and state regulations that affect the management of U.S. forests and help to demonstrate the sustainable and legal nature in which U.S. timber is harvested.

“Since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, non-governmental organizations and their governmental counterparts around the world have been working to provide assurances to consumers that their wood products originate from sustainable and legal sources,” said George Geissler, Oklahoma state forester and NASF president. “In the U.S., providing these assurances can be time-consuming and expensive because many of the regulations and programs which support legal and sustainability determinations are state-specific. To remedy this problem, NASF has launched a legal and sustainable timber assurance online resource—TimberAssurance.Org.”

“It is critical that the process for assuring sustainable harvests is never so cumbersome that it presents a barrier to international market entry for U.S. wood products,” said Jay Farrell, NASF executive director. “TimberAssurance.Org is a first-of-its-kind resource for identifying the state-specific programs and policies that affect forest management on all private lands in the United States. This information will help assure government agencies, wood purchasers, and others that U.S. wood is sourced the right way.”
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

United States imposes more anti-dumping duties on Canadian newsprint

United States imposes more anti-dumping duties on Canadian newsprint | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
The American government is imposing more anti-dumping duties on Canadian newsprint.

The U.S. Department of Commerce says a preliminary investigation has found Canadian exporters underpriced uncoated groundwood paper by between 0 and 22.16 per cent.

Uncoated groundwood paper includes newsprint, as well as paper for book publishing, printing and writing.

The department says it calculated a dumping rate of 22.16 per cent for Catalyst Paper Corp. of British Columbia.

It says Resolute Forest Products and White Birch were both found to have dumping rates of 0 per cent.

The department says it's instructing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from Canadian newsprint importers based on the findings.

The department's investigation into the alleged dumping began in August 2017, and an International Trade Commission investigation began the following month.

The department says it will make its final determination in the investigation in August.

This is the second round of U.S. antidumping duties on Canadian newsprint this year.

In January, the U.S. Department of Commerce slapped an overall tariff of 6.53 per cent on about 25 Canadian plants, mostly in Quebec and Ontario, following an investigation that began in August 2017.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Confusion Following the Death of the Conservation Easement “Enhancement Regulation”

Confusion Following the Death of the Conservation Easement “Enhancement Regulation” | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

In Wendell Falls Development, LLC v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2018-45 [Here], the Tax Court seemed to determine that there is no deduction allowable for a conservation easement that “enhances” the value of other property owned by a donor taxpayer. The case involved a developer, Wendell Falls, that placed a conservation easement over certain property located within one of its ongoing development projects. Wendell Falls, then sold the easement-encumbered property (which was restricted to use as a park) to Wake County at what it claimed was a “bargain price.”

 

At trial, none of the expert reports provided by the IRS nor the taxpayer determined that the contribution of the conservation easement “enhanced” the value of any other property owned by the taxpayer. However, disregarding the experts' opinions, the Tax Court concluded that the conservation easement enhanced the value of other property owned by the taxpayer – becausethe court inferred that the presence of a park benefited the yet-to-be-sold, adjacent lots. The Tax Court then took the unprecedented step of determining the presence of such enhancement caused the entire conservation easement donation to be nondeductible, citing U.S. v. American Bar Endowment, 477 U.S. 105, 116 (1986).

 

The Tax Court's decision marks a radical departure from prior conservation easement jurisprudence, as well as the Treasury regulations pertaining to the valuation of conservation easement donations. The regulations specifically dictate how any increase in the value of other property owned by a taxpayeror related person is to be handled in the context of a “before and after” conservation easement valuation. The regulations account for this possibility by requiring any appraisal to account for the value of any such “enhancement,” by reducing the amount ofthe charitable deduction by such enhancement value. Indeed, the “substantial benefits” the court determined enhance the value of the eased property should have merely reduced the value of the taxpayer's claimed charitable deduction.

