Friday Offcuts – 5 July 2024

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Welcome to this week's edition of Friday Offcuts.

This week, we bring you a roundup of significant industry updates. Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) has launched a major campaign to promote timber framing, highlighting timber's sustainability and cost-effectiveness. Meanwhile, New Zealand's wood processing industry is set to benefit from a new export trade agreement that eliminates tariffs on 41 wood products. Additionally, the Ministry for Primary Industries has begun collecting data for the 2024 National Exotic Forest Description survey, essential for forecasting wood availability and guiding investment decisions, with responses due by 31 July 2024.

In other news, the Forest Flows Research Programme has made notable progress in understanding water use in planted forests. New Zealand is poised to construct its tallest mass timber office building. We also honor the contributions of industry leaders like the late Dr. Warren Parker and the recent retirement of Rob de Fégely. The industry is called upon to play a greater role in the sustainability transition, and the latest PF Olsen NZ log market report is now available.

Furthermore, the Forest Growers Levy Trust is hosting webinars for New Zealand forest owners on the 2024 Harvested Wood Material Levy Vote, and nominations are open for the FRESTRA Young Forester of the Year Award.

Read these and more in another packed edition of Friday Offcuts. Enjoy.

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Australian timber framing industry gets a boost

Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) is set to spearhead an initiative highlighting the advantages of timber framing in construction, promising a significant boost to its promotion efforts.

First established in the Australian Forest Products Association’s Softwood Manufacturing Chamber, and funded by the Timber Framing Collective, the ‘Timber Framing: The Ultimate Renewable’ campaign will continue its success with a WoodSolutions rebrand and be managed by FWPA.

To oversee the effort, FWPA has appointed former board member and Timber Framing Collective founding member, Christine Briggs, as Campaign Manager. Ms Briggs brings a wealth of sales and marketing experience along with a breadth of industry knowledge, ensuring the campaign’s ongoing success.

FWPA’s Head of Build Environment and WoodSolutions Program, Kevin Peachey, said this campaign plays an important role in supporting the forest and wood products industry. “Timber framing is a cost-effective, long-lasting and sustainable option for framing in construction, and we believe it should remain a part of the DNA of Australian homes,” said Mr Peachey.

“The timber framing industry employs over 45,000 people across the supply chain, providing significant job opportunities. By highlighting these advantages and promoting timber framing as the preferred material among builders, we can support our members and expand the market share of timber framing in Australia.

“Under Christine's guidance, FWPA can enhance its creative and strategic efforts to communicate this story to builders, developers, and the broader construction industry. “

Ms Briggs expressed her enthusiasm for the campaign and the benefits it would have for suppliers, builders and consumers alike. "From bolstering jobs and the supply chain to delivering cost-effective, renewable materials and creating high-quality, durable homes, timber framing is a success story from beginning to end," Ms. Briggs remarked. "I am eager to spotlight this valuable product and highlight its essential role in Australian homes.”

In addition to existing campaign funding provided by the Timber Framing Collective funding partners, FWPA has committed further investment to ensure the ongoing success of the campaign.

FWPA Head of Marketing and Communications, Sarah Downey, said FWPA is uniquely placed to use its well- established reach and influence to champion this message. “FWPA’s WoodSolutions program is a recognised brand across industry, with established connections and authority in the building design and construction sector,” said Ms Downey.

“By bringing the timber framing campaign under the WoodSolutions umbrella, we can expand its reach and increase funding opportunities.”

FWPA will commence management of the campaign from 1 July 2024.

Source: Forest and Wood Products Australia  (FWPA)

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New trade agreement a boost for NZ wood processors

Increased export opportunities through the removal of tariffs for 41 wood products included within the ‘Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability’ is welcomed by New Zealand’s wood processing and manufacturing industry.

'Under brand New Zealand we have a leading story to tell as to the value our wood products and timber used in construction play in addressing climate change and sustainability challenges,' says Mark Ross, Chief Executive of the Wood Processing and Manufacturers Association.  'Not only will this new trade agreement deliver commercial benefits for New Zealand, but it will send a strong environmental message to our trading partners'.

As new countries join the collective formed by New Zealand, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Iceland, the potential to grow a commercial benefit to our wood products industry over time is significant.

‘Wood provides multiple benefits to New Zealand and it is positive to see the government backing our industry in removing unnecessary barriers and implementing new trade Agreements’ Ross says. ‘Export growth will help fund the wood processing industry, with value added wood products encouraging greater onshore processing of logs, more employment in our regions, and increasing our global contribution to embodied carbon storage’.

