Friday Offcuts – 23 September 2016

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The FIEA technology series, Wood Flow Optimisation 2016, finished this week in Australia. Around 250 forest managers, harvest and wood transport planners from both countries have attended the series over the last couple of weeks. Results from recent trials and an array of new information was unveiled in Melbourne this week for those involved with wood transport.

Tools for monitoring fatigue for heavy vehicle drivers and logistics managers, details from extensive operational trials and testing of load restraints for log trailers and opportunities for Electronic Stability Control for vehicle safety aimed at reducing rollover and moves to Automated Emergency Braking Systems were all outlined by industry leaders. In this issue we cover further details on the ESC and AEBS control systems outlined by the Australian Trucking Association at this week’s Wood Flow event. Information on accessing presentations and resources from this latest FIEA tech series will be sent out shortly to all delegates.

In this week’s issue we cover a number of positive news items for the industry. The first is “feel-good” story from a farm-based engineering business, the Australian sawmilling icon, Lucas Mills. It’s a small well-known Australian company. It’s been manufacturing and selling portable sawmills for around 22 years from its operation near Beechworth in Victoria. As well as sales to local farmers, around three quarters of the mills are exported to remote locations all around the world.

The small Australian team has recently been battling the big boys. It brings back memories of the cult 1997 Australian movie, The Castle. You know the one. A working-class family from Melbourne takes on city hall after being told they had to vacate their beloved family home to allow for infrastructural expansion of the airport over the fence. Lucas Mills have been fighting against counterfeit portable mills that have been produced in China.

As we know, it’s not uncommon for local companies to have their hard won patent rights infringed by Chinese companies. Once identified though, it’s a pretty tough task to bring a legal case to a Chinese court of law. It’s even harder for a foreign company to actually win a case. The small Australian company though has got there. They’ve scored a rare legal victory in China against a Chinese company for patent infringement. You can check out the story below or click here to watch a more in-depth report on the case.

A few of the other good news stories this week include an announcement in WA that the Government through the Forest Products Commission is getting behind the industry. AU$21 million is being invested in plantation establishment over the next five years which will add an extra 10,000 ha to the existing plantation estate. The NZ Super Fund’s 42 per cent stake in the forestry business Kaingaroa Timberlands has added significantly (a jump in value of NZ$82 million to the end of August) to its overall result and New Zealand’s Crown Research Institute, Scion has also just secured NZ$10.75 million over the next five years for three new projects. On that encouraging note, enjoy this week’s read.

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Australian sawmill family's win to stop Chinese copies

In March 2014, a family-run engineering business in north-eastern Victoria awoke to a nightmare. The company's highly successful portable sawmill — exported to more than 100 countries worldwide — was featured on a Chinese website. But it was not their website and it was not their machine, but a near exact imitation.

"We've always been concerned that there'd be a copier in somewhere like China," Lucas Mills co-owner Warren Lucas explained. "Matt, who is my right-hand man, spends a lot of time on the internet just keeping an eye on what our competitors are up to. And he found a company that was even advertising it basically as a Lucas Mill."

The company sought urgent advice from a Melbourne patent attorney firm. "There has been a long-standing problem of Chinese companies infringing patent rights of foreigners," Tracey Hendy of FPA Patent Attorneys said.

But getting evidence that would be strong enough to challenge the counterfeiters in a Chinese court of law was a daunting and difficult task. So the Australian legal team joined forces with Chinese patent lawyers and, crucially, a private investigator.

His role was pivotal. He learnt that a counterfeit machine had left the factory in China and was in a large dockside warehouse ready for export. In a nail-biting sting, the Chinese customs authorities swooped. When the shipping container was opened it revealed a portable sawmill that was almost an exact copy of the Lucas machine. Right down to the green and yellow livery.