 

The Tax Court focuses on the taxpayer's apparent “expectation” of substantial-enhancement benefits when donating the conservation easement. The expectation being that the property would continue to be utilized as a park once encumbered by the conservation easement and owned by Wake County. The court's opinion seems to blur the line between expectation of a post-contribution use that may result in enhancement value to other property owned by the taxpayer (which reduces the value of a charitable deduction) and quid pro quo (which disallows a charitable deduction altogether). Indeed, the Tax Court reasons that the taxpayer's deduction “is not allowable because of this expectation.” It is likely that many other donors could have the same or a similar expectation with respect to their properties once eased.

 

In Wendell Falls Development, LLC, the experts for the taxpayer and the IRS all agreed that the conservation easement did not enhance the value of the taxpayer's other property. The Tax Court, however, disagreed with both experts, finding that the donation of the conservation easement createdan (unspecified amount of) enhancement to the value of other property owned by the taxpayer. Although this disregard of the unanimous conclusion of the experts was itself notable, the Tax Court's ruling that the presence of such enhancement caused the entire contribution to be nondeductible is significantly more consequential.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

A new program begins for forest property owners

A new program begins for forest property owners | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
Land owners wondering how to protect their wooded property while continuing to benefit from sustainable timber harvests now have another option: the New England Forestry Foundation of Littleton, Mass.

Private forest owners can receive lifetime income while ensuring permanent protection for their forests through the foundation’s responsible management and its Pooled Timber Income Fund, according to fund managers.

Participants donate their woodlands to the foundation, and the timber on it contributes to a pooled income fund from which donors receive an even stream of lifetime income and an initial charitable tax deduction. On the death of all beneficiaries, the timber reverts to the foundation, and the donor’s lands become part of the foundation’s network of more than 140 community forests.

The New England Forestry Foundation does its own forest management plan for how it oversees the property, emphasizing sustainable forestry practices.

With more than 140 donated properties around New England, the fund continues to pay local property taxes on the land, since it continues to generate income for donors, according to program director Sophie Traficonte.

“It’s a really great tool for people who want to conserve their land, but really can’t afford to do that,” she said. “They get this income over time, and the tax deduction initially. I think it will really be a good incentive for people. They won’t even have to pay land taxes anymore, because we’re owning it, so we’ll do that.”

Land that has been placed in the state’s Chapter 61A reduced assessment program remains in that program.

The New England Forestry Foundation has leased timber from two Nature Conservancy preserves in Massachusetts for inclusion in the pool, in Sheffield and Middlefield, totaling nearly 300 acres. Both demonstrate how conservation and good forestry can work hand in hand, said program officials.

The foundation owns forests in Heath, Rowe, Conway, Buckland, Hawley, Deerfield, Warwick and Orange in Franklin County.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Dayton urges Legislature to fund landowner incentive to boost timber industry

Dayton urges Legislature to fund landowner incentive to boost timber industry | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Gov. Mark Dayton this week called on the Minnesota Legislature to support funding for several additional budget priorities this session.

The proposals, outlined this week in a letter to legislative leaders, involve an $8.72 million incentive program to increase timber harvesting on private lands and bolster Minnesota’s forest products industry, and would invest $969,000 in a grant program that would continue state support for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline in Minnesota.

Minnesota’s forest products industry is struggling due to a timber shortage, said Dayton in a news release Thursday. In response, he has proposed a new $8.72 million program to motivate private landowners to harvest and sell timber to mills in Minnesota.

“Minnesota’s forest products industry supports 64,000 jobs and contributes over $17.6 billion to our economy every year,” said Dayton. “This new timber harvest incentive will help address the timber shortage that is straining this important Minnesota industry, while continuing responsible and sustainable forest management. I urge the Legislature to approve the incentive this session, for the benefit of tens of thousands of Minnesota workers whose jobs and livelihoods depend on it.”

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Dayton’s proposed incentive program would increase the amount of timber harvested on private land by approximately 350,000 cords, or 20 percent, over the next two years. The proposal would increase timber availability to the forest product industry, encourage sound forest management on private lands, and help support tens of thousands of forest industry jobs in Minnesota.

