UBC Undergraduate Research

Australian solid wood products Nordman, Brock Dec 16, 2009

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
52966-NordmanBrock_WOOD_493_Graduating_Essay_2008.pdf [ 4.48MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 52966-1.0103100.json
JSON-LD: 52966-1.0103100-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 52966-1.0103100-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 52966-1.0103100-rdf.json
Turtle: 52966-1.0103100-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 52966-1.0103100-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 52966-1.0103100-source.json
Full Text
52966-1.0103100-fulltext.txt
Citation
52966-1.0103100.ris

Full Text

Australian
Solid
Wood
Products
 
  UBC
Forestry.
Wood
Products
Processing.
 Wood
493
  Brock
Charles
Randle
Nordman
 
  Table of Contents Table of Figures .......................................................................................................... 3 Abstract .....................................................................................................................4 The Forest of Australia ...............................................................................................4 Native forest ............................................................................................................................................... 5 Plantations ..................................................................................................................................................7 Plantation 2020 has the following mandate ............................................................................................8 In Country Production................................................................................................ 8 Imports......................................................................................................................................................10 Exports ......................................................................................................................................................10 Harvesting................................................................................................................ 10 Native Forest ............................................................................................................................................ 11 Plantations ................................................................................................................................................ 15 Timber Yield ............................................................................................................ 17 Wood Products produced in NSW ............................................................................. 18 Solid wood Strategies................................................................................................ 19 Structural strategy .................................................................................................................................... 19 Appearance product strategy .................................................................................................................. 19 Hardwood Proposed Producers Strategy.............................................................................................. 20 Recommendations for market growth .................................................................................................. 20 Moving Forward ....................................................................................................... 21 Pulp and Paper.......................................................................................................................................... 21 Investment ................................................................................................................................................ 21 The Current solution ................................................................................................ 21 Social, Economical Impacts .................................................................................................................... 22 Environmental Impacts ........................................................................................................................... 22 Current news on plantations investment............................................................................................... 23 Differentiate ............................................................................................................................................. 23 Certification..............................................................................................................................................24 Conclusion: .............................................................................................................. 24 Appendices ............................................................................................................... 26 References:............................................................................................................... 29 Websites ...................................................................................................................................................29 Reports ..................................................................................................................................................... 30  Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  2  Table of Figures  Figure 1. Change in % of forest in formal nature conservation reserves on public land and multiple-use public forest available for wood production, 1997 to 2007 ............................... 5 Figure 2. Forest area, by tenure and state.......................................................................................... 5 Figure 3. Australia’s forest type .......................................................................................................... 