This Agreement also provides support to our renewable energy sector by establishing rules to prevent harmful fossil fuel subsidies and sets guidelines for ecolabelling.

Tariffs will be eliminated on over 300 environmental goods on entry into force of the Agreement, including wind and hydraulic turbines, electric vehicles, wool fibre, recycled paper, and wood products offering a more environmental alternative to carbon- intensive construction materials, such as steel and concrete. Tariff elimination will make such products more competitive, thereby incentivising use and investment in related technologies.

Click here for information on the ACCTS.

Source: Wood Processing and Manufacturers Association

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NZ National Exotic Forest Description survey - data needed

On 1 April 2024, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) sent out the 2024 National Exotic Forest Description (NEFD) survey. The survey is critical for informing wood availability forecasts, which underpin infrastructure and wood processing investment decisions, as well as contributing to a range of official statistics such as Gross Domestic Product and NZ’s greenhouse gas inventory data.

All forest owners with more than 40 ha of forest should have received a copy of the survey, either electronically or by mail. Survey responses are due by 31 July 2024. If you did not receive a survey or have any questions about filling in your survey, please reach out to

Your data is strictly confidential and is securely stored. When MPI publish the NEFD they aggregate tables and apply confidentiality rules to ensure no individual forest owners’ data can be identified. Your prompt return is much appreciated and will help the 2024 NEFD data be published in a timely manner.

The 2023 NEFD report and data tables can be accessed via this link.

Source: Ministry for Primary Industries

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Forest Flows – key update at Environmental Forestry 2024

The Forest Flows Research Programme shared its data driven results at the Environmental Forestry Conference last week. The programme’s main objectives is to quantify the water use of plants and trees, and the water storage and release in planted forest catchments. The conference showcased our results to a general audience, after sharing with our local communities in May.

Dean Meason gave a keynote presentation on the main results on Day 1. On Day 2, Dean ran a Forest Flows workshop alongside Don White and Grace Villamor. Don presented the Forest Flows Combined Hydrological Model, a first-of-its-kind process-based model specifically built for forested catchments. Grace presented local communities concerns and perceptions of trees and water. She demonstrated a framework to link the right results to answer these questions.

Forest Flows now has available 4 Infosheets on the main results of the programme: Four more Infosheets will be provided soon on:
  • Radiata pine tree water use
  • Tree water use between exotic and indigenous species
  • Planted forest catchment water release
  • Planted forests catchment canopy interception
Forest Flows programme combines traditional forest hydrology methods with cutting edge technology for research at planted forests around New Zealand including five primary sites.

More information can be found at the Programme’s website and Scion’s website. Forest Flows is funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Endeavour Programme.

Source: Dean Meason via LinkedIn

Image credit: Scion

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Industry must play a greater role in sustainability transition

The global forest-related private sector is a complex and diverse part of the global economy, managing a wide range of forests to produce a myriad of goods ranging from building materials, to wood fibre-based materials to new industries in biochemicals, energy and biofuels.

The global forestry sector includes businesses engaged in forestry management, wood processing companies, forestry investment management businesses and local small and medium-sized businesses operating within the supply chains and management systems of forestry.

Forestry has a long history. It is said that the first forestry textbook was written by the Romans. But as well as a rich history, forestry has also continually evolved in terms of its products and markets, operational management philosophy and adjustment to public attitudes and public policies.

Today we are on the threshold of a substantial shift in the forestry sector. This shift is being driven by both a rising demand for sustainable, renewable materials in the transition to a circular bioeconomy, and the reconceptualization of forestry and wider land management into a new natural capital asset class.

This is creating both substantial opportunities and increased obligations on the international sustainable forestry sector.

To read the full article, please download a copy here.

Source and image credit: New Forests

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PF Olsen NZ log market report – June 2024

Market Summary

Despite continued high shipping costs, small but consistent log price increases in China meant At Wharf Gate (AWG) prices in New Zealand rose by about 6 NZD per JASm3. CFR log prices in China rose about 6 USD per JASm3 through June and these price increases are expected to continue in July. Log inventory levels in China continue to fall slowly but steadily, while daily log demand remains steady at 70k m3 per day.

Domestic demand for logs remains weak as we continue through the New Zealand winter.

The PF Olsen Log Price Index increased from $113 to $116 in June. This is $3 below the two-year and three-year averages, and $4 below the five- year average.

Domestic Log Market

The total value of building work undertaken in New Zealand in Quarter 1 was 8.4b NZD. This is only down 1% compared to the same quarter last year. However, due to significant cost inflation the actual total decrease in the volume of work undertaken will be higher than 1%. We await the Quarter 2 figures, but market participants expect a further drop.