The incentive comes on the heels of a new timber harvest target plan recently announced by the DNR which reduces the aspen harvest on DNR-managed timberlands by 40,000 cords. Local and forest products industry officials voiced concern about the reduction and how it would impact local mills.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

U.S. hits Canadian forestry industry with more duties

U.S. hits Canadian forestry industry with more duties | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The American government hit the Canadian forestry industry with more duties late Tuesday as it upheld counterveiling duties on Canadian newsprint.

 

The United States Department of Commerce said in a statement that a preliminary investigation found Canadian exporters underpriced uncoated groundwood paper by between 0 and 22.16 per cent.

 

Uncoated groundwood paper includes newsprint, as well as book publishing, printing and writing papers.

"President Trump made it clear from the beginning that we will vigorously administer our trade laws to provide U.S. industry with relief from unfair trade practices," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement.

 

The department said it determined Canadian exporters have sold newsprint in the U.S. at as much as 22.16 per cent less than fair value and it will collect cash corresponding to those rates.

It noted that the maximum margin of 22.16 per cent is lower than the up to 54.97 per cent rate alleged by Washington-based North Pacific Paper Company, which made the petition to the department to impose the tariffs. It complained Canada was dumping newsprint into the American market and unfairly subsidizing its industry at home.

 

Canada is the largest exporter of newsprint in the world, with a market dominated by Resolute Forest Products (TSX:RFP), Kruger and Catalyst Paper Corp. of British Columbia.

The department calculated a dumping rate of 22.16 per cent for Catalyst Paper Corp., and all other producers excluding Resolute Forest Products and White Birch, which were both found to have dumping rates of zero per cent.

 

The department's investigation into the alleged dumping began in August 2017, and an International Trade Commission investigation began the following month.

 

The department said a final determination in the investigation will be made in August.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

High lumber prices turn down volume on Canada/U.S. softwood dispute

High lumber prices turn down volume on Canada/U.S. softwood dispute | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
British Columbia’s major lumber producers continue to book substantial profits on near record lumber prices almost a year after the U.S. Department of Commerce first hit Canadian producers with punishing duties.

The benchmark price for 1,000 board-feet of top-quality western Canadian two-by-fours hit US$540 about a month ago, according to the trade publication Madison’s Lumber Reporter, compared with US$315 at the start of 2017 before U.S. interests re-ignited the ongoing trade dispute.

Bottlenecks in rail transportation plaguing all industries are one reason lumber prices have spiked so high, but solid demand has also allowed producers to simply pass the price of tariffs along to consumers in prices, said Susan Yurkovich, president of the B.C. Lumber Trade Council.

“Who knows how long these prices will hold, but for now (they are) mitigating the impact of duties for Canadian producers,” said Yurkovich, who is also CEO of the Council of Forest Industries, one of the forestry sector’s main industry groups.

The U.S. Department of Commerce levelled preliminary duties against Canadian lumber producers last April, on the complaint of the U.S. Lumber Coalition following expiry of the last Canada/U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement.

Final duties were set last fall at between 20.8 per cent and 22.1 per cent, depending on which company it is, and so far, Yurkovich said it is consumers that have felt them the most.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Molpus Woodlands Group Announces the Purchase of 26,739 Acres in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina

Molpus Woodlands Group Announces the Purchase of 26,739 Acres in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The Molpus Woodlands Group, LLC (Molpus), a timberland investment management organization headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, has, on behalf of a client, successfully purchased approximately 26,739 acres of timberland in the four southern states of Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

 

These historically well-managed timberlands, with broad geographic distribution across four southern states, have been under industrial timberland management for over 75 years, and provide exposure to multiple timber markets that represent the broad spectrum of pulp, paper, lumber, and panel producers located across the southern U.S. Most of the properties have frontage on public roads and provide habitat for a variety of wildlife species, including some of the major game species for the region.

 

“We look forward to adding additional properties under management in the southern U.S. where we already have a strong presence,” said Ken Sewell, Chief Operating Officer of The Molpus Woodlands Group, LLC. “These properties provide our client with good exposure to areas with long histories of successful commercial timber production, and they offer strong recreational opportunities to the region as well.”

