Stihl introduces a new chain saw

Stihl introduces a new chain saw

Stihl consulted with professional loggers and arborists worldwide in developing the MS 661 C-M, a new high performance chain saw.

Komatsu launches new head

Komatsu launches new head

The new harvesting head handles tough large diameter harvesting.

Winning team

Winning team

If the success of Northwest Forest Resources were distilled down to a few words, they would likely be teamwork, investment and attention to detail.

Margin key at Western Forest Products

Margin key at Western Forest Products

Volume production is one thing, but in today’s lumber industry it’s value that pays the bills. And timely value production is what Saltair Sawmill is built for.

Vermeer has a new forestry tractor

Vermeer has a new forestry tractor

FT100 tractor is a multipurpose machine for tree care and landscape contractors.

video
Komatsu has a new harvesting head...
The new harvesting head is designed to be highly productive in thinning applications.
video
Some environmentalists exaggerate...
Quebec’s forests are not threatened, according to a new documentary and an Economic Note from the Montreal Economic Institute.Video location: QuebecRecording date: August 2014
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FPAC on innovation in forestry...
Catherine Cobden explains what is meant by innovation in forestry
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WorksafeBC cautions workers falling trees...
WorksafeBC cautions workers falling trees

Harvesting

New app makes surveying easier

Sept. 30, 2014 – A new app developed in Finland has the potential to modernize the way forests are surveyed. Two former Nokia employees launched Trestima in 2012 to make the process more cost-efficient, accurate and reliable. It captures and analyzes the number, height, width and volume of trees and stores the forestry data on the cloud. For more information, go to http://www.goodnewsfinland.com/archive/news/8c5f961e/

Near record forest fire season

Sept 30, 2014, Victoria - An overheated forest fire season in British Columbia resulted in a near-record loss of timber - the third highest total since 1950 when the government started keeping track. Chief provincial fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek says 1,424 forest fires consumed more than 3,590 square kilometres of forest this season. Skrepnek says an intense provincewide hot weather spell in July, where temperatures soared to 40 Celsius in some areas, contributed to extreme fire conditions that lasted much of the summer. Skrepnek says cooler temperatures and rain showers this week are expected to signal the conclusion of the core fire season, although the largest fire this season near Burns Lake is still smoldering. The top two B.C. fire seasons were recorded in 1958 when fires burned 8,590 square kilometres and in 1961 when 4,830 square kilometres of forest land was burned. Skrepnek says the provincial government has spent $293 million fighting fires this year, but the budget allocated just $63 million to cover fire costs.

Sawmilling

Maibec to acquire US mill

Sept. 25, 2014, Lévis - An agreement was signed last week between manufacturing company maibec Inc. of Lévis, Quebec and Fraser Timber LLC for Maibec's purchase of the assets of the Masardis Maine lumber mill. The mill employs approximately 135 people and can produce over 100 million board feet of softwood lumber annually. The mill's lumber is sold to the U.S. market. "This acquisition gives Maibec its first place of business in the United States, and represents an important milestone in our growth," said François Tardif, President of Maibec. "Among other things, the mill's geographic location will allow us to improve our access to key US market." Over the next several weeks, Maibec and Fraser will work diligently to complete all necessary permit transfers and meet all conditions. The transaction is expected to close before the end of the calendar year. In the interim, Fraser will continue to provide the same excellent service it has provided its customers for the past 40 years. Earlier this year, Maibec invested $20 million in upgrading its own softwood lumber mill in St-Pamphile with new high-tech, high-performance equipment. "Given the current U.S. economic recovery, these investments could not have come at a better time" added Tardif. Over the years, Maibec's unique expertise has made it the brand of reference in its respective markets. It is especially well-known for its continuous product innovation and progressive marketing across all of its business segments, most particularly in the solid wood siding and white cedar shingle segments. Tardif says Maibec's diversified activities played a key role in enabling the company to successfully weather the last economic crisis. About Maibec inc.Maibec inc. is a Quebec-based family business active in the wood processing sector since 1946 and has a workforce of 700 employees. Its head office is located in Lévis, while its production units are located primarily in St-Pamphile de l'Islet and Saint-Théophile de Beauce. The company has chosen the Fonds de solidarité FTQ as a strategic financial partner to pursue its growth.

