Forest http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com Wed, 21 Feb 2018 18:14:23 +0100 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management - Version 2.5.20 en-gb Using Big Data for sustainable agriculture, forestry and fishery http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/509-using-big-data-for-sustainable-agriculture-forestry-and-fishery http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/509-using-big-data-for-sustainable-agriculture-forestry-and-fishery

As part of an international consortium, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is developing new solutions for the responsible and sustainable use of the resources of agriculture, forestry and fishery. The main goal is to use Big Data particularly in the raw material production for the bioeconomy industry to produce food, energy and biomaterials. In forestry, MHG Systems leads pilots that develop services enabled by forest data.

Senop‘s hyperspectral camera attached to a drone, ready for vegetation and forest monitoring flight in DataBio – forestry pilot in Mikkelin. Image: MHG Systems.

2018 01 17 085833The Data-Driven Bioeconomy project (DataBio), co-funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, deals with massive flows of information collected through sensors placed in the soil and air as well as from aerial and satellite imagery. The aim is to improve the decision-making of farmers, foresters and fishermen.

The 26 agriculture, forestry and fishery pilots of the project are developing common software tools for analysing and refining information flows. The pilot results and new solutions are also expected to create new business opportunities and increase the use of Big Data technologies in the primary production for the bioeconomy industry.

Pilots to develop new solutions for sustainable development

In agriculture and forestry, remote monitoring can be used to improve productivity in a responsible and sustainable manner. In the pilots lead by Finnish partners, the focus is particularly on using remote sensing for improving forest management that already is on a high level in Finland through the Mesään.fi e-service of The Forest Centre and other forestry e-services. VTT is responsible for the technical coordination of the project.

“The Finnish pilots are developing new tools and operating models based on remote sensing and data sharing that will help forest owners and other parties to improve forest growth and economic yield in a sustainable manner. This is a step forward in countries where traditional methods for forest management are based on “static” management plans, created at the planting stage, and which lack tools for monitoring the implementation of such plans”, says Caj Södergård, Research Professor at VTT.

Satellite images are used to identify forest damages and prepare felling plans. Growing trees can be mapped even more precisely using airborne laser scanning. These methods can be used to automatically identify tree species, amounts and health, which means that forest owners can better plan their operations.

The forestry pilots focus on solutions related to forest data management, data sharing and data crowdsourcing as well as on the development of forest resource inventory and forest health monitoring services for forest owners, other operators and authorities,” says Seppo Huurinainen from MHG Systems, who coordinates the forestry pilots implemented in four different countries.

In precision agriculture, measurement data on fields is mainly collected from local weather stations and sensors placed in the soil to ensure the optimal growth and development of the crop. Even remote control of the sowing, fertilising and other operations of agricultural machinery is possible based on measurement data. In addition to sensor data, satellite images and other data sources are widely used, including surveying and map data.

The aim of DataBio’s fishery pilots is not to increase the level of fish catch, but to reduce fishing costs. They focus on the tropical tuna fisheries outside Spain and the small pelagic fisheries in the North Atlantic Ocean. The pilots are developing technologies to improve the energy efficiency and preventive maintenance of fishing vessels.

The DataBio consortium includes 48 partners from 17 countries. The total budget of the three-year project is EUR 16.2 million. In addition to Finland, the other countries taking part in the project are Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Norway, Poland, Italy, Greece, Israel, the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Estonia, France and Romania. Intrasoft is responsible for the administrative coordination of the project. The project will end in 2019.

DataBio’s website: https://www.databio.eu/

Further information:

VTT
Caj Södergård, Research Professor
Tel. +35850 553 9356
caj.sodergard@vtt.fi

MHG Systems Ltd
Seppo Huurinainen, CEO
Tel. +358 44 581 4950
seppo.huurinainen@mhgsystems.com

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ian@melinjonesmedia.com (Administrator) Forest Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:02:42 +0100
Södra introduces new measurement technology for timber stacks at Värö http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/508-soedra-introduces-new-measurement-technology-for-timber-stacks-at-vaeroe http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/508-soedra-introduces-new-measurement-technology-for-timber-stacks-at-vaeroe

The measuring station at Värö will be the first at Södra to introduce new technology for measuring timber stack volumes on trucks. The new method is based on automated volume measurement using laser technology, developed by Swedish company, Mabema AB.