Many mills have reduced their output of structural lumber in particular, and there is no indication of demand improving during Quarter 3. 
Export Log Markets -  China

China log inventory continues to reduce slowly, and daily port off-take remains around 70k per day. The average sale price for A grade pine logs in China increased through June from 116 to 122 USD per JASm3. Exporters expect modest increases in log prices through July.

The China Caixin Manufacturing PMI increased in June to 51.7 from 51.4 in May. (Any number above 50 signals manufacturing growth. This is the seventh consecutive month of expansion in factory activity and the fastest pace since June 2022. Input costs rose to the highest level since October last year. Output costs increased as companies passed on their rising costs to clients.

The value of China’s exports rose by 7.6% in May compared with the previous year. This is a positive sign for steady log demand. However, ongoing slow construction activity means the demand level will remain capped below previous high levels. Steel exports of 9.6 million tonnes was the highest monthly total since 2016, albeit at a declining average sale price. Slow domestic construction meant many steel producers looked abroad for markets due to the weak domestic demand for steel.

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Have your say - NZ Harvested Wood Materials Levy vote webinars

A notice for all NZ forest owners: Free Webinar Series – The Harvested Wood Material Levy Vote 2024: How it affects you as a forest owner. Forest owners are invited to join the Forest Growers Levy Trust for a series of webinars on the Levy Vote 2024 that started this week. 

The Harvested Wood Material Levy is paid by every plantation forest owner in New Zealand when their trees are harvested. Money raised by the levy is used to support work for the collective benefit of the industry. The levy supports research and development work, health and safety initiatives, biosecurity protection, forestry advocacy and promotion and a host of other work programs to help support forest growers and New Zealand forestry.

At present, every tonne of wood harvested from a plantation forest is levied at 33c per tonne. The levy is collected at the port or sawmill, and the funds and work program are managed by the Forest Growers Levy Trust (FGLT). It is proposed that the levy rate be potentially increased in the next 6-year levy term to support a larger work program and do more to invest in the future of NZ forestry and meet the new challenges facing the industry.

The industry is required by legislation to vote every 6 years to decide whether to continue with the levy and at what rate. The vote will be held from 1 October to 31 October 2024.

Over the past two months, the Forest Growers Levy Trust (FGLT) has completed a series of regional roadshows around the country on the Levy Vote 2024. These consultation sessions are an opportunity for all potential levy payers to have their say into what happens with the levy and learn more about the referendum process.

We have been speaking to forest owners like yourselves to get feedback on the levy and discuss potential changes heading into the next 6-year period. As in-person meetings are not always convenient for forest owners, we are now running a series of webinars to make sure every potential levy payer can have their say and vote in the October referendum. We encourage you to be involved.

Levy Vote 2024 Webinar program: Please choose the webinar that suits your schedule and click on the relevant link above. No RSVP is required. Zoom links for each webinar will also be posted on the FGLT Levy Vote 2024 website. We hope you can join us. It’s your levy, so make sure you have your say. You can learn more by visiting the FGLT Levy Vote 2024 website and the Grower Information Pack PDF.

Source: Forest Growers Levy Trust

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Retirement of Rob de Fégely

Rob de Fégely, co-founder and director of Margules Groome,  retired on 30 June 2024.

Rob’s career in consulting began in the 1980s when he joined Ray Margules, a pioneer in forestry consulting in Australia. Over the past four decades Rob undertook a countless number of consulting assignments for both the private sector in Australia and government with a keen interest in strategy and policy.

Apart from consulting in recent years Rob was appointed Chair of the Board of Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT, formerly Forestry Tasmania), he is also an Advisory Board member of the Forestry Investment Trust of the Alberta Investment Management Corporation in Canada, and as a Board member of Forestry Corporation of New South Wales (FCNSW).

Rob has held several notable positions, including Chair of the Commonwealth Government’s Forest Industry Advisory Council (FIAC) from 2015 to 2023, National President of Forestry Australia (formerly the Institute of Foresters of Australia) from 2012 to 2017, and Non-Executive Director of VicForests from 2012 to 2015. He was the founding Chair of Cape York Timber, an indigenous-based sawmilling enterprise in far north Queensland. Furthermore, he has advised Greening Australia, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, and the NSW Natural Resources Commission. With over 40 years of experience, Rob has worked on projects across Australia and throughout most of the Asia-Pacific region.

Throughout his career, Rob has been passionate about promoting sustainable forestry practices and advocating for the forestry profession. He has also contributed to the education and training of future forestry professionals and capacity building within the sector.

The team at Margules Groome wishes to thank Rob for his invaluable contributions to the business and the broader forestry sector in Australia. Rob, we hope your retirement is filled with happiness, adventure, and plenty of time to enjoy all the things you love.

Source: Margules Groome

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Plans for NZ’s tallest mass timber office

A new 11-storey mass timber building—set to become NZ’s tallest commercial timber building—could rise in downtown Auckland after James Kirkpatrick Group lodged plans to redevelop 538 and 582 Karahgahape Rd in the city district.

According to a developer statement, the new tower is part of a push to “regenerate the site from a demolished, end-of-lift building into a robust and legible urban structure that can stand for the next 50 years.”

James Kirkpatrick Jnr, the group CEO and Managing Director, said the building will rise ten levels from the Karangahape Rd elevation, have around 9500sq m of office space with two levels of basement for 48 car parks and “encourage a high-quality tenant in line with some of the green initiatives required for their businesses or their clients”.

In recent years, mass timber buildings have become “green magnets” for tenants, with Fitzpatrick now looking to attract tenants in the creative industries who have signed up to the Paris Agreement or Kyoto Protocol. “That might align with a highly visible brand in a creative environment that’s reflected to ensure their staff are in the best offices available, he told the New Zealand Herald, adding that “we see this as a valuable addition to the Auckland and K Rd streetscape.”

The new building will match the award-winning HomeGround development for height, which in 2022 was awarded the Gold Medal by the New Zealand Institute of Architects. Internationally acclaimed architect Fearon Hay has been commissioned to design the mass timber structure.

To learn more about mass timber construction in New Zealand you can become a subscriber to our WoodWorks weekly news service here: or register to attend our annual WoodWorks Conference running in Rotorua on 22-23 October. (see:

Source: NZ Herald, Wood Central, Photo Credit: Resource consent application

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Dr Warren Parker recognised with industry champion award

The late Dr Warren Parker was recognised for his lifetime of dedication to the primary sector with the New Zealand Primary Industries Champion Award.

The award entry was submitted by Pāmu Farms of New Zealand in collaboration with stalwarts of the industry who had worked with Dr Parker over the years, including Rob Hewett, Chair of Farmlands; Andrew MacPherson, Chair of Focus Genetics; Tim Payn, Scion Research; Richard Gordon, then CE of Manaaki Whenua; Robert Anderson, Massey University; and others.

The highly respected Dr Warren Parker was the Chair of Pāmu until his sudden passing in December 2023. Mark Leslie, CEO of Pāmu, said that Dr Parker was held in high esteem across the sector, government, and education. 

“Warren knew the primary industries at all levels,” said Mr Leslie. “He was a unique individual who encouraged others and worked hard on many things important to New Zealand agriculture – often the difficult tasks but also the right ones. He exemplified the Pāmu values of grounded, bold, shoulder-to-shoulder, and genuine.”

Dr Parker’s agricultural knowledge has been described as encyclopaedic. A particular strength was his understanding of and views on carbon and emissions. Of immense benefit to the boards he chaired, he could distil complex issues into simple, easily digested chunks of relevant information and make a convincing argument.

Warren held many positions of influence over the years including former chief executive of Scion (Forest Research Institute) and Manaaki Whenua - Land Care Research, and previously chief operating officer of AgResearch. He held board roles on Genomics Aotearoa, Farmlands Co-operative Society, Predator Free 2050, was chair of the Forestry Ministerial Advisory Group, the NZ Conservation Authority, and recently appointed independent chair of Quayside Holdings.

With this award, Warren is remembered for his natural leadership, insightful brilliance, candour, conversations on-farm, and kindness. An academic in red-band gummies.

More >>

Source Pamu Farms

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Södra to become largest producer of kraft lignin worldwide

As a step in the strategy of getting more out of every tree, Södra is now establishing a new business to become a world leader in the production of kraft lignin. Södra’s production facility will be the first commercial facility in Sweden and the largest of its kind in the world. This is an investment of over two billion SEK and expected to be in operation in 2027. 

Kraft lignin can replace fossil materials in, among other things, glue, batteries, rubber, composites and form the basis for new biofuels and biostimulators. The market and demand for replacements for fossil chemicals are increasing and Södra has for some time been exploring the opportunities on the market, had dialogue with potential customers and signed offtake agreements for a significant part of the production volumes. There is good possibility for kraft lignin production both to contribute to the green transition and the profitability of the forest estate. 

The forest is being called on for many things as society seeks to replace fossil-based materials. To succeed in that transition, sustainability and profitability need to go hand in hand and Södra’s kraft lignin investment is a good example of that. We will make more out of every tree and strengthen our profitability. This is a big investment for Södra and the green transition,” says Lotta Lyrå, CEO of Södra. 

