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Weekly news for the Timber & Forestry industries


  • Advertising: Tel +61 7 3266 1429 Email: 1issuE 225 | 11.06.12 | PAgE


    This issue

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    issue 225 | 11.06.12 | Page 1

    Foresters slamWest iVg report

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    Visit: or phone: 1800 088 809Osmose and MicroPro are registered trademarks of Osmose, Inc. or its subsidiaries. A Better Earth Idea from Osmose sm and Treated Wood Just Got Greener sm are slogan marks of Osmose Inc and its subsidiaries. MicroPro timber products are produced by independently owned and operated wood preserving facilities. GREENGUARD is a registered trademark of GREENGUARD Environmental Institute. * See MicroPro fastener and hardware information sheet.

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    Cont Page 6

    Library speaks volumes for wood

    On neutral ground at certification forum

    Sharp drop in European softwood imports

    National standard priority for FSC Australia

    American hardwoods target green building sector

    Demand for timber bright spot in housing gloom

    Plywood crowning achievement at jubilee concert

    Findings on Tasmanias native forestsundermine the integrity of IGA process

    THE peak body for professional foresters which has championed sound forest management practices in Australia for more than 70 years says the work of Professor Jonathon Wests group on verifying the conservation value of Tasmanias forests is highly flawed.In a hard-hitting critique that has been delivered to the Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the Institute of Foresters of Australia says the independent verification groups processes fail to consider the contribution of current reserves and forest

    management practices.The IFA with more than 1350 members engaged in all branches of forest management and conservation says the reports have failed

    to fully assess the impacts of reserves on stakeholders such as tourism operators and beekeepers and have put great pressure on private landowners who have native forests for logging.It adds that Professor West did not ask the institute to review his reports as promised.State-owned Forestry Tasmania has also criticised the groups 2000 pages of review of the forest industry, suggesting it could be biased.[Julia Gillard and the Premier of Tasmania Lara Giddings

  • Advertising: Tel +61 7 3266 1429 Email: PAgE | issuE 225 | 11.06.122

    IMPORTS of softwood sawn timber, which had previously remained at relatively high levels during the housing downturn, fell by around 23% over the March quarter despite a strong Australian dollar.European timber only accounted for around 20% to 25% of total Australian sawn timber imports prior to 2008, rising since to around 30-50%However, the March quarter results posted by the URS Timber Market Survey show Australian timber imports from Europe fell to their lowest quarterly volume in three years.Imports from the Czech Republic dropped 85% from about 22,300 cub m to around 3400 cub m this quarter.The quarterly decline in softwood timber imports was derived from a large fall in European ( - 45%) and New Zealand (- 17%) imports. Meanwhile, imports from North America increased by around 6%, to more than 30,000 cub m to account for 25% of total imports over the quarter.

    The volume of imported plywood and veneer has followed a general upward trend since the second half of 2009, a period which has coincided with a strengthening Australian dollar. Despite a fall of around 6.1% over the March quarter 2012, imports remain at relatively high levels.New Zealand has been the traditional source of plywood and veneer products, although

    Chile and China have emerged as significant suppliers over the last decade.The URS survey says softwood price trends for structural and outdoor products have diverged over the last 18 to 24 months, with outdoor product prices remaining strong and structural prices falling during the downturn in the housing construction market.The high level of competition from cheaper imports of structural timber is also influencing downward price movements. Conversely, the landscaping market has apparently been less affected by the housing downturn which began in late 2010.MGP10 structural timber prices have fallen to lesser extent than MGP12 over this period. The MGP12 price index has now fallen to below levels experienced during the GFC, to be at its lowest point since September 2007.Despite some intermittent volatility, the price index for plywood C/D has followed a general downward trend since the March quarter 2009. This relates to the downturn


    ForestWorks performsa range of industry

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    VICTORIAPO Box 612, North Melbourne 3051Tel: (03) 9321 3500Email:

    NEW SOUTH WALESPO Box 486, Parramatta 2124Tel: (02) 8898 6990Email:

    TASMANIAPO Box 2146, Launceston 7250Tel: (03) 6331 6077Email:

    BRISBANEPO Box 2014 Fortitude Valley 4006Tel: (07) 3358 5169Email:

    SOUTH AUSTRALIAUnit 2/191 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide 5006Tel: (08) 8219 9028Email:




    European importstake sharp dive inhousing downturn

    Fewer orders .. softwood imports fell by around 23% over the March quarter.

    Cont Page 9

    Finance approvals for housing increased by 4.6%

    over the March quarter, indicating potential for an

    improvement in the housing market later in the year

  • Advertising: Tel +61 7 3266 1429 Email: 3issuE 225 | 11.06.12 | PAgE

    Demand for timber bright spotin gloomy market for housing


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    Wilhelm Harnisch .. interest cut psychological circuit breaker in restoring home buyer confidence.

    THE flickering light at the end of the housing downturn tunnel could be the eventual greater use of timber as a building design alternative.Chief executive of the Timber Development Association Andrew Dunn said there had been many requests from people seriously considering timber as a low-cost alternative in the non-traditional housing sector.Inquiries are coming in from all over the place wanting information on pre-fabricated construction using engineered wood, Mr Dunn said. They obviously see this as the way to reduce costs as the traditional housing market stagnates.

    Meanwhile, Master Builders Australia says the decision by the Reserve Bank to lower official interest rates by 25 basis points should help consumer confidence but the banks must

    play their part.Chief executive Wilhelm Harnisch said the interest cut had the potential to act as an important psychological circuit breaker in restoring confidence and rekindling home buyer interest but the RBA should not hesitate to cut rates further if there was no rebound in confidence.The industry, in particular, is looking for the rate cut to put a floor under falling consumer confidence, Mr Harnisch said.Anecdotal reports from house builders indicate that there are a number of factors contributing to weak home buyer confidence, including the Euro crisis, minority government and uncertainty arising from the carbon tax.Lower interest rates are a vital precursor to a private sector economic recovery, particularly in the housing and commercial building sectors currently facing very difficult trading conditions.Mr Harnisch said banks must mirror the cut in official rates to help new home buyers as well as providing relief for existing homeowners and small businesses struggling with


    This time there is no justification for the banks to delay or withhold any part of the reduction in the official cash rate announced by the RBA.

    However, hopes of a housing sector turnaround have been upset by data that shows last months rate cut had not invigorated the market.

    Housing Industry Association senior economist Andrew Harvey warned that the number of housing starts could fall further if the Reserve Bank didnt cut rates a couple more times.

    The HIA says it is also imperative that the government announce measures to boost an underperforming new home building sector in New South Wales when the Treasurer brings down his second budget on June 12.The state continues to have the largest housing shortfall in Australia. The current annual build rate of around 30,000 homes is well short of underlying demand and places NSW behind smaller states in the delivery of housing supply.A housing recovery is a must for NSW and can be driven largely by appropriate state government initiatives, NSW chief executive director David