Introduction of the new technology will also involve a transition from manual to digital timber stack measurement. This will speed up the process, while maintaining and gradually improving measurement precision, and bring logistical gains due to faster passage through the measuring station. The data produced by the new method will include gross volume under bark, the height, length and width of the stack, and average diameter of the logs.

2017 12 04 185600

“Södra has been working with Mabema AB for some years – throughout the entire development phase of the new technology – together with several other industry players. To have now reached the stage where this is being realised represents a technological shift for timber measurement in the forest industry,” said Roger Andersson, head of timber measurement at Södra Skog.

The new measurement technology at Värö is being introduced gradually and will soon be used for all softwood pulpwood, with other ranges to follow. While Södra owns the measuring station, VMF Syd – an independent timber measurement association that operates throughout most of Götaland – will be using the new method.

“The roll-out and introduction of Södra’s new laser measurement system has been a highly successful joint project,” said Anders Svensson, President of VMF Syd.

“The idea is that the Värö facility will be evaluated prior to future decisions about the technical options available for measurement at Södra’s other facilities,” said Roger Andersson.

This is the second facility of this type in Sweden, and the first for Södra and VMF Syd.

For more information, please contact:
Sofia Petersson, Acting Wood Supply Manager, Södra Skog,
Tel: +46 (0)76-829 23 11

Roger Andersson, Timber Specialist, Södra Skog,
Tel: +46 (0)76-834 48 92

Anders Svensson, President of VMF Syd,
Tel: +46 (0)70-334 74 96

Södra was founded in 1938 and is the largest forest-owner association in Sweden, with a membership of more than 50,000 forest owners. We engage in modern and responsible forestry, and operate state-of-the-art mills in which we process our raw material. Through value-generating relationships and a long-term approach, Södra is leading the way for the next generation of forestry.

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ian@melinjonesmedia.com (Administrator) Forest Mon, 04 Dec 2017 18:56:39 +0100
Stora Enso announces intent to acquire forest assets in conjunction with planned structural changes in Bergvik Skog AB http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/507-stora-enso-announces-intent-to-acquire-forest-assets-in-conjunction-with-planned-structural-changes-in-bergvik-skog-ab http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/507-stora-enso-announces-intent-to-acquire-forest-assets-in-conjunction-with-planned-structural-changes-in-bergvik-skog-ab

Shareholders representing 98% of the owners in Bergvik Skog AB, a Swedish forest holding company, have agreed to initiate discussions, based on a non-binding letter of intent, aiming at structural changes in Bergvik Skog Group. These shareholders are Stora Enso, Länsförsäkringar, FAM, BillerudKorsnäs, Kåpan Pension, Tredje AP-fonden, Persson Invest, Karl Hedin AB and Tham Invest.

stora logo“The wood supply agreement with Bergvik Skog, established 15 years ago, expires next year. Together with our partners, we have had a successful journey which now comes to an end. The planned transaction is a natural next step for us, as we strongly believe in the bioeconomy and want to secure our competitive raw material supply in the long term. We will seek support from the remaining 2% outstanding shareholders as well as all other relevant stakeholders”, says Karl-Henrik Sundström, CEO of Stora Enso.

Bergvik Skog’s Swedish forest assets are owned by its subsidiaries Bergvik Väst AB and Bergvik Öst AB, representing approximately 83% and 17% respectively. As a result of the planned restructuring, Stora Enso would transform its current ownership of 49.3% in Bergvik Skog, to a direct holding of approximately 70% of the value of the forest assets in Bergvik Väst. Further, approximately 15% of Bergvik Väst would be directly owned by FAM, and approximately 15% directly owned by a consortium of smaller shareholders. BillerudKorsnäs would acquire Bergvik Öst. The remaining assets of Bergvik Skog would be liquidated or contributed to the forest holding entities.