Resolute CEO named to Clean50

Sept. 16, 2014, Montreal  - Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Resolute Forest Products Inc., has been named to Canada's Clean50, recognizing leaders who have made the greatest contributions to sustainable development or clean capitalism in Canada. "This designation represents an important endorsement of Resolute's approach to our business and sustainability strategies, which are directly linked and interdependent," said Richard Garneau. "Sustainability principles and objectives are reflected in our vision, corporate values and the way we do business across the company every day." Canada's Clean50 are awarded annually by Delta Management Group. The awards recognize 50 individuals or small teams, in 16 different categories; Mr. Garneau has been chosen for the manufacturing and transportation sector. Resolute's notable sustainability accomplishments include: Achieving 99.4% of its commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 65% below 2000 levels, an industry-leading goal one year ahead of schedule and the equivalent of taking 1.62 million cars off the road annually. Making significant investments in conservation measures and fuel-switching, including elimination of on-site coal use. Maintaining a leadership position in sustainable forest management and in the engagement of communities and First Nations. In 2013, the company's Opitciwan joint-venture sawmill won the prestigious national Aboriginal Forest Products Business Leadership Award. Significantly improving safety performance over the past several years, reaching world-class levels. Enhancing energy efficiency and investing in clean energy at its operations, reflected in the company's ramp-up of four power generation assets within the past year, among which is a C$65 million cogeneration facility in Thunder Bay (Ontario). Achieving complete transparency of sustainability reporting by using the platinum Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standard. "I am proud of the sustainability goals Resolute and our employees have achieved to date," concluded Richard Garneau. "Carefully balancing environmental, social and economic priorities strengthens our competitiveness, making Resolute a supplier of choice for our customers, and an engaged civic partner in the communities in which we live and work."

Industry news

FPAC supports EU trade deal

Sept. 26, 2014, Ottawa - As a broad supporter of free trade, the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) today welcomed the signing of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union. The sector will benefit from the eventual elimination of European tariffs on some wood panels such as particle board, oriented strand board and plywood of up to 10%. "The forest products industry has always relied on exports for its prosperity and growth and we certainly appreciate the federal government's ongoing commitment to free trade," says the President and CEO of FPAC, David Lindsay. "We are working hard to diversify markets and increase our trade to help reach the ambitious goals of our Vision2020 initiative and as part of that we welcome closer trade relations with Europe." Under Vision2020, Canada's forest product industry is vying to generate an additional $20 billion in new revenue through new products and new markets by the end of the decade. Last year the Canadian forest sector exported more than $1 billion of wood, pulp and paper products to the EU member states. This is 4% of total exports of Canadian forest products making Europe the 3rd largest international market for the sector. The largest importers of Canadian forest products in Europe are the United Kingdom followed by Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and France. FPAC is also looking forward to learning more about how the specific Annex on forest products will help guard against non-tariff barriers to trade. "We are now hoping for speedy ratification of CETA by governments and prompt implementation of this landmark deal," says Lindsay. FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $58-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the country.

Hitachi shuns layoffs

Sept. 26, 2014, Guelph – Hitachi has adopted a novel approach to the challenge of finding and keeping skilled workers. The company has decided that it will no longer layoff workers during market slups. Keeping workers during slow times will mean the company will have the workers necessary to ramp back up when the recession ends. "Hitachi is trying to hold fast in Guelph and retain jobs that pay more than $24 an hour," says the Globe and Mail. The company is asking the government to support the move with financial support. For more information, go to http://www.theglobeandmail.com.

Strong Canadian lumber sales

Aept. 25, 2014 - Canadian forest products companies reported mixed earnings for the second quarter of 2014, with integrated producers, especially those with a building products focus, reporting the strongest results. US housing starts statistics for June were about 6% below the average year-to-date trend. Due to the continued slow recovery in the US, 2014 is expected to become the seventh consecutive year in which US housing starts remain below the 1,000,000 unit level. Lumber prices were down slightly from the first quarter, while panel (OSB and plywood) prices remained more or less consistent with the previous quarter. Softwood pulp prices were fairly stable while hardwood pulp continued to decline in most markets. Newsprint prices remained stable despite weak export markets and paper prices were mixed. Western Canadian based companies posted net earnings of $180.4 million in the second quarter of 2014, up from net earnings of $161.7 million in the first quarter but down from net earnings of $383.8 million in the second quarter of 2013. West Fraser reported net earnings of $74.0 million, compared to earnings of $72.0 million reported for the second quarter of 2014. Canfor and Western Forest Products continued their strong starts to 2014, reporting second quarter earnings of $64.5 million and $29.2 million respectively.Eastern Canadian based companies posted net losses of $42.0 million in the quarter, compared to net losses of $76.4 million in the first quarter of 2014 and net earnings of $3.0 million in the second quarter of 2013. Tembec reported net earnings of $30.0 million, compared to losses of $28.0 million reported for the first quarter of 2014. Cascades reported a net loss of $83.0 million, compared to losses of $1.0 million in the first quarter of 2014 and earnings of $2.0 million in the second quarter of 2013. Cascades second quarter net earnings were influenced by a $43 million impairment charge and a $44 million loss on the refinancing of senior notes.