Today, lignin is used for generating energy, but the refining process Södra is investing in will make more use of the raw material as a product. This is in line with Södra’s strategy to make more of each tree and create more value for the forest estate.

"Innovation is a necessary and important part of our business to ensure our competitiveness today and in the future. We are constantly working to create the most possible value from each tree, both with today’s processes and through new opportunities. Within Södra’s strategy, we see several future energy and chemical products with great potential as alternatives to fossil-based materials in society, of which kraft lignin is one," says Catrin Gustavsson, Executive Vice President at Södra Innovation. 

”With kraft lignin in our product portfolio, we are strengthening our position as a supplier of sustainable alternatives. Södra has seen potential in kraft lignin production for a long time. Now that we see growing market interest, we can offer a product that contributes to the green transition,” says Johannes Bogren, Vice President, Södra Bioproducts. 

Södra’s new facility will have the largest capacity for kraft lignin production in the world. Production is planned to start in 2027 and is enabled through the Swedish Energy Agency and The Industrial Leap.

More >>

Source and image credit: Sodra

Residues2Revenues 2024

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FRESTRA Young Forester of the Year Award – nominations

Future Foresters NZ is excited to announce that nominations are now open for the FRESTRA Young Forester of the Year Award!  This award will be awarded to a young forester who demonstrates commitment to the forestry community, developing themselves and other leaders, providing a voice for young foresters, creating connection across the industry, and taking a future focused perspective to forestry.

As a tribute to the FRESTRA Club and in keeping the name alive into the future, Future Foresters has created this exciting opportunity to recognise some of the incredible talent we have moving through our industry. We are excited to see the industry grow through innovation and collaboration over the coming years and think Future Foresters have an important role to play in the future of the industry we all share a passion for.

The successful recipient of this award will receive their name engraved on the FRESTRA Young Forester of the Year Award, a $1,000 cash reward, and $1,000 to go towards a forestry field trip anywhere in New Zealand hosted and organised by Future Foresters.

The award will be announced at the Awards Evening of the NZ Institute of Forestry Conference on  Thursday 5th September 2024 in Nelson.

Click here for further information & application form

Source: Future Foresters NZ

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NSW students get rare glimpse at industry-leading timber mill

A group of TAFE NSW Tumut saw technician apprentices – including a 63-year-old trainee – have had a firsthand glimpse of one of the region’s powerhouse sawmills in action as part of a special visit. The group of Certificate III in Saw Technology students, from saw mills across Australia, were recently given a guided tour of the nation’s largest softwood sawmilling business, Tumut’s AKD.

Part of an annual study tour using industry connections from the teachers at TAFE NSW Tumut’s Forestry Industries Centre, the visit enabled apprentices to see how a high-volume state-of-the-art softwood mill operated and gave AKD an opportunity to identify future talent.

Saw technicians/doctors are an irreplaceable part of the timber industry, repairing, setting and sharpening saw blades for timber production, often working within fractions of millimetres.

“This is the hub of the softwood industry in NSW and many of these apprentices haven’t seen anything like this before; it was a real eye-opener,” AKD saw shop supervisor Bill Stuckey said. “They got a real insight into how automation allows a log to be segregated, separated and broken down as sawn timber without a hand touching it.

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Source and image credit: TAFE NSW

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Buy and Sell

... and one to end the week on… can an exoskeleton make you run faster?

We've been promised exoskeletons would transform how we work, and while that future isn't here yet, the technology is rapidly advancing. The DNSYS X1 is a prime example. This innovative exoskeleton utilises AI to predict your next move, providing targeted support for your legs as you walk, hike, or run. Try this out on your next trip out.

Source: CNET via YouTube

And one more... Guidance from your predecessor

A new manager spends a week at his new office with the manager he is replacing. On the last day, the departing manager tells him: “I have left three numbered envelopes in the desk drawer. Open an envelope if you encounter a crisis you can’t solve”.

Three months down the track there is a major drama, everything goes wrong – the usual stuff – and the manager feels very threatened by it all. He remembers the parting words of his predecessor and opens the first envelope. The message inside says: “Blame your predecessor!” He does this and gets off the hook.

About half a year later, the company is experiencing a dip in sales, combined with serious product problems. The manager quickly opens the second envelope. The message read: “Reorganise!” This he does, and the company quickly rebounds.

Three months later, at his next crisis, he opens the third envelope. The message inside says: “Prepare three envelopes”.

And on that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

Ken Wilson
Editor, Friday Offcuts
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