The restructuring of Bergvik Skog would involve dividing the company’s assets between the owners. The financial impacts for Stora Enso are estimated to be the following:

Bergvik Skog is currently reported as an equity accounted investment. As a result of the restructuring, Bergvik Väst would be consolidated as a subsidiary. The transaction would result in a cash out effect of EUR 250–300 million. Stora Enso’s current debt would increase by approximately EUR 800 million. The net debt to EBITDA ratio would increase by approximately 0.6. The ratio was 1.8 in the end of Q3/2017. Capital employed would increase by approximately EUR 1 billion, resulting in a decrease in ROCE of approximately 1%-point. Bergvik Väst owns approximately 1.9 million hectares of forest land of which approximately 1.6 million hectares are productive forests. The balance sheet value of the fixed assets of Bergvik Väst amounts to approximately EUR 4 billion.

The final agreements are currently under negotiations between the parties with the aim of initiating the transactions during the first half of 2018. During the transaction and transition period, there will be business as usual for Bergvik Skog. The final agreements are subject to relevant approvals.

About Bergvik Skog AB
Bergvik Skog AB owns approximately 2.3 million hectares of land in Sweden and about 0.1 million hectares in
Latvia, and is one of Europe’s largest private-sector forest owners. In addition to certified wood fibre sales, the company leases out land for hunting and fishing. Bergvik Skog produces annually about 60 million seedlings in its three nurseries. Bergvik Skog is contributing to increasing the use of renewable energy through production of biofuels from forests, and development of wind power. Bergvik Skog AB was founded in 2004 to acquire Stora Enso’s and Korsnäs’ forestland in Sweden.

Stora Enso is a leading provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper on global markets. Our aim is to replace fossil-based materials by innovating and developing new products and services based on wood and other renewable materials. We employ some 25 000 people in more than 35 countries, and our sales in 2016 were EUR 9.8 billion. Stora Enso shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki (STEAV, STERV) and Nasdaq Stockholm (STE A, STE R). In addition, the shares are traded in the USA as ADRs (SEOAY). storaenso.com

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ian@melinjonesmedia.com (Administrator) Forest Thu, 30 Nov 2017 09:40:54 +0100
BillerudKorsnäs intends to acquire forest assets http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/506-billerudkorsnaes-intends-to-acquire-forest-assets http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/506-billerudkorsnaes-intends-to-acquire-forest-assets

BillerudKorsnäs has signed a letter of intent to acquire Bergvik Skog Öst AB, owned by Bergvik Skog AB. Bergvik Skog Öst AB comprises approximately 350,000 hectares of forest land in Sweden. The transaction will secure parts of BillerudKorsnäs’ wood supply, and improve the possibilities to manage the mix of internal and external wood flows in order to increase efficiency.

2015 05 22 113539Bergvik Skog AB was formed in 2004 through an acquisition of the Swedish forest holdings of Korsnäs and Stora Enso. The biological assets of Korsnäs represented in 2004 approximately 17% (Bergvik Skog Öst AB) and the Stora Enso assets approximately 83% (Bergvik Skog Väst AB). As part of the transaction in 2004, long term wood supply agreements were agreed between Bergvik Skog AB and Korsnäs and Stora Enso.

The letter of intent, which concerns a division of Bergvik Skog AB’s forest assets among current owners, has been signed with other owners that together with BillerudKorsnäs represent about 98% of the ownership in Bergvik Skog AB. After the signing of the letter of intent, which is non-binding, the parties will now verify the current assets included in Bergvik Skog Öst and Väst, respectively, and define the final terms of BillerudKorsnäs’ acquisition of Bergvik Skog Öst AB. As a part of the LOI, the purchase price principle has been defined as IFRS book value plus 3% for the assets included in the transaction. Simultaneous to acquiring Bergvik Skog Öst AB, BillerudKorsnäs intends to divest its indirect 5% ownership in the forest assets in Bergvik Skog Väst AB. The ambition is to close these transactions during 2018.

“Through the transaction, BillerudKorsnäs will secure long term access to a competitive and stable wood supply. With a mix of internal and external supply flows after the transaction, the company is perfectly positioned to continue developing a responsible Swedish forestry, which is a basis for the sustainability performance of BillerudKorsnäs products. The exact distribution of assets will now be defined, and we will disclose the financial impact of the transaction for BillerudKorsnäs as soon as the final agreement is signed. In addition we are also in the process of evaluating long term financing of the transaction”, says Per Lindberg, President and CEO, BillerudKorsnäs.

About Bergvik Skog AB
Bergvik Skog AB is one of the largest forest owners in Europe. In Sweden, the company owns 2,3 million hectares of land, primarily in mid-Sweden, and in Latvia, the company is the largest private forest owner with 100 000 hectares. The annual harvest volume is about 6 million m³sub. BillerudKorsnäs currently owns 5% of the shares in Bergvik Skog AB. The IFRS value for Bergvik Skog was approximately SEK 49 bn in 2016.

BillerudKorsnäs provides packaging materials and solutions that challenge conventional packaging for a sustainable future. We are a world-leading provider of primary fibre based packaging materials and have customers in over 100 countries. The company has 8 production sites in Sweden, Finland and the UK and about 4 300 employees in over 13 countries. BillerudKorsnäs has an annual turnover of about SEK 22 billion and is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. www.billerudkorsnas.com

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ian@melinjonesmedia.com (Administrator) Forest Thu, 30 Nov 2017 09:36:33 +0100
Södra invests in more forestry drones http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/505-soedra-invests-in-more-forestry-drones http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/505-soedra-invests-in-more-forestry-drones

Södra is now investing in more forestry drones. This digital technology speeds up the work of field staff at the same time as it makes it more comprehensive and safer.

“We have identified numerous applications where drones can enhance the efficiency of forestry work, not least when making inventories of storm-damaged forests. By purchasing equipment and investing in raising skills, we are taking another step towards the development of tomorrow’s digital forestry operations,” said Johan Malmqvist, Project Manager at Södra.

Since the end of 2015, Södra has trialled the use of drones for applications including inventories of forest damage. Test outcomes have been favourable and major potential has been identified for the digital technology moving forward. This summer, the Swedish Camera Monitoring Act was amended, which has simplified the use of drones in forestry.

2017 11 24 085243

Södra is now taking further steps with digital development in the form of a considerable investment in drone technology and personnel skills development.

“We have purchased drone equipment for all our forestry operations areas and, in the autumn, we trained 51 of our forestry professionals as drone pilots. This means we are now well equipped to further develop use of the technology,” said Johan Malmqvist.

Drones are digital aids that enhance the efficiency of manual tasks for Södra’s field staff.

“The technology is extremely cost-efficient. It is possible to obtain a good overview of the forest in very little time. The major advantage is from not having to waste unnecessary amounts of time on checks. Drones enable you to quickly see if and where a manual inspection or action is required. This enables more efficient work methods that, by extension, benefit our forest owner members. Moreover, drones make work safer for forest inspectors, not least when making inventories of windfalls following a storm,” said Johan Malmqvist.

But drone technology is not only of great benefit when making inventories of forest damage.

“For example, another potentially useful application is planting and cleaning. Gathering decision data for deciding actions and planning is another. An eye in the sky provides a much-improved view of conditions than looking through dense forest at ground level,” said Johan Malmqvist.