Canada's forest sector grew in 2014

Sept. 25, 2014, Ottawa - The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, today tabled the State of Canada's Forests Report 2014 in the House of Commons. This year's report highlights the exciting opportunities and growing sense of optimism in Canada's forest sector. The report confirms the results of the Government of Canada's targeted investments in the forest sector, increasing the value of Canada's forest resources, opening new markets, supporting jobs for Canadians and enhancing Canada's prosperity. While the industry is showing strong signs of growth in some segments - lumber in particular - it is challenged by market trends in other areas. Nonetheless, the pace of recovery in 2013 allowed the industry to post some of its highest revenues in many years. The value of Canada's forest product exports increased by 13.1 per cent from 2012 levels - rising to $28.4 billion from $25.1 billion - and production levels were higher across all market segments. The report also demonstrates to Canadians and the world that Canada is a leader in sustainable forest management and is committed to transparency in reporting on how its forest resources are managed and maintained. Canada's forest lands include over 150 million hectares of forest land certified by third parties as being sustainably managed - 41 per cent of the world's certified forests. The Government of Canada is helping Canada's forest industry to diversify its markets and bring innovative, high-value products to the marketplace. Since 2007, the Government has invested $1.8 billion in support of the ongoing transformation and renewal of Canada's forest sector. Quick Facts -- Operating profits for Canada's forest sector reached $2.7 billion in 2013, up 152 per cent from 2012. These are the highest operating profits earned over the past eight years. They also represent a considerable rebound from the weak financial performance in 2011 and 2012.-- Less than 0.5 per cent of Canada's forests are harvested annually to manufacture products for the domestic and international markets, and all forests harvested on public lands must be regenerated.-- Natural Resources Canada supports and promotes sustainable forest management through research, and it reports domestically and internationally on Canada's environmental performance. "Canada's forest sector has achieved impressive results in the past year, and this is good news for the families and communities that depend on forests across Canada. Together with our partners, our government is pursuing new opportunities and making the targeted investments needed to ensure the success of Canada's forest sector for the benefit of all Canadians," says Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario.

Wood Panels

FPAC supports EU trade deal

Sept. 26, 2014, Ottawa - As a broad supporter of free trade, the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) today welcomed the signing of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union. The sector will benefit from the eventual elimination of European tariffs on some wood panels such as particle board, oriented strand board and plywood of up to 10%. "The forest products industry has always relied on exports for its prosperity and growth and we certainly appreciate the federal government's ongoing commitment to free trade," says the President and CEO of FPAC, David Lindsay. "We are working hard to diversify markets and increase our trade to help reach the ambitious goals of our Vision2020 initiative and as part of that we welcome closer trade relations with Europe." Under Vision2020, Canada's forest product industry is vying to generate an additional $20 billion in new revenue through new products and new markets by the end of the decade. Last year the Canadian forest sector exported more than $1 billion of wood, pulp and paper products to the EU member states. This is 4% of total exports of Canadian forest products making Europe the 3rd largest international market for the sector. The largest importers of Canadian forest products in Europe are the United Kingdom followed by Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and France. FPAC is also looking forward to learning more about how the specific Annex on forest products will help guard against non-tariff barriers to trade. "We are now hoping for speedy ratification of CETA by governments and prompt implementation of this landmark deal," says Lindsay. FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $58-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the country.

Strong Canadian lumber sales

Aept. 25, 2014 - Canadian forest products companies reported mixed earnings for the second quarter of 2014, with integrated producers, especially those with a building products focus, reporting the strongest results. US housing starts statistics for June were about 6% below the average year-to-date trend. Due to the continued slow recovery in the US, 2014 is expected to become the seventh consecutive year in which US housing starts remain below the 1,000,000 unit level. Lumber prices were down slightly from the first quarter, while panel (OSB and plywood) prices remained more or less consistent with the previous quarter. Softwood pulp prices were fairly stable while hardwood pulp continued to decline in most markets. Newsprint prices remained stable despite weak export markets and paper prices were mixed. Western Canadian based companies posted net earnings of $180.4 million in the second quarter of 2014, up from net earnings of $161.7 million in the first quarter but down from net earnings of $383.8 million in the second quarter of 2013. West Fraser reported net earnings of $74.0 million, compared to earnings of $72.0 million reported for the second quarter of 2014. Canfor and Western Forest Products continued their strong starts to 2014, reporting second quarter earnings of $64.5 million and $29.2 million respectively.Eastern Canadian based companies posted net losses of $42.0 million in the quarter, compared to net losses of $76.4 million in the first quarter of 2014 and net earnings of $3.0 million in the second quarter of 2013. Tembec reported net earnings of $30.0 million, compared to losses of $28.0 million reported for the first quarter of 2014. Cascades reported a net loss of $83.0 million, compared to losses of $1.0 million in the first quarter of 2014 and earnings of $2.0 million in the second quarter of 2013. Cascades second quarter net earnings were influenced by a $43 million impairment charge and a $44 million loss on the refinancing of senior notes.

Remanufacturing

Briquettes get a boost in Maritimes

Sept. 9, 2014 – Lewis Mouldings and Wood Specialities Ