A new face of wood processing in China

Thursday 17 Apr 2014

China understandably was a key focus for the just completed Forest Investment & Market Outlook 2014 (FIMO 2014) series run for senior forestry managers and institutional investors over the last two weeks by FIEA. Over 200 attended and the Australian leg of the series finished in Melbourne on Wednesday.

Johnathan Wu, Associate Director, Premium China Fund Management, Bill Liley, Managing Director and Bill Lu, Senior Consultant, China Operations, Indufor, Bruce Easton, Managing Director, Asia Pacific Resource Management Service and Jon Dey, Director, FORME Consulting reviewed investment options and trends in investing in China timberlands as well as providing an insight into the underlying trends and projections for the country’s growth.

Guigang was selected as one case study detailing just how the Guangxi region in Southern China has led a veneer revolution and is now a rising star in the country’s wood processing activities. Whereas just 10 years ago there was virtually no wood processing in the region, the Guigang processing centre has now over 2000 mills ( more than 3000 registered lathes) operating today.

Over 1700 veneer mills are concentrated on eucalypt veneer production with 270 plywood mills now producing plywood and concrete formwork. In 2013, Guigang’s plywood production reached 4 million m3 (which equates to 5.5 million m3 in round log form) of air dried veneer production. With each lathe needing 0.4 ha to air dry the veneer sheets, over 1200 ha is now required for a veneer drying field. The area is so large – it can be picked up quite easily on Google Earth.

As well as veneer operations the region now boasts large and modern MDF and Particle Board plants and is leading the trend in establishing new plantations, both regionally and globally. In total, Guangxi has approximately 1.4 million ha of eucalypt plantations, around 50% of China’s total eucalypt plantation area.

Guigang is an amazing new face of wood processing in China. New veneer mills will continue to be built – as there is a continued ramp up in harvesting activities. Details on how this presentation – and other presentations given as part of FIMO 2014 – can be downloaded by those participating in this latest series will be sent out to all delegates in the near future.

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