For more information, please contact:
Johan Malmqvist, Project Manager at Södra Skog
Tel: +46 (0)470 893 69
E-mail: johan.malmqvist@sodra.com

Södra was founded in 1938 and is the largest forest-owner association in Sweden, with a membership of more than 50,000 forest owners. We engage in modern and responsible forestry, and operate state-of-the-art mills in which we process our raw material. Through value-generating relationships and a long-term approach, Södra is leading the way for the next generation of forestry.

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ian@melinjonesmedia.com (Administrator) Forest Fri, 24 Nov 2017 08:58:50 +0100
Essity recognized by CDP as world leader for its action on water and forests http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/503-essity-recognized-by-cdp-as-world-leader-for-its-action-on-water-and-forests http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/503-essity-recognized-by-cdp-as-world-leader-for-its-action-on-water-and-forests

Essity, a leading hygiene and health company, has been recognized as a global leader for its action on water and forests and received the highest score from CDP, an international not-for-profit charity that promotes a more sustainable economy. From thousands of participating companies, Essity is one of only four to qualify for CDP’s A List for both Water and Forests. 

2017 11 02 110347CDP conducts independent surveys of thousands of companies, and the risks and opportunities associated with their climate, water and forest management practices. CDP’s A-Lists are compiled on behalf of 827 signatory investors, representing assets of USD 100 trillion. Essity has received the highest score in CDP’s water program for its transparency about efforts to promote sustainable water usage, and the highest score in CDP’s forests program for its management of efforts to address deforestation in the supply chain. 

“We are continuously trying to improve and develop our work with responsible fiber sourcing and management of water risks. It is very gratifying that this work has been recognized. As one of only four companies in the world to receive the highest score for our efforts in both of these areas, our work is not only benefitting our own business, it is also contributing to a more sustainable world,” says Kersti Strandqvist, Senior Vice President Sustainability, Essity. 

“We would like to congratulate those companies that have joined the A Lists this year. It is inspiring to see the number of companies that have raised their ambitions and taken major steps to manage their environmental risks and link this work to a more sustainable economy. The leadership of these companies is paving the way for others to take action and benefit from the opportunities this brings,” says Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP. 

Essity also received a very high score (A-) for its management of climate-change risk. The scores and ratings of all participating companies are available on CDP’s website www.cdp.net/en/scores-2017

Essity is a leading global hygiene and health company that develops, produces and sells Personal Care (Baby Care, Feminine Care, Incontinence Products and Medical Solutions), Consumer Tissue and Professional Hygiene products and solutions. Our vision is; Dedicated to improving well-being through leading hygiene and health solutions. Sales are conducted in approximately 150 countries under many strong brands, including the leading global brands TENA and Tork, and other brands, such as Leukoplast, Libero, Libresse, Lotus, Nosotras, Saba, Tempo, Vinda and Zewa. Essity has about 48,000 employees and net sales in 2016 amounted to approximately SEK 101bn (EUR 10.7bn). The business operations are based on a sustainable business model with focus on value creation for people and nature. The company has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, and is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. Essity used to be part of the SCA Group. More information at www.essity.com

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ian@melinjonesmedia.com (Administrator) Forest Thu, 02 Nov 2017 11:03:09 +0100
Globalstar’s SPOT Gen3 to Protect Forest Workers Across France http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/502-globalstar-s-spot-gen3-to-protect-forest-workers-across-france http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/502-globalstar-s-spot-gen3-to-protect-forest-workers-across-france

Globalstar Europe Satellite Services Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Globalstar Inc. and the leader in satellite messaging and emergency notification technologies, has just announced that France’s Société Forestière has chosen SPOT Gen3 to protect forest management workers. In an emergency, workers can press a single SOS button to request help and share their precise GPS location.

By the end of 2017, 100 SPOT Gen3 devices will be deployed nationally, supporting forest based operations in six regions: Auxerre, Bordeaux, Bourges, Dijon, Le Mans and Reims. Additional SPOT Gen3’s may subsequently be rolled out.

Highlights:

  • France’s Société Forestière has selected SPOT Gen3® to safeguard lone and remote forest management workers
  • Satellite-enabled SPOT Gen3 emerged the clear choice after tests of GSM based systems failed due to inadequate reach and poor battery life
  • Pocket-sized, rugged and affordable SPOT messengers have been used in over 5,400 rescues worldwide to date

2017 11 02 104501Société Forestière conducted trials of GSM-based alternatives, including iPhone apps, but these were deemed insufficient due to inadequate reach in the remote areas where forest-based operations take place, and also due to poor battery life. Other solutions proposed by France’s mobile network companies failed to function in locations where signal was weak.

French legislation obliges commercial and non-commercial organisations to provide the best possible security to safeguard lone and remote workers.

Société Forestière was able to see the hugely positive results from the UK Forestry Commission’s deployment of more than 700 SPOT Gen3 devices to improve the safety of staff working in areas with unreliable mobile phone and radio communications.

In an emergency situation, Société Forestière workers can press SPOT’s SOS button to alert emergency services via the GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Centre (IERCC). SPOT Gen3’s tracking feature allows first responders and colleagues to locate forestry staff even if they are unable to press the emergency button following an incident. SPOT Gen3 can be pre-configured to send location data to a central operations co-ordinator every 2.5, 5, 10, 30 or 60 minutes.

“We knew we needed a solution that was independent of GSM mobile networks and other terrestrial alternatives,” said Alain Guillon, Information Systems and IT Security Officer at Société Forestière. “After testing SPOT, we were confident to recommend the SPOT system to the Health and Safety Committee as the best way to protect workers, and to uphold our staff welfare obligations.”

Gary King, Globalstar EMEA Sales Manager for SPOT, commented: “Société Forestière oversees a wide range of forest-based activity, with its prime goals to ensure better forest management and to protect the forest-based investments of its clients. SPOT is now playing a vital role in safeguarding lone workers as they carry out their important duties to manage and preserve France’s forests and forest-based businesses.”

Since its initial launch in 2007, Globalstar’s family of SPOT GPS satellite messengers have initiated more than 5,400 rescues worldwide. SPOT Gen3 was launched in EMEA in November 2013. An accompanying SPOT App allows users to view their SPOT messages, show their track points and monitor their assets via their iOS and Android smartphone or tablet.

About Société Forestière

Société Forestière was established in 1966 as a privately owned services company dedicated to helping France’s public sector investment entity, Caisse des Dépôts, to develop and manage the nation’s forests. Société Forestière manages 290,000 hectares of forest assets for the majority of French institutional investors, banks, insurance companies, and a large number of forest investment groups and individual investors. Société Forestière brings together the skills and expertise of more than 170 specialists working closely with its customers and their forests, through a network of six regional agencies. Société Forestière has implemented a sustainable forest management approach for its customers and adapts its forestry operations to address the issues of climate change.

French website https://www.forestiere-cdc.fr/

Abstract in English: https://www.forestiere-cdc.fr/who-are-we.html

About SPOT LLC

SPOT LLC, a subsidiary of Globalstar, Inc., provides affordable satellite communication and tracking devices for recreational use. SPOT Global Phone uses the Globalstar network to transmit two-way voice and data communications. SPOT messaging devices use both the GPS satellite network and the Globalstar network to transmit text messages and GPS coordinates. Since 2007, SPOT has provided peace of mind by allowing customers to remain in contact completely independent of cellular coverage, having initiated over 5,000 rescues worldwide. For more information, visit FindMeSPOT.com.