 

Molpus currently manages approximately 2.1 million acres of timberland investments in eighteen states.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Next Generation Timber Harvesting Machinery

Next Generation Timber Harvesting Machinery | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
Forest and Wood Products Australia have produced a new report that examines remote controlled and autonomous machinery in forestry. The report was compiled Rien Visser, of the School of Forestry, University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Logging provides some excerpts from the document. Technology development, in terms of both capability and cost-effective integration, is moving at a fast pace. While advanced robotic systems are already commonplace in controlled workspaces such as factories, the use of remote controlled or autonomous machines in more complex environments, such as for forest operations, is in its infancy.

While technology integration and automation in forestry equipment are commonplace, the report focuses on equipment developments and opportunities where no operator is in the machine. The simplest form is remote control of the machine where the operator, typically in clear line-of sight, will work with wireless controls. While teleoperation is simply a more technical term for remote control, often implied is that the operator works from a virtual environment with live video and audio feedback from the machine. Since teleoperation provides a similar operator experience to working in the machine, it is relatively easy for an operator to transition to teleoperation.

For both systems the machine operation is typically slower, significantly so if the task is complex, and will not be adopted in forest operations strictly based on productivity improvements. However, benefits can quickly accrue when: (a) operator safety might be compromised, (b) where a full-time operator would be underutilised, or (c) where work sites are onerous to reach or suitably qualified operators are hard to find
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

New Forests expands investment in Malaysia's eucalyptus plantation

New Forests expands investment in Malaysia's eucalyptus plantation | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Agriculture and timberlands investor New Forests Asset Management has made an additional equity investment in Malaysia’s Acacia Forest Industries (AFI), which owns a eucalyptus plantation in Sabah, for an undisclosed amount.

 

The investment in AFI over the next five years will be made through New Forests’ Tropical Asia Forest Fund (TAFF) and comes nearly five years after the fund’s initial investment in the Hijauan Group, whose subsidiary Hijauan Bengkoka Plantations Sdn Bhd (HBP) is a joint shareholder of AFI.

 

TAFF is a $170-million fund that launched in 2012 as the first forestry fund dedicated to sustainable forestry in Southeast Asia. The fund has since taken equity positions in three forestry businesses in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Laos. These investments include more than 150,000 hectares of land with the target of managing and establishing more than 60,000 hectares of certified plantation forestry. Headquartered in Kota Kinabalu, AFI owns plantations on the Bengkoka Peninsula of northern Sabah. From 2015, it switched from planting primarily Acacia mangium to Eucalyptus pellita, a crop that offers additional market versatility and better resilience to locally prevalent tree diseases.

 

New Forests said the fresh investments will allow AFI to continue to execute its strategic plans for improving plantation quality and transitioning the company to a higher value sawlog production model.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

AP3 demands more from hedge funds

AP3 demands more from hedge funds | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Through the course of the last year, AP3, the SEK345.2 billion ($42.2 billion) Third Swedish National Pension Fund, scaled back on hedge funds and boosted its internal portfolio construction capabilities. The fund also continued steadily building its alternatives portfolio, where chief investment officer Mårten Lindeborg sees a stronger risk/return ratio than in equity.

***
He notices an increasing need to move quickly and react to short-term factors to achieve alpha. Also, since 2010, he has steadily increased AP3’s allocation to alternatives, in line with his belief that the risk return is better than in equity. About 20 per cent of the fund is now in alternatives.
***
The allocation to alternatives includes infrastructure, private equity and insurance risk. There is also a 1.5 per cent allocation to timberland – which is proving big enough to be a worry.

Strong returns from forestry in Sweden, Australia and New Zealand have not been matched by timberland assets in the US and emerging markets. Lindeborg attributes this to emerging-market currency issues.

 

“We are not that highly exposed to emerging markets, but on aggregate, we have to reconsider and rethink our timber strategy,” he says.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

University plans major, 13,000-acre timber sale in Chilkat Valley

University plans major, 13,000-acre timber sale in Chilkat Valley | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The University of Alaska is negotiating a timber sale on more than 13,000 acres of its land in the Haines Borough. The estimated volume of the 10-year deal is far greater than any timber sale in the Haines area in recent history.

 

The university’s 13,426 acres are scattered throughout the borough. Most of that acreage is located across the Chilkat and Klehini Rivers or across the Chilkat Inlet from Haines.

That includes a piece of land near the Davidson Glacier and a few smaller portions close to town.

 

The university says it received interest in the timber on its Haines parcels, and is entering into a 10-year negotiated sale.

Christine Klein is the chief facilities and lands officer at the university. She spoke at a Facilities and Land Management Committee meeting on Tuesday.

***

The sale is estimated at around 100 million board-feet.

***

That goal trumps the size of other recent Haines-area timber sales. In 2015, the state Division of Forestry moved forward with the Baby Brown Timber Sale. At 855 acres and 20 million board-feet, it was set to be the largest sale in the Haines State Forest in 20 years. That sale was delayed after a successful appeal of the land use plan. The state is preparing to put it back out to bid.

 

The Board of Regents approved the development and disposal plan for the university sale at a meeting this week, authorizing it to move forward.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Southern Yellow Pine Lumber Prices Hit New High in February

Southern Yellow Pine Lumber Prices Hit New High in February | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
As we get into the swing of a new year, the lumber market continues to feel the collaborative effects that helped drive southern yellow pine (SYP) prices to sustained high levels throughout most of 2017. Forest2Market’s southern yellow pine lumber composite recently hit its highest level ($450/mbf) since we began compiling the data over eight years ago.

Multiple factors are contributing to these high prices, including:

In November 2017 the US Department of Commerce (DOC) ruled that duties would be imposed on imports of Canadian softwood lumber. The DOC slightly tweaked the final numbers in early January, which will range from roughly 10 percent to nearly 24 percent—lower than the preliminary range of 17 percent to 31 percent.


Last year’s catastrophic wildfire season, mountain pine beetle infestation and the devastation from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma continue to affect US lumber supply and price. Tight demand has driven log prices in the Pacific Northwest to record highs and no end is in sight; profit margins at regional mills have decreased as a result, making PNW producers less competitive in the North American market.


Beginning in December 2017, the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration began requiring many freight carriers to install and use electronic logging devices (ELD) that integrate with a truck’s engine and record engine run time, mileage and other operational information. The mandate aims to make roads safer by limiting professional truck drivers to 11 hours of driving during a 14-hour period each day. While this change won’t likely affect loggers, it will affect interstate transportation; a shortage of available driving hours would boost freight rates, and many businesses may have trouble finding independent drivers or may have to pay more when they do.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is also on the radar as we head into President Trump’s second year in office. The odds of the President leaving NAFTA untouched are not particularly high in the near term, but the US, Canada and Mexico are still at odds over a number of important points; the latest round of talks resulted in little headway.

Another year of sustained high lumber prices in 2018 will also not do much to help an already tight housing market; high prices are forecast to add over $5,000 to the cost of a new US home.

The composite southern yellow pine lumber price soared well above the $400/mbf mark throughout January and into February. Week 5’s price was at $450/mbf, which is up sharply from week 4’s $427/mbf mark. Week 5’s price is 12 percent above its January 2018 starting point of $402/mbf, and 18 percent above the 2017 week 5 price of $381/mbf.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Cryptocurrency: First U.S. Real Estate Deed Recorded Using Ethereum

Cryptocurrency: First U.S. Real Estate Deed Recorded Using Ethereum | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Cryptocurrency is making headlines again—this time, in real estate. A pilot program in South Burlington, Vt.—initiated by global blockchain real estate marketplace Propy Inc.—marks the first U.S. deed recorded using only blockchain technology, according to multiple sources. In this case, Ethereum was used to transact and record contracts and documents instead of using the city’s recording system.
***
The pilot program was announced in January in partnership with the City Clerk’s Office of South Burlington. City representatives say Vermont’s legislation lends flexibility to blockchain use in real estate transactions.
***
If these blockchain pilot programs prove successful, brokerages may be more willing to transact using cryptocurrency. RE/MAX Action First in Tampa predicts that the technology is set to disrupt the industry and is prepared to embrace the use of cryptocurrency in real estate, stating transactions could be settled in minutes instead of multiple days or weeks. The brokerage is one of the first in Tampa Bay to accept and use cryptocurrency in real estate transactions.