6 Figure 4. Forest type ........................................................................................................................... 7 Figure 5. Native forest areas, by forest type, ownership and state.................................................12 Figure 6. Forest as a percentage of land area, by jurisdiction.........................................................12 Figure 7. NSW forest ......................................................................................................................... 13 Figure 8. Percentage of Native Forest Harvest .............................................................................. 14 Figure 9. Species mix of Native forest areas ................................................................................... 14 Figure 10. Total plantation area, by state and territory, 2007....................................................... 16 Figure 11. Total Plantation areas, 1995-2007 ................................................................................... 16 Figure 12. Plantations and other land uses, Australia ..................................................................... 16  Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  3  Abstract This paper looks at the Australian solidwood products industry, focusing on the state of New South Wales (NSW) solid hardwood products. Australia has native and forest plantations, each with different market conditions, management strategies, products offered and limitations. This paper illustrates the difference between documented information and what is actually currently happening in Australia.  The Forest of Australia Australia has an approximate forested area of 150 million hectares, covering around 21% of the continent. This is made up of around 147.4 million hectares of native forest and around 1.903 million hectares of plantation forests (NAFI). Native forests account for 67% of hardwood trees harvested in Australia, with plantations providing 33% (appendix- overview of forestry industry, ABARE 08).  Australia has abundant land capable of growing high quality forest  plantations, with emerging opportunities for renewable timber production (plantation 2020). Since the 1960s there has been a government push for Australians to produce and harvest plantation forests. A further shift from native forest consumption to plantation harvesting has occurred due to the Australian government efforts, as demonstrated by their 2020 plantations vision implementations, which is aimed at having plantations reach 3 million hectares nationally by 2020 (Plantation 2020, Eucalypt plantations...a Review). The government is also withdrawing hectares of native forest from timber production, by placing them in nature conservation reserves (Figure # forest area, by tenure and state, sustainable yield). In 2005-06 about 23 million hectares of forest (16% of the total forest estate) were in formal nature conservation reserves (Figure # Change in % of forest, Australia’s Forest).  Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  4  Figure 1. Change in % of forest in formal nature conservation reserves on public land and multiple-use public forest available for wood production, 1997 to 2007 (Australia’s forest)  Figure 2. Forest area, by tenure and state, (Australia’s forest)  Native forest Australia contains a wide variety of landscapes. These include interior deserts, hills and mountains, tropical rainforests, and densely populated coastal strips with long beaches and coral reefs (country profile). The land’s inherent diversity means that only one species of tree, eucalyptus, can be found in all states (Figure # -Australia’s forest type, Figure #- Forest Type).  The forest estates have expanded and contracted as the climate has fluctuated between  warm-and-wet and cool-and-dry periods (Australia’s forest). Since eucalyptus is the only species native to Australia (Australia’s forest), these trees have adapted to very different growing environments. This adaption has been key to eucalyptus survival, with over 700 known eucalyptus species. Australia is home to most of the world's Eucalyptus species (Eucalyptus plantations...-A Review).  Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  5  Figure 3. Australia’s forest type (Australia’s Forest)  Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  6  Figure 4. Forest type (Australia’s Forest)  Plantations Currently only 1% of forest areas are plantation forests, though they have been increasing in size. Plantation area increased by 4.5% to 1.8 million hectares in 2006, with 1.0 million hectares of coniferous (softwood) and 0.8 million hectares of broad-leaved (hardwood) (ABARE 06). Hardwood plantations further increased by 5% or 85,100 hectares in 2007 (ABARE 08). Eucalyptus is a hardwood, with long fibers prized for pulp and paper manufacturing, ease of production, fast growth rates and heights attained. The growth rates in 10 to 15 years make the species attractive to investors. This has resulted in an increased amount of hardwood planted in Australia. If the timber or fiber is not coming from native forests the shortfall must be attained from imports or domestic plantations. Therefore, the push to produce plantation forestry has been driven by Australian government (Eucalyptus plantations...-A Review). The push is highlighted by policy settings such as The National Forest Policy Statement (1992), the Wood and Paper Industry Strategy (1995) and most currently, the Plantations for Australia: The 2020 Vision (1997 and the 2002 revision) (Willmott Forest).  Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  7  Plantation 2020 has the following mandate 1.  Respond to diverse market needs and niches with high quality products;  2. Export more wood and wood products than are imported, by being active in the international wood and wood products markets; 3. Promote diversity in operations by encouraging large-scale industrial plantations as well as smaller scale on farm plantations with a variety of management, ownership and investment options and opportunities; 4. Support a mix of new and existing players, large and small, who invest in the growth and development of their plantation businesses on an ongoing basis; 5. Offer enough opportunities and certainty for robust secondary and tertiary markets For plantation-sourced materials to develop; 6. Adapt to changing needs and circumstances by being flexible and innovative; 7. Employ a highly skilled, professional workforce – people recognised as world leaders in plantation management, processing and marketing, who are supported by education and training Plantations 2020  In Country Production Australia’s solid products industry is a mature industry dating back to European settlers, who used native trees for the buildings foundations and exported logs back to England (Wikipedia). Compared to other manufacturing sectors the wood and paper products sector has the sixth highest industry value added, at 6.4% (Roles of pulp and paper industry). Structural solid wood products originally came from eucalyptus, but now are manufactured from softwood. Softwood plantations for solid wood are believed to have been established since the 1920’s, with the introduction of Radiata pine plantations (Willmott forest). Pulp manufacturing occurred in 1938 with the first paper mills who used the once native pine of Australia. They imported pulp, until research of producing eucalyptus pulp was profitable (Econospeak).  In 1946, Robert Penn Warren, wrote in his book, All The King’s Men:  “There were pine trees here a long time ago but they are gone. The bastards got in here and set up the mills and laid the narrow-gauge tracks and knocked together the company commissaries and paid a dollar a day… Till, all of a sudden, there weren’t any more pine trees. “ Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  8  Domestic hardwood is attained from native trees for solid wood products, where as softwood products are harvested from plantations, mainly Radiata pine. “The total harvest volume in Australia was traditionally split 30% softwood and 70% hardwood, however, this relationship began to change about 10 years ago, and now softwood accounts for more than 75% of the total sawlog harvest in Australia” (Willmott Forest). Plantation softwood’s low density, good strength to weight ratio and ease of use makes it suitable for a broad range of structural applications (Willmott forest). It is easier to process than hardwood and about half the market price of similar hardwood products. Engineered softwood products have displaced sawn hardwood in many structural applications, so they now dominate the market (Eucalyptus plantations...-A Review).  Softwood producers rely on residential construction, whereas hardwood  producers are insulated through the ability to spread among multiple markets (Forest NSW 2008). Solid hardwood products producers vary considerably in size and sophistication. Solid hardwood product outputs include natural rounds, sawn appearance and structural solid wood, decorative veneer and a small quantity of structural veneer used for plywood (Eucalyptus plantations...-A Review).  Producers process a large number of species with often significant  different physical properties. Because of all these factors, hardwood products have particular and highly regional market opportunities requiring different approaches (Eucalyptus plantations...-A Review).  The pulp and paper industry contributes $2.7 AUD billion to Australia’s GDP (The Plantation wood surge)  accounting for around 42% of Australian wood and paper products  manufacturing. Production of pulp and paper in Australia is a major part of the manufacturing sector; over half of all paper consumed is produced domestically. The industry has also successfully secured export markets, with exports almost doubling over the last decade (The role of pulp and paper industry).  Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  9  Imports Reduced harvests of native forest have led to the current need for increased import of wood products. The volume of timber harvested from native forests is declining as a result of reductions in the area allocated to timber extraction and other restrictions on harvesting, and revised downward estimates of sustainable yield (Australia’s forest). The total value of imports for Australia has increased by 3.1% rising to 4.4 billion (ABARE 08). After domestic use, the wood products and paper industry requires additional volumes of wood in regional supply reserves to maintain internationally competitive scale processing facilities (Plantation wood surge).  Exports Eucalyptus plantations grew total exports by 4.9 per cent in 2007-08. Plantations hardwood woodchips contributed 13% of total woodchips export. Total exports are now $2.5 billion. As woodchips exports rose, most other exports fell (Appendix- Table 24,43).  One can draw the assumption that production cost and/or the availability of production facilities limits the feasible for Australia to domestically manufacture market demanded products. This is drawn from Australia's trade report, based on the Australian Forest and Wood Product Statistics of 2008, produced by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) 2008, not with the current (2009) global economic situation. The volume of domestic raw materials is sent out to countries currently producing selected products and those products are then bought back as finished or dressed goods. This appears to be the trade strategy of Australia, as evident by the facts that imports double exports in value and that Australia is currently shipping out their commodity products such as woodchips and pulp, and importing finished or dressed goods.  Harvesting Certification is becoming the standard for many products in developed countries. This is because consumer preference is now driving companies to produce certified products (ABARE 2008).  As of January 2007, 13 major forest managers are FSC certified, accounting for  9 million hectares (6% of all forested area) of Australian native forest and plantations on public and private tenures. Parties included in this are private forestry operations and government Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  10  such as Forestry in NSW, Tasmania, South Australia, and Queensland (setting the standard). State of Victoria received certification in Feb 2007 and Western Australian Government is anticipated to become certified in the near future.  Native Forest Queensland and the Northern Territory currently have the largest amount of native forest 35% and 21 % respectively, with NSW having 18% (Figure # Native forest areas, by forest type...). NSW has a smaller forest area than Queensland and the Northern Territory, and yet is till one of Australia main players in the Forestry industry (Figure #- forest as a percentage of land area). Sydney Cove in NSW was the first settlement in Australia (January 26 1788). NSW was the first state to feel the abuse of the axe for profit, not as a part of life as the Aboriginals did and still do. (Wikipedia). Around 1870 the Government set aside the first areas of Crown land for future timber production and in 1879 Australia’s first national park was created on the Southern outskirts of Sydney. (Australia’s forest) With it’s history and continuous improvement, certification, and plantations, NSW can been seen as a state that has hit the ground running in terms of forest management. NSW has elected to be certified to the Australian Forestry Standard (AFS). This required NSW to meet or exceed rigid requirements and pass the global sustainability test (Forest NSW).  The standard is used as critical indicator of the sustainability of a timber source  for customer purchasing and procurement policies (Forest NSW). AFS was signed in 2002 and endorsed as “the first purely Australian Standard, which is designed to define environmental performance and sustainability in the forestry industry” Included is a chain of custody standard to track forest and wood products through the supply chain, providing consumers with assurance that the forest and wood products are from forest which are managed to the highest possible standard. AFS is a world class standard, endorsed by the worlds biggest assessor of sustainable forest management, the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) (setting the standard).  Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  11  Figure 5. Native forest areas, by forest type, ownership and state (ABARE 2008)  Figure 6. Forest as a percentage of land area, by jurisdiction (Australian forest)  There are two parties responsible for managing the forest of NSW, the Parks and Wildlife Division and Forests NSW. The Parks and Wildlife Division of the Department of Environment and Climate Change is the main government conservation agency in NSW, responsible for managing 600 parks and reserves, which cover more than 7% of the state. Forests NSW are a public trading enterprise, or government business, within the Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  12  NSW Department of Primary Industries. Forests NSW principal role is to sustainably manage 2.4 million hectares of native forests, planted forests of pine, and native species for the benefit of current and future generations. Forests NSW performance is measured across four key result areas; •  Social – building partnerships and generating economic and social benefits within the community, especially for regional and rural communities. Developing and valuing staff.  •  Environmental – ecologically sustainable management of native and planted forest to protect and enhance environmental functions and conservation values. Expanding the plantation estate to help meet future market needs.  •  Economic – ensuring an adequate return from the marketing of wood products from the state’s native forests and plantations, while also developing innovative commercial products and services to facilitate private investment in new planted forests.  •  Sustainability – managing State forests for the long-term. Retaining opportunities for future generations to meet their needs and expectations while providing for the present.  Figure 7. NSW forest (Australian Government)  Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  13  With the amount of native forest available for harvesting (Figure #, percentage of Native forest),  NSW should be looking at the different opportunities of each species (Figure # species mix,  figure # NSW forest).  Since each type of timber has different characteristics desired in wood  products, market research helps determine appropriate opportunities. The research combined with Forest NSW practice will aid in the harvesting, as the timber chosen can then attain highest profit margins.  Figure 8. Percentage of Native Forest Harvest (NSW annual report, 2008)  Figure 9. Species mix of Native forest areas (NSW annual report, 2008)  Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  14  Plantations Eucalyptus plantations do not bring a new or different product to the market. Plantations supplement the supply of hardwood logs currently harvested from native forest (Eucalypt Plantations ...- A Review).  Plantations are only profitably grown in areas of high rainfall,  allowing the trees to be in optimal soils and water conditions. Most plantations are located in areas of over 400-800-mm of annual rainfall (Plantation 2020). Western Australia, Victoria and NSW currently have the largest plantations, with Tasmania and Queensland plantations growing in size (Figure #-Total plantation area, by state and territory, 2007). In 2007 plantations covered 1 902 903 hectares, with hardwoods being 46% of plantations (883 494 hectares) and softwoods accounting for 53% (1 010 155 hectares) (Figure #Total plantation area, by state and territory, 2007).  Plantations produce about two-thirds of Australia’s log  supply, with structural timber harvested from softwood plantations (Australia’s Forest). Since 2000 the amount of softwood plantations has stabilized around 1 million hectares, with only 1%-2% percent change (Figure #-Total Plantation areas, 1995-2007). This could be credited to softwood plantations volume currently meeting the market demand (ABARE 2008). Plantations only occupy 0.25% of all land area (Figure #- Plantations and other land uses), though with Vision 2020 policies this amount should increase. The increase will be expected in hardwood (eucalyptus) plantations, and not softwoods. NSW contains the largest amount of coniferous plantations, and accounts for 18% of hardwood plantations (Figure #-Total plantation area, by state and territory, 2007).  The species picked for plantations needs to be optimized for the land areas selected. Research has been developed to choose the species to plant to attain the desired yield, and the highest profitable margin (Plantation 2020). NSW already has the infrastructure for profitable softwood plantations, and with the expected increase in hardwood plantations the prior experience could aid in producing profitable hardwood plantations.  Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  15  Figure 10. Total plantation area, by state and territory, 2007 (Plantation 2008)  Figure 11. Total Plantation areas, 1995-2007 (Plantation 2008)  Figure 12. Plantations and other land uses, Australia  Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  (Plantation 2008)  16  Timber Yield Internal damage is more common in native trees compared to plantations, since native trees withstand the abuse of nature without the benefits of silviculture. Many of the damages or defects in the native trees cannot be easily seen from the exterior, and only become apparent after processing. These defects then decrease the yield of the tree. Plantations are controlled growth products. Using silviculture and tree selection plantation timber is less variable, and attains a higher yield, making plantation timber more predictable as a raw material compared to native hardwood (Willmott). Australian timber producers have not believed that plantation timber has a higher yield than native grown timber. The skepticism is based on old data from early pioneer projects. Many companies at the time were processing plantation hardwoods in the same manner as they would native trees. Their comparison then concluded that native trees produced a higher yield. Since the trees come from different stands, the method of production must be adapted to suit the stand. Research done by the University of Canberra indicated that plantations attain a homogenous round, leading to the logs providing a greater amount of product when peeled compared to native forest, making it suitable for use in plywood, composite products and engineered lumber. In order to maximize the profits from wood products in Australia the government allocated an estimated $7.705(AUD) million towards R&D started in 2006-2007. This R&D produced many reports detailing ways to harvest and manufacture plantations and native timber which are now in widespread use (CSIRO).  Plantations are harvested differently than native forest because of their quick growth rates. Timber should be mechanically lowered to the ground, since the free fall of the tree will cause shock and internal stress. Not until the wood is at the processing location, should the timber be cut to length. This prevents the lumber from drying out during travel (The Plantation wood surge).  Internal checking and drying defects have been the main issue with  plantation timber. With the development of computer controlled kilns and R&D into manufacturing, these defects are reduced, allowing plantation timber to be processed more economically. Currently, most hardwood plantations are grown for pulp so the species Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  17  planted do not have the strength required for solid wood products. As research continues, future plantations could be grown for solid wood products, and in time the opportunities and constraints applied to solid wood products can be attained and manufactured by plantation resources (Eucalypt Plantations ...- A Review).  Wood Products produced in NSW NSW native forest and plantations combined account for 33% of state land area and 18% of Australia’s total forest area (appendix- Land area, by vegetation cover). The annual Ministry of NSW forest report showed profit of $42.6 million (NSW annual report 2008). Being an industry as diverse as the country, there are many products produced in NSW. There are three types of hardwood products, however, that provide the largest volume of sales, all categorized as structural solidwood products. Differentiated products are another Australian nice market with a much smaller volume of sales. Structural Hardwood Products are:  Main wood products from Plantation, (Eucalyptus Plantations..-A Review) Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  18  Differentiated products (also called Appearance products) Timber has natural appeal making it a sought after material for things such as joinery, furniture and interior design. Australian hardwood offers a truly unique, interesting and beautiful appearance (Australian Hardwood & Cypress). Appearance products do not make up the largest volume of sales, but as differentiable products they are sold at a premium. Wood used in appearance applications works when it’s visual appearance is preferred with sufficient strength, stability and integrity. The major sectors of hardwood appearance products are (Eucalyptus plantations...-A Review):  -Flooring, furniture and joinery -Lining and trims (paneling, reveals and architraves) -Windows, doors and stairs -Architectural structures such as exposed rafters, joists and frames.  Solid wood Strategies Solid wood products are comprised of two main product categories. They have two predominant strategies: a structural product and appearance product strategy. Hardwood producers need to look at the advantage of both, and place themselves into a market or create one by educating consumers on the strength and appearance the wood offers.  