Note that all SPOT products described in this press release are the products of SPOT LLC, which is not affiliated in any manner with Spot Image of Toulouse, France or Spot Image Corporation of Chantilly, Virginia. SPOT Connect is a trademark of Spot LLC. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. For more information, visit FindMeSPOT.com

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ian@melinjonesmedia.com (Administrator) Forest Thu, 02 Nov 2017 10:54:07 +0100
Production cost margins for sawmills in Brazil, Russia, and Finland have fallen during the first half of 2017 http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/501-production-cost-margins-for-sawmills-in-brazil-russia-and-finland-have-fallen-during-the-first-half-of-2017 http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/501-production-cost-margins-for-sawmills-in-brazil-russia-and-finland-have-fallen-during-the-first-half-of-2017

Production cost margins for sawmills in Brazil, Russia, and Finland have fallen during the first half of 2017, while they increased to their second highest level in 13 years in the US South in the 2Q/17, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly

The sawmill margins to cover non-wood costs and profits have been squeezed in many countries in the first half of 2017 because of relatively higher raw-material costs and lower lumber prices, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly. Since the wood costs account for about two-thirds of the production costs when manufacturing softwood lumber, it is essential for sawmills to control the wood cost/lumber price ratio.

logs imtWood costs are by far the largest and most important cost component when manufacturing softwood lumber. The Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ) has tracked quarterly sawlog prices worldwide since 1995 and is now also reporting the quarterly sawmill cost margins for key lumber-regions around the world. The costs for sawlogs when manufacturing lumber accounts for 65-70% of the production costs and is the factor that often determines a lumber company’s competitiveness.

The sawmill cost margin, defined as the difference between the cost of wood raw- material and the revenue from lumber and sawmill residues, is a reliable indicator of the changing trend of the profitability of a region’s sawmill sector.

In the latest issue of the WRQ, production cost margins for sawmills in the US South, Finland, Brazil and Eastern Russia are reported for the period 1Q/05 to 2Q/17. Additional regions of North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific will be added in the upcoming issues in 2017 and 2018.

The average production cost margin for sawmills in the US South increased during much of 2016 and 2017 and reached its second highest level in 13 years in the 2Q/17. The higher margins have been the result of slightly declining sawlog costs and increasing lumber prices thanks to higher wood demand in the domestic housing sector.

In Finland, lumber prices and income from residues have fallen faster than the log costs during 2014 to 2017, which has resulted in a decline in the cost margin by 25% in US dollar terms. In the local currency, the decline has been a more modest 8% over the past three years.

Wood raw-material costs for sawmills in Eastern Russia have gone up faster than lumber prices the past 18 months, which has resulted in declining cost margins in the region. However, the current margins are still higher than the average for the past 13 years, according to the latest issue of the WRQ.

The income from lumber and sawmill residues have declined more than costs for sawlogs for sawmills in Brazil the past three years. Consequently, the cost margin in the 2Q/17 was 26% lower than in the 2Q/14 (in US dollar terms). In the local currency, the cost margin has fallen dramatically the past two years after reaching a record high in late 2015.

Global lumber, sawlog, and pulpwood market reporting are included in the 56-page quarterly publication Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). The report, which was established in 1988 and has subscribers in over 30 countries, tracks sawlog, pulpwood, wood chip, lumber and pellet prices, trade and market developments in most key regions around the world. To subscribe to the WRQ, please go to www.woodprices.com

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ian@melinjonesmedia.com (Administrator) Forest Thu, 21 Sep 2017 09:11:14 +0200
Unleashing the full power of research and innovation of the EU forest-based sector http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/499-unleashing-the-full-power-of-research-and-innovation-of-the-eu-forest-based-sector http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/499-unleashing-the-full-power-of-research-and-innovation-of-the-eu-forest-based-sector

The Forest-based Sector Technology Platform (FTP) seeks to align public funding for research and innovation with proper technological developments to reduce GHG emissions and improve forest management and land use

2017 08 14 114010With its unique innovation portfolio and many technological solutions, the forest-based sector can foster the transition to a reliable, sustainable and competitive energy system and contribute to reducing the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG), while improving sustainable land use and forest management. This message was delivered to journalists by Johan Elvnert, Managing Director of the Forest-based Sector Technology Platform (FTP), at a meeting today at the European Forestry House (EFH), in Brussels. Discussions focused on the implications of the Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) regulation, following the vote of the European Parliament Committee on Environment that took place on 11 July 2017.

“It is FTP’s role to inform the European Commission where the technological bottlenecks are and what solutions the forest-based sector can offer to address pressing societal concerns”, explained Elvnert in relation to FTP’s advisory role in shaping EU funding for research and innovation. The sector can sustain the transition to a low-carbon green economy by supplying additional forest biomass to the market. To achieve this, the forest-based sector will need to sustainably increase harvesting possibilities in Europe by 30% up to 2030. “FTP contributes to this endeavour by ensuring that EU funding for innovation meets such targets”, he added. 

Since its launch in 2014, the EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme Horizon 2020 has funded more than 30 research and innovation projects in the sector, which cover aspects of enhanced biomass production, efficient use of wood, and responsible management of forest resources. For Elvnert, this fact demonstrates that public authorities are confident that the sector can deliver innovative solutions.

“The mitigation potential of the sector goes beyond the carbon sinks in our forests. Carbon is stored in all harvested wood products and in many innovative biobased materials that have the potential to substitute fossil-based materials, fuels and products. Building new, wood-based buildings and cities is the smartest way to use materials with low embodied energy, and thus, fulfil the Paris Agreement”, he concluded.

During the event, the Secretary-General of the Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF), Emma Berglund, and the Executive Director of the European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR), Piotr Borkowski, also shared their reactions to the vote of the Environment Committee. // FTP

About FTP – FTP is the European technology platform for the forest-based sector. It is the meeting place for industry and forest owners to discuss and decide on common research and innovation needs for the whole sector and is also a primary contact point for the European Commission with regards forest-based research and innovation. Since its establishment in 2005, FTP has helped to attract more than EUR 1 billion of public funding in cooperative research and innovation projects, improving the competitiveness and sustainability of the European forest-based sector and also addressing the sector’s long-term goals. The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF), European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR) and European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois) are FTP shareholders.

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ian@melinjonesmedia.com (Administrator) Forest Mon, 14 Aug 2017 11:40:44 +0200
Swedish wood increasingly global http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/498-swedish-wood-increasingly-global http://www.forestbioenergyreview.com/for-bio/forest/item/498-swedish-wood-increasingly-global

Global demand for Swedish wood is constantly rising. In the first half of 2017, Södra delivered sawn timber to 38 counties, representing more than a 100-percent increase in geographic markets since 2005.

More and more global markets are acknowledging Swedish wood as a building material for both interior purposes and residential construction. Södra delivered to 17 countries in 2005 and the figure has increased to 38 countries to date this year, ranging from the US in the west to Japan in the east.

2017 08 01 135958

"This is a very positive trend that we can also see on a global scale. Timber construction is by far the most environmentally friendly alternative and a condition for the global change to a more sustainable society," said Andreas Jonasson, Marketing Manager at Södra Wood. 

Higher demand in Asia

Sweden is experiencing a strong trend in construction timber and Södra has increased its sales for three consecutive years. Demand from Asia, where most new markets are located, is also rising in parallel with this trend. Södra’s core markets for sawn timber are the UK, the Netherlands and Sweden, but it is China – where Södra has been making deliveries since 2010 – that is the fastest growing market. Sales have risen every year and in 2016 were up 32 percent year-on-year.

"Swedish wood is becoming increasingly sought-after in Asia. Drivers include high delivery reliability and high product quality, as well as Swedish raw materials coming from certified and sustainable forests with extensive consideration of nature conservation," said Andreas Jonasson.

Södra was founded in 1938 and is the largest forest-owner association in Sweden, with a membership of more than 50,000 forest owners. We engage in modern and responsible forestry, and operate state-of-the-art mills in which we process our raw material. Through value-generating relationships and a long-term approach, Södra is leading the way for the next generation of forestry. 

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ian@melinjonesmedia.com (Administrator) Forest Tue, 01 Aug 2017 13:59:22 +0200