***

In Sweden, the mapping and land registration authority is moving forward with blockchain technology, using cryptocurrencies to conduct property sales. It expects to complete the first transaction in the next few months, according to the Wall Street Journal. The practice becoming more commonplace overseas may signal to widespread use in U.S. real estate transactions in the near future; however, with volatility and security still at the forefront as major challenges, blockchain needs to make strides to bridge the gap and assuage consumers’ fraud-based fears.

more...
PingZing's curator insight, March 21, 12:14 AM

If these blockchain pilot programs prove successful, brokerages may be more willing to transact using cryptocurrency. RE/MAX Action First in Tampa predicts that the technology is set to disrupt the industry and is prepared to embrace the use of cryptocurrency in real estate, stating transactions could be settled in minutes instead of multiple days or weeks. The brokerage is one of the first in Tampa Bay to accept and use cryptocurrency in real estate transactions.

Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Trump’s Tariff Is Forcing Homebuilders to Cut Costs

Trump’s Tariff Is Forcing Homebuilders to Cut Costs | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

For the past 18 months, Eddie Martin has been trying to find ways to keep the affordable homes he builds, well, affordable.

 

About 40 percent of the Texas homebuilder’s framing lumber comes from Canada. The Trump administration slapped punitive tariffs on Canadian softwood timber last year, claiming the industry is unfairly subsidized. The move has driven lumber prices to near record highs. Tilson Home Corp., where Martin is president, has so far refrained from passing on the added costs to homebuyers. To do that, it’s cut back the number of home plans it offers and is considering swapping pricier fir for cheaper Southern yellow pine, even though its tendency to bow in the Texas humidity makes it more difficult for construction crews to work with.

 

“If it stays up and we feel like we need to try and raise the price to try and recoup some of that, it’s very difficult for us as a company,” says Martin, whose business builds about 400 homes a year across the state. “It’s imperative we keep our prices in the range where we can sell the house.”

 

Framing lumber, including installation costs, accounts for about 18 percent of the average home’s selling price, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The rising price of timber comes at a bad time for U.S. builders, which are already contending with labor shortages and scarce supplies because of summer wildfires that wiped out some timberland in British Columbia. “You’ve got the kind of perfect storm brewing for the homebuilder,” says Jim Barbes, vice president of national sales at 84 Lumber Co., one of the nation’s largest building-supply chains.

 

On Nov. 2 the U.S. Department of Commerce announced average import duties of 21 percent on shipments of timber from Canada, which supplies more than a quarter of what American builders use each year. The price of one type of lumber futures contract that’s a widely watched industry metric has surged 31 percent in the past 12 months, and it’s trading at the highest level in at least 32 years. “So we’re talking about the potential not just for a record-setting year, but one that is unprecedented,” says David Logan, director of tax and trade policy analysts at the National Association of Home Builders.

 

The import duties leave companies paying $1,360 more to build a single-family home. Many builders have started to raise their prices to keep profit margins stable, says Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Drew Reading, but their ability to pass on the added costs will be tested as mortgage rates start to rise.

 

Builders are trying to find as many efficiencies as they can to reduce costs, including changing the design of roof systems, wall panels, and floors to use the least amount of material possible while still meeting building codes, says Barbes of 84 Lumber. They’re also shifting to smaller starter homes with simpler floor plans and multifamily dwellings to save money, he said. The Pennsylvania-based company uses designers who, with the help of software, can calculate the loads to optimize the wood or wood framing while ensuring the quality of the home isn’t compromised, he says.

 

Taylor Morrison, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company that expects to build 8,000 to 8,500 homes a year, is constructing wall panels in factories before they’re shipped to the job site to reduce lumber waste, says Alan Laing, executive vice president of homebuilding operations. Companies such as his will probably start to look to alternative materials like steel and concrete if lumber prices continue on an upward trajectory. “If this is a record year,” he says, “it’ll spawn innovation like anything does when something becomes unaffordable.”

more...
No comment yet.