"The machine itself, even the gear box was a direct copy," Jenny Lucas, who runs the business with husband Warren, recalled. Husband Warren continued the story. More >>

Source: ABC News

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Forestry star performer in NZ Super Fund report

A fall in global equities has seen the annual return of the NZ Super Fund fall to its lowest level since 2012. The sovereign wealth fund, established to help cover New Zealand's retirement costs, said on Wednesday that a drop in the June month meant its value stood at NZ$30.1 billion at June 30, an increase of 1.89 per cent over 12 months.

In 2012 the fund returned 1.21 per cent. In the year to June 30, 2015, the fund returns more than 14.6 per cent, making it one of the world's best performing sovereign wealth funds. Since the end of the financial year the fund has surged in value, climbing to NZ$31.4b by the end of August. Its single largest investment, forestry performed well. The 42 per cent stake in New Zealand forestry business Kaingaroa Timberlands, increased in value by NZ$82 million to NZ$1.49b over this period.


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AU$21 million to expand WA pine plantations

Australian Forest Products Association chief executive Ross Hampton said the industry was delighted with plans to arrest an alarming slide in the size of softwood plantations in WA. The Government is going to invest AU$21 million in expanding pine plantations in hubs around Dardanup and Neerabup in WA.

Dardanup is home to softwood sawmill Wespine, which produces timber for use in housing construction. The Neerabup hub takes in Wesbeam’s AU$110 million plant producing laminated veneer lumber.

Forestry Minister Mia Davies said the plantation increase underpinned the Government’s new softwood industry strategy. “Up to 10,000ha of softwood will be planted by the Forest Products Commission to expand our softwood estate over the next five years.

Mr Hampton said blue gum and pine plantations in WA had declined from about 425,000ha in 2010 to about 380,000ha. “We have had virtually no trees planted, not just in WA but nationally” he said. “WA is really leading the country in turning back to forestry”.

The dividends the FPC (a commercial entity ultimately controlled by the Minister) pays the Government will be adjusted to fund the AU$21 million investment. The industry employs more than 5000 people in WA.

Source: The West Australian

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Stability control the key to improving truck safety

“Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is a superior vehicle safety system that detects the stability and sideways acceleration of a heavy vehicle, and automatically activates to slow the vehicle down if it senses risk of a rollover. The Australian Government must mandate the use of ESC in new models of trucks and trailers as it is the key to reducing crashes and improving safety in the trucking industry.”

This was the key message delivered by the Australian Trucking Association’s Senior Adviser of Engineering, Chris Loose (photo), at the FIEA Wood Flow Optimisation 2016 Conference on Timber Logistics/Harvesting held in Melbourne, Australia, earlier this week.

The Monash University Accident Research Centre has released data showing that mandated use of ESC in heavy vehicles could reduce fatal heavy vehicle crashes by four per cent, and serious injury crashes involving heavy vehicles by seven per cent.

“ESC is the foundation technology required before we can progress to Automated Emergency Braking Systems (AEBS) – so this is a fundamental step Australia must take. AEBS uses additional sensors to monitor the proximity of other vehicles, and automatically apply emergency braking if a collision is imminent,” Mr Loose said.

The Monash University Accident Research Centre estimates AEBS could prevent up to 25 per cent of fatal heavy vehicle crashes, and up to 17 per cent of serious injury crashes. The net result in real terms is that AEBS would save the lives of 67 Australian road users annually if fitted across the whole fleet.

ESC systems include both roll control and yaw control systems, and can correct potential oversteer, understeer and roll-over situations. Roll control systems sense the lateral (sideways) acceleration of a vehicle, and reduce the risk of rollover through reducing engine torque and briefly applying selected brakes. Yaw control allows the driver to point the vehicle in the desired direction, with the brakes operating to assist the driver.

“ESC is an extremely capable stability control system, but can only be fitted to powered units such as prime movers. Instead of relying on driver response, technology enables the system to be predictive instead of reactive; activating preventive action to an impending incident. Often, the driver may not be aware that the system has activated,” Mr Loose explained.

Roll Stability Control (RSC) can be fitted to trailers and also provides significant safety benefits. RSC provides roll control in a similar manner to ESC, but does not include yaw control. While stability control systems will not prevent all rollover crashes, both ESC and RSC allow a driver to maintain control of their vehicle with the aim of avoiding or reducing the impact and likelihood of a rollover.

In 2014, VicForests required operators of B-doubles in specific logging coops to have their trailers fitted with rollover stability systems within 12 months and update their vehicles to include electronic braking systems within five years.

In the years 2006 to 2009 (averaged), there were 40 rollovers reported per year. Following stability system technology fitted to B-doubles, the rollover incidences were reported as nil. The success of the safety system has turned former opponents into advocates and driven widespread adoption of the technology across the industry

“Research-backed data and proof-of-evidence case studies have demonstrated ESC will save lives, and is a real, practical measure to enhance safety of the trucking industry and all Australians. While the industry’s safety record has increased substantially, even one accident is too many and mandating ESC is a vital factor if we are to save even more lives in the future,” concluded Mr Loose.

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Mules and Horses help replant Victorian forests

A team of pack mules and horses have become the first in history to take part in a VicForests replanting operation in the Acheron state forest. In a pioneering move by VicForests contractors ‘Timberwolf’, this equine team was engaged to help carry the thousands of seedlings required to regrow an area of forest that had been recently harvested for timber.

“We generally regrow more than 1000 hectares every year in the North East of Victoria” says Nathan Trushell, VicForests’ General Manager, Planning, VicForests. “Some of these areas can be very challenging to access, particularly following a wetter than normal winter”.

Accompanied by their owners, JoAnne and John Kasch, the mules and horses were able to help VicForests and Timberwolf access a hard-to-reach area that had been made almost inaccessible by heavy rainfall and steep terrain.

“The replanting of this area was proving to be quite a challenge, so when Timberwolf suggested the use of pack mules to access the area we were all quite happy to give it a go,” Mr Trushell said.

JoAnne Kasch, co-owner of Kasch and Co Pack Saddling said that she and her husband John were delighted to be a part of this innovative and creative seedling operation. “Pack mules have been used by people for thousands of years. With the emergence of technology and equipment they have not been relied upon as heavily as they once had been,” Mrs Kasch said.

“What people forget is that sometimes heavy machinery and equipment cannot access certain areas as it is large and bulky. This is where pack mules and horses really come into their own.

“They are not only trained and skilled in carrying heavy loads and navigating difficult terrain, but they are also a much more environmentally friendly option,” she said.

The generous services provided by the Kasch’s were in return for a nominal donation towards their ongoing project with the Bicentennial National Trail in which they are raising money to install various facilities for fellow trekking enthusiasts.

Source: VicForests

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Fact sheet for New Zealand’s ETS

A factsheet has just been produced to provide an overview of the operation of the NZ ETS in a simple and informative manner. For those struggling to understand the “ïns and outs” of the country’s Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS), click here.

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NZ export log prices edge up from 8-month low

New Zealand export log prices edged up from an eight-month low in September as demand, shipping rates and the currency remained relatively stable.

The average wharf gate price for New Zealand A-grade logs edged up to $111 a tonne in September, from an eight-month low of $110 a tonne in August, according to AgriHQ's monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and saw millers. The price is 35 percent ahead of the same period last year.

"Export log returns look to have stabilised following the weakness observed last month, with wharf gate returns faring better than some had previously anticipated through August and early September," AgriHQ analysts Reece Brick and Shaye Lee said in their report. "Few of the key factors which influence returns at the wharf gate moved by any significant degree, leading to this steadying of the market."

Over the past month, in-market pricing through China has exceeded the expectations of some, helped by lower inventory levels than last year, AgriHQ said. While the exchange rate has varied over the past four weeks, it has averaged at a level roughly in line with the previous month, ensuring NZ dollar returns haven't been negatively affected, AgriHQ said.

Shipping rates, while fractionally up on last month, are still well below the levels reached in previous years, the report said. Shipping costs to China, the country's largest log export market, edged up to US$18.1/JAS (Japanese Agriculture and Forestry Standards), from US$17.4/JAS last month, and compared with US$22 a year ago. The cost to South Korea was little changed at US$17.8/JAS from US$17.6/JAS last month, and US$21.2/JAS a year ago, while the cost to India was steady at US$24.4/JAS from US$24.9/JAS last month and US$29.6 a year ago.

All grades of unpruned logs made marginally more at the wharf gate, with pruned logs the only export grade to record a decline in prices, due to pressure on pruned log prices in China, the report said.

"The general perception across the market is for a similar to slightly firmer end to the year, which will flow through into the start of 2017," the analysts said in their report.

Source: Scoop

Planning for overlapping duties under H&S Act

There’s usually more than one business involved in a forestry operation and a lot of the time those businesses have the ability to influence and control risk in the same areas as each other. When this happens, the responsibility to control those risks overlaps. Under New Zealand’s Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA), this means each business must share the responsibility for those risks, in as much as each has the ability to influence and control whatever is creating the risk.

HSWA says those businesses must cooperate, coordinate and consult with each other. This needs to start right at the beginning of an operation, in the planning phase. To help, Safetree has created a booklet covering how to understand HSWA in the context of planning, and how to plan a forestry operation when there are overlapping responsibilities.

You can download the booklet here.

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Softwood lumber prices trending upwards

Demand for softwood lumber has gone up in many markets around the world in 2016, resulting in a substantial increase in global lumber trade. With very few exceptions, the major importing countries have imported more lumber during the first six months this year than they did during the same period in 2015, according to estimates by the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). Higher demand and a weaker US dollar resulted in generally higher lumber prices (in US dollar terms) worldwide in the first half of 2016 than in the 1H/15.

Lumber markets – North America

Demand for softwood lumber in the US has expanded continually so far in 2016. During the first five months of 2016, lumber consumption was 14.2% higher than during the same period in 2015, according to WWPA. The increased demand was predominantly met with higher production by sawmills in the US South, a substantial rise in import volumes from Canada (up 40%) and incrementally more shipments from Europe. Lumber prices in the US have trended upward for most of 2016 with prices in August this year reaching their highest levels since early 2015.

Lumber markets – China

Lumber import prices to China from the two major supplying countries, Russia and Canada, have converged during 2016. Last year in July, Canadian lumber was sold at a premium of almost $40/m3 over Russian lumber. Despite lower prices for Canadian lumber, the country has not gained any market share this year - rather the opposite. In 2016, Canadian supply has counted for 26% of the total import volumes, while Russia’s share has been approximately 59%. Back in 2013, Canada was the major supplier and accounted for about 40% of the imports.

Lumber market – Japan

Housing starts in Japan have trended upward during the first six months of 2016 with wooden housing starts being 3.8% higher this year than during the same period in 2015. Demand for lumber has followed a similar trend. Higher demand for wood has partly been met by an increase in the importation of lumber with the biggest increases coming from Austria, Finland and Sweden. Prices for both imported and domestic lumber have not changed much in Yen terms over the past year, but with the strengthening Japanese currency, lumber prices in dollar terms have rapidly gone up since the beginning of the year.

Lumber market – Russia

The export shipments from Russia have continued to go up in 2016, with volumes during the first six months reaching 12% higher levels than in the same period in 2015. By far the biggest increases in exports have been to Asian markets. Very low production costs in Eastern Russia have resulted in major inroads for Russian sawmills in the Chinese market at the expense of primarily Canadian sawmills. Lumber export prices in Russia have declined the past few years, but not at the same rate as prices for sawlogs, and as a result sawmills in Siberia have become some of the most profitable sawmills in the world.

Source: Wood Resources International LLC,

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Specialist hardwood company to talk at ForestTECH 2016

Beautiful Trees. Valuable Wood. How an Australian company has established a successful niche in high value hardwood timbers – investment, management, processing and sales. Jon Lambert, General Manager, Heartwood Plantations

ForestTECH 2016 will again be providing local forestry companies with a timely, a unique and an independent overview of new data collection tools (including data collected and being processed from UAV’s) along with assessments of systems for better measuring, managing and analysing this resource information. In addition, case studies from leading businesses on how they’re integrating this information into their own inventory systems, day to day operations and planning and the very latest results from Australasian remote sensing research and trials are going to be showcased in this November series.

As part of the Australian leg of the series, an after dinner presentation has been set up for ForestTECH delegates. In an industry often dominated by larger softwood forest owners and managers, a presentation from a very successful high value hardwood timber company will be made.

The company, Heartwood Plantations was set up in 1995 and is providing professional forestry services to investors and organisations across Victoria. It specialises in high-value timber investments. It manages over 40 plantation sites, predominantly located in Gippsland as well as managing timber harvesting and sales exceeding 60,000 tonnes per year.

In addition to managing investors and the forest estate, the company’s success can also be put down to setting up close partnerships and working alliances with businesses like the saw milling and timber sales company, Radial Timber Australia. The process of radial sawing was specifically designed to maximise the recovery of sawn timber from smaller logs with the company being the only commercial radial sawing mill in the world.

Full details on the ForestTECH 2016 programmes – for both New Zealand and Australia, can be found on the event website,

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UC Test Range enabling new drone technology

The University of Canterbury’s (UC) Spatial Engineering Research Centre is helping to lead the way in the development of drones for NZ industry, due to the activation of a new test range for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

In 2015, the Spatial Engineering Research Centre (SERC) was awarded nearly 100 square kilometres of airspace, located on the south-west side of Banks Peninsula, by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to be used as a segregated airspace UAV test range. In July this year, after many months of preparation, the test range was activated for the first time.

SERC Senior research engineer Kelvin Barnsdale says the need for this test range was driven by the development of ‘beyond line of sight’ drone technology and subsequent regulatory issues.

“Drones have moved from a toy to an industry tool and are becoming much more capable of flying themselves. To regulate this, we have been working with the CAA to develop new rules for operating drones, which came into effect in August 2015.

“However, one of the enduring limitations of the new rules requires drones to be used within line of sight of the pilot. The CAA doesn’t call these unmanned aerial vehicles – they treat them as remotely piloted, which is a significant difference. So to test new airborne technology that goes beyond line of sight, we needed a segregated test range.”

The test range is a block of restricted airspace that, when activated, legally excludes any other aircraft in that area. Crucially this allows SERC to fly drones above the regulation 400 feet and beyond line of sight under special conditions.

Mr Barnsdale says this enables researchers and industry partners, in New Zealand and abroad, to test and verify UAV technology at high altitudes in a safe environment – the only restricted airspace in New Zealand for this purpose.

“We are currently working with New Zealand industry and exploring partnerships with organisations in Australia, the US and Europe due to their specialisation in beyond line of sight technology.

“This covers a range of uses, from structure inspections and agricultural intelligence-gathering, to marine biology surveys and the development of search and rescue drones in a marine environment. We are also currently using the test range for instrument trials, working towards the use of drones for high altitude atmospheric research over the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.”

Aeronavics Technology Development Manager Edwin Hayes says opportunities for testing new technologies are critical for developers of high end UAV solutions.

“Challenging operations such as flights ‘Beyond Line of Sight’ can only be fully tested with access to segregated airspace. Aeronavics expects to use the test site for investigating a wide range of UAV applications, including in the important precision agriculture sector, as it continues to collaborate with UC.

“Since the number of locations worldwide suitable for such testing is limited, the site provides the New Zealand UAV industry a competitive advantage, as well as making the university a great place to base UAV research."

The first official flight was made by a New Zealand made Aeronavics NAVI to a height of 1000 feet above ground. The flight, including the landing, was fully automated and monitored by a chase drone at lower levels.

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Call for Gottstein Trust fellowship nominations

“The J.W. Gottstein fellowship gave me the opportunity to interact with international experts and discuss my modelling expertise and research interests with forestry colleagues in the US – all positive results for the sector in Australia.”

Testimonials such as this by Mihir Gupta, an economist with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (ABARES), again highlights the benefits of industry investment in the educational trust, which has awarded more than 250 fellowships, industry awards and scholarships since it was founded in 1971.

During Mr Gupta’s study mission to the US, he worked with colleagues from Forest Economic Advisers (FEA) in Boston and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in Olympia, Washington State, aimed at improving the scope and quality of forestry forecasting in Australia.

“Both FEA and the DNR are keen to develop a close working relationship with ABARES,” Mr Gupta said. “DNR has already expressed interest in a transport costs model developed at ABARES.” DNR staff undertake programs similar to the forest economics section, which will be useful in terms of both data and methodology exchange.

Mr Gupta said DNR might find it useful to include probabilities for price projections that can be examined in ABARES and FWPA joint work programs. “This could provide a convenient way to incorporate adjustments based on market and industry expectations,” he said.

ABARES has developed in-house models including the Forest and Resource Use Model (FORUM) and econometric models for domestic forestry consumption and trade. The outputs, which include estimates for production, consumption and trade of wood products, can be used by stakeholders to inform short and long-term investment decisions and planning policies and to improve forestry operations.

Boston-based Forest Economic Advisers undertakes detailed analysis and forecasts for the US forest products industry using sophisticated mathematical and econometric methods. The Department of Natural Resources manages about 2.3 million ha of state trust lands in Washington State.

US Department of Agriculture forest service has developed a detailed model that provides projections of future timber demands and timber prices under alternative scenarios regarding global economic growth and wood energy consumption. The model gives insights on how US competition and trade in forest products could be affected by expanded global use of wood for energy in future decades.

The US Resources Planning Act mandates that the US Forest Service provides a periodic national report assessing forest resource supply and demand status every 10 years. This report includes long-range projections of forest product consumption, production, trade, and timber market trends, and researchers developed a model that provides such projections.

Three Gottstein fellowships were awarded this year for overseas study; recipients are a built environment specialist, an architect and a resources policy expert. Perry Forsyth is professor, built environment, at the University of Technology Sydney; Gavin Matthew is the manager, processing, at the Australian Forest Products Association, Canberra; and Kim Baber is a Brisbane architect. Prof. Forsyth is currently visiting Europe, Canada and the US researching timber design, construction and assembly to meet future housing needs.

Mr Barber attended the World Conference on Timber Engineering in Vienna last week and will visit projects and manufacturing facilities in Austria, Switzerland and Tokyo during September. AFPA’s Gavin Matthew will study genetic modifications research and deployment in plantation forestry in New Zealand and Brazil.

The chairman of the J.W. Gottstein Trust Brian Farmer said industry support of the Gottstein Trust and its fellows and scholarship holders represented “a sound co-investment in the forest and forest products sector”. He urged industry to consider the wide benefits the trust offered to companies and organisations throughout Australia.

“Businesses in industry have people – from the workshop floor to academia – who can apply for Gottstein fellowships or scholarships in 2017 for the chance to further their experience, education or training within or outside Australia,” he said. Project topics are listed on the Gottstein website –

Applications for each category will be considered by the trustees and promising applicants will be selected for interviews in November this year. Applications close on 21 October 2016.

Photo: At a Gottstein Trust dinner are Senator Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water, and Gottstein Trust directors John Simon, FWPA chairman, and Brian Farmer, CEO, HQPlantations

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China log imports up in first half of 2016

China‘s log imports totaled 23.91 million cubic metres valued at US$3.97 billion in the first half of 2016, up 3% in volume and down 10% in value over the same period of 2015. The average landed price for imported logs was US$166 per cubic metre, a year on year fall of 13%.

Of the total, softwood log imports amounted to 16.12 million cubic metres, or 67% of all log imports, a year on year increase of 4%. Softwood log imports were mainly from the top 10 countries, namely New Zealand (5.61 million cu.m, down 3%), Russia (4.78 million cu.m, up 6%), the US (1.81 million cu.m, up 12%), Australia (1.56 million cu.m, up 37%), Canada (1.19 million cu.m, down 4%), Ukraine (0.52 million cu.m, up 3%), Japan (0.24 million cu.m, up 35%), France (0.08 million cu.m, up 25%), Belarus(0.08 million cu.m, up 25%), DPRK(0.08 million cu.m, up 25%).

Softwood log imports of these above-mentioned countries make up 99% of all softwood log imports. Softwood log imports from the top 5 countries account for 97% of all log imports. The average price for softwood log imports was about US$120 per cubic metre in the first half of 2016, a year on year decline of 7%.

Source: International Tropical Timber Organization

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UC Forestry academic wins international award

Dr Justin Morgenroth, senior lecturer in the New Zealand School of Forestry at University of Canterbury, has been awarded the 2016 Early Career Scientist Award, one of the International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA) Awards of Distinction.

Dr Morgenroth’s research focuses on solving applied problems in forested landscapes with a specific focus on urban forests. Recently his research has included measuring tree response to changes in soil properties following Christchurch’s earthquakes and modelling the structure of urban forests using satellite imagery and LiDAR data.

ISA uses the award to recognise individuals who show exceptional promise, with high potential to become an internationally recognised scientist. Recipients demonstrate a high level of scholarship and integrity in all aspects of their work, and dedication to arboriculture, urban forestry, or a related field, and promise of outstanding achievement.

With over 20,000 members worldwide, ISA has been an active scientific and educational organisation for over 90 years, promoting the professional practice of arboriculture and fostering a greater worldwide awareness of the benefits of trees.

The international award is usually presented at the ISA Annual International Conference, held this year in Fort Worth, Texas, however, Dr Morgenroth was unable to attend and will be presented with his award in a New Zealand ceremony.

Source: Scoop

Success in recent NZ funding round

Three Scion research proposals will receive investment totalling NZ$10.75 million over five years through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment 2016 Endeavour Fund. The successful science projects were announced on 13 September by New Zealand's Minister of Science and Innovation. The successful projects included;

- Preparing New Zealand for Extreme Fire (Research Programme). NZ$8.75 million over 5 years.

- A new model for the rapid evaluation of reproductive control in conifers (Smart Ideas). NZ$1 million over 3 years.

- A novel biotech route to new biobased high-performance engineered plastics (Smart Ideas). NZ$1 million over 2 years.

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Buy and Sell

...and one to end the week dining

A man is dining in a fancy restaurant and there's a gorgeous redhead sitting at the next table.

Suddenly she sneezes, and her glass eye comes flying out of its socket toward the man. He reaches out, catches it and hands it back.

"Oh my, I am so sorry," the woman says as she pops her eye back in place. "Let me buy your dinner to thank you"

They enjoy a wonderful dinner together, and afterwards they go to the theatre followed by drinks.

She asks him if he would like to come to her place for a nightcap and stay for breakfast.

The next morning, she cooks a gourmet meal with all the trimmings. The guy is amazed. Everything had been SO incredible!

"You know," he said, "you are the perfect woman, are you this nice to every guy you meet?"

"No," she replies. . .

"You just happened to catch my eye."

OK. One more for you. That was a bit cheesy. This morning I was sitting on a park bench next to a homeless man. I started a conversation by asking him how he ended up this way.

He said, "Up until last week, I still had it all. I had plenty to eat, my clothes were washed and pressed, I had a roof over my head, I had TV and Internet, and I went to the gym, the pool, and the library.

I was working on my MBA on-line. I had no bills and no debt. I even had full medical coverage."

I felt sorry for him, so I asked, "What happened? Drugs? Alcohol? Divorce?"

"Oh no, nothing like that," he said.

"No, no. I just got out of prison.

And on that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
PO Box 904
Level Two, 2 Dowling Street
Dunedin, New Zealand
Ph: +64 3 470 1902
Fax: +64 3 470 1904
Web page:

This week's extended issue, along with back issues, can be viewed at

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