Structural strategy Under a structural strategy, log selection and production is focused on maximizing volume recovery while minimizing manufacturing cost. The product competes on the commodity market with an established and keenly priced competitor, sawn softwood (Eucalyptus plantations...- A Review).  Appearance product strategy Appearance strategy is based on a target product of dry and stable sawn timer, with low levels of defect or natural characteristics. A major role in this strategy is log selection and production processes to maximize the recovery of highest grade and value based on the appearance, not on the volume of the log (Eucalyptus plantations...- A Review). This comes with a  Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  19  relative high unit cost of production, thus the product cannot be sold as commodity, but rather as a differentiable product that is priced to maximize profits.  Hardwood Proposed Producers Strategy The Australian hardwood solid products industry relies today on selling product into mainly appearance and niche structural markets (Eucalyptus plantations-A Review). Therefore the strategy going forward should remain the same. Producers should not try to compete in the commodity market given the high priced manufacturing of eucalyptus. This timber has qualities that cannot be matched by softwood, so it should not be placed in the same market. Differentiating the products is key to success in selling Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus gum veins are apparent in the majority of the species, and this is a property that currently cannot be removed. The strategy involved with this product needs to find markets that value this feature. With more eucalyptus plantation timber coming to the market, the proper market selection and optimal manufacturing will move this hardwood away from being purely a pulp timber, to be seen as a multi functioning, high value timber.  Recommendations for market growth The solid wood products industry has two main issues in hardwood plantation resources. The issues are log availability and improved production optimization techniques (Eucalyptus Plantations...-A Review).  To increase the amount of logs, the area of plantations must  increase, which needs greater investments. Investors want to know their rate of return/investment (ROI) from plantations grown for solid wood; therefore determining the growing cost of plantations for solid wood products is key. For plantations products, research and development should focus on increasing the value of the timber by optimising processing and minimizing degrade, especially in drying eucalyptus timber.  Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  20  Moving Forward While researching this report, I contacted the individuals mentioned in the reports, or on related websites. This was to validate information, since many of the reports were dated. The following analysis is based on various reports, follow up e-mails and personal conversations to find out what is really happening beyond what has been written in public literature.  Pulp and Paper The pulp and paper industry makes the highest value added contribution of all wood manufacturing sectors. The sectors are ‘log sawmilling and timber dressing’ (which includes structural timber production) and ‘other wood products manufacturing’ (which includes plywood and MDF production). Plantations have been market driven; this is why many eucalyptus plantations have been grown primarily for pulp (Cabinet Timber). Plantation owners are heavily dependent on selling a consistent volume to mills. Without this market the investment decision to replant after harvest could not be made. (The plantation Wood surge)  Investment For investors the ROI on pulp plantations is 15-17 years, where a wood products return is 40 years. The majorities of investors wish for the quickest ROI and thus choose to invest in pulp plantations. The attributes of eucalyptus fibers for pulp are attractive and have added to the increase in hardwood plantation investment. Future investment in hardwood plantations for solid wood productions is the goal of Vision 2020. With the government seeing the importance of solid wood plantations as native forest are become conservations, tax credits and incentives have been used, resulting in plantations for niche markets being established.  The Current solution Based on all my research, what I see is that what is written in the reports only works well if you look at the problem solely as one problem. The solutions picked seem to have overlooked potential pitfalls. Thus many other problems must be addressed for the solution to be effective. Shifting from harvesting mature forest to solely plantations could solve the problem of log demand, but for harvesting to be sustainable it must deal with social, economic and environmental issues. Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  21  Social, Economical Impacts Many rural towns have been built around the harvesting and production of their local native forest. As the Government reduces the amount of timber available to harvest these towns now have fewer resources to support themselves. The mills and workers have no supplements of timber from plantations since none are close, resulting in mills closing down or running at minimal capacity. This is a side of the story that is rarely put into many reports. (Likely because many don’t want to condone cutting down native forests) Yet, under certification (as the forests of NSW are), these rural towns can continue to sustain their economy, with the natural resources also being replenished. Canadian rural towns, which are dependent on the natural resources, are now in turmoil. The current state of the market, has created little demand for Canadian wood products, and in turn has closed down the heart of many small towns, the mill. Mill closure is a real issue, as seen with 50 sawmills in BC closing since 2001. (No progress made). Canada can produce forest products faster, and efficiently, yet having no demand for forest products, very little is produced. Australia does have a market and demand, as the country requires the product itself, where as Canada is linked tightly to US housing market. Australia needs to look at the long-term view for the rural towns, learning from BC’s mistake, by making fundamental structural changes (No progress made), allowing the survival of forest-dependent communities.  Environmental Impacts The world would be amazed if wood were found today. Here is a product that serves as a natural filtration for rivers and water catchment, carbon sequential, and can be harvested in a continual manner. All without mentioning the multiple functions wood products can serve. Clear-cutting the forest to meet demands is not the answer. Forests still need to be cut, but foresters must respect the land while doing so. Harvesting done with certification and guidelines allows continuous timber production from the land. If the timber is not cut, the dead tree would lay dormant on the forest floor obstructing natural animal movement and Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  22  acting as fuel to any fire. As Australia is prone to drought the dead timber acts as a fire hazard. “ Above 30 degrees centigrade eucalypt oil becomes gaseous and ignites readily as a ‘fireball.’ “On the day the bushfires started claiming lives (2009), Melbourne reached a record 46.4 degrees for the first time in 154 years of record-keeping.” (Econospeak). Harvesting under certification allows the native forest to grow and the continuation of a sustainable resource development  Current news on plantations investment Futuris to cut plantings- Philip Hopkins, Agribusiness Reporter- April 6, 2009 FUTURIS Corp has signaled it will slow its expansion of short-rotation plantations due to the danger of oversupplying the export woodchip market. Chief executive Malcolm Jackman said continually buying new land and planting short-rotation trees was not in the best interests of the industry, otherwise "we will create a long-term oversupply of woodchips for exports". This would put downward pressure on the price of woodchips. Mr. Jackman said Australia's current plantations estate "is about as much as we need". Futuris' forestry arm, ITC, would stabilise the amount of land it had and maybe get rid of less productive areas. Futuris, with 160,000 hectares of plantations under management, is likely to sell its own 47,000 hectares Mr. Jackman said the managed investment scheme (MIS) model was no longer sustainable for Futuris. MIS was a tax-effective structure for investors and meant companies did not have to borrow money, but Futuris' review of its timber arm showed there were different models around the world to fund plantations, he said. Ockert le Roux, ITC's general manager of forestry and a former senior executive with South Africa's big pulp and paper group said, “Very small and specialised groups grow hardwoods as solid timber for South African and European markets...forests with equity was possible, and despite the big up-front costs, investors could still make money. It’s initially very difficult to overcome the long-time horizons of trees as investment...You need some form of bridging capital. Once the forest is in rotation and is harvested annually, then it's fairly easy”  Plantations could now be slowing down in Australia as investors look elsewhere. As FUTURIS decreases amounts which companies will follow? The solution of reducing the amount of plantations appears to be very short sighted, thinking about the woodchip market, by not wanting to over-saturate, and not looking into the long-term of Australia’s Wood products. It’s the long term where the questions arise, as no one can say where the industry will be. With a country where exports of forest products are predominantly woodchips and pulp, what happens if these decrease, what state does it leave the Forestry industry in? The question then is, how can the government make plantations favorable in Australia, with attractive offer placed around the world.  Differentiate Australia needs to look into the future in terms of climate change and market research. Where is the rainfall going to be located in the near future, as some plantations Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  23  were profitable and now are not, what is the cause? Based on economy of scale, can Australian plantations secure their own water source in order to reduce the variability of rainfall and in turn sustain the crop? Market research needs to address what products are going to be wanted in the future market, and not just present markets. Solid wood plantations are a time-intensive investment, so plantations need to develop an attractive offer to investors if there is any hope of advancement.  Certification Certification helps in attaining a chain of custody, though all consumers do not want this label. Companies are out to make profits, and if global consumers are willing to buy uncertified products, then why should one company take on the certification, especially with all the steps involved. Certification of timbers is very political and bureaucratic processes, the amount of time, headaches and paper work involved have deterred many companies. There can be an parent certification party, but regional parties need to be put in place, requiring different processes, as the world’s forests are not the same. If the goal is to have certified products, then the certification process needs to be simplified.  Conclusion: Softwood plantations have allowed Australia to reduce its reliance on native forests, for the production of structural timber. Hardwood plantations are grown for their long fibers in the pulp and paper manufacturing, and growing in size allowing Australia to stay globally competitive in the pulp and paper market. Pulp and paper currently give the largest profit, thus demand and bottom line drives the end use of this product (The Role of Pulp and Paper).  Solid wood products are not commodity products and need to be placed in niche  differentiable markets where they command a higher profit margin. Plantations for solid wood products are growing from private investments, though not at the growth rate of plantations for pulp. As plantations increase, so do the number of differing methods and systems used, reflecting a diverse industry. Numerous reports mentioned the different ways in which hardwood from plantations can be used for solid wood products. For the future, if the plantation lumber is able to achieve quality logs with straight grain to the desired lumber Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  24  yields, there is potential for plantation wood to become profitable to process and sell as solid wood (Eucalyptus plantations...- A Review). NSW needs to increase plantation growth for solid hardwood products, pushing for certification, market research into differentiable markets, and increase market development in order to improve the current situation, where NSW can only meet its demand for quality hardwood appearance timber from native forests or with increased imports.  Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  25  Appendices  ABARE 2008 Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  26  ABARE 2008  Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  27  ABARE 2008  Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  28  References: Websites Australia’s forest, Australian Government, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Viewed Feb 28th, 2009. < http://www.daff.gov.au/brs> Country profile: Australia, BBC News, Viewed March 3 2009, < http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/country_profiles/1250188.stm> CSIRO, Providing Forestry research across the entire value chain, Viewed March 28, 2009, < http://www.csiro.au/science/Forestry.html> Econospeak- The pulp and paper industry – a paradigm for Australia’s annihilation, Viewed April 6,2008 <http://econospeak.blogspot.com/2009/03/pulp-and-paper-industry-paradigm-for.html> Forest NSW, NSW department of Primary Industries, Viewed March 13, 2009, < http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/forests> Futuris to cut plantings- Philip Hopkins, Agribusiness Reporter- April 6, 2009 < http://business.theage.com.au/business/futuris-to-cut-plantings-20090405-9tcg.html> NAFI: National Association of Forest Industries, viewed April 2nd, 2009, <http://www.nafi.com.au/site/aboutForestry.php> Forest Industries: Consumption: Australian Forest, viewed April 2nd, 2009, <http://www.australianforests.org.au/forestindustries/consumption.htm> Plantation 2020- Australia’s plantations, resource, management and current issues. Viewed Feb 28th, 2009, <http://www.plantations2020.com.au/plantations/index.html> Sustainable Yield, Sustainable yield and Australia’s forest, Forests Australia, Australian government, department of fisheries... Viewed April 2nd, 2009, <http://adl.brs.gov.au/forestsaustralia/facts/sustainable.html> The Plantation wood surge, Australia’s Transition from Native forest to plantations:The implications for Woodchips, Pulpmills, Tax Breaks and Climate Change, viewed March 1, 2009, <http://epress.anu.edu.au/agenda/015/03/mobile_devices/ch02s03.html> Willmott Forest, about the Softwood industry, viewed April 6th, 2008, <http://www.willmottforests.com.au/default.asp?ID=about_the_softwood_industry> No Progress Made in BC Forest Industry Wood Council Chair tells Truck Loggers, steel workers wood council, 21 JANUARY 2009, <http://www.usw.ca/program/content/5569.php> Wikipedia, The Free encyclopedia, viewed for multiple sources, < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia> Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  29  Reports The Changing face of Australia’s Forests – A Summary of major changes in Australia’s forest since 1992, Australian department of agriculture, fisheries and forestry, ISBN 1921192 232 Cabinet Timber, ANU Forestry Market reports and Studies, The Australian National University, ANU college of science, viewed Feb 26 2009, <http://fennerschoolassociated.anu.edu.au//marketreport/> Plantations for Australia: The 2020 Vision A Progress Report by the 2020 Vision Partners November 2008 Eucalypt Plantations for Solid Wood products in Australia- A Review, if you don’t prune it we can’t use it, Australian Government, Forest and Wood products research and Development Corporation, Research Characterisation and improvement, project No. PN04.3002, 2005 ABARE 2008, Australian Forest and Wood Product Statistics, March and June quarters 2008, Canberra, November. ABARE 2006, Australian Forest and Wood Product Statistics, September and December quarters 2008, Canberra, November. Forest NSW 2008, Annual report 2007-08, NSW department of primary industries Durability of Lamited Veneer Lumber made from Blackbutt, J. Carrick, K. Mathieu,University of New South Wales, UNSW, Sydney NSW 2052 Australia, 20 april 2005 Roles of Pulp and paper industry- The Role of the Pulp and Paper Industry and the Case for Trade-Exposed Emissions-Intensive Status Date: 3 October 2008, Reference: 42807422  Australian Hardwood & Cypress- technical & detailing guide, Sponsored by NSW native timber industry marketing and development fund. Department of infrastructure, planning and natural resources Plantations increase-Resource expansion – Plantations 2020 Vision Issue, < http://www.plantations2020.com.au/reports/index.html> Setting the Standard- Australian forest Certification Scheme, Setting the standard for sustainable forest management In Australia and internationally Australia’s Forest- Australian forest profiles, Australian government: Bureau of rural sciences <www.daff.gov.au/forestsaustralia>  Brock Nordman Wood 493- Australian Solid wood products  30  

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.52966.1-0103100/manifest

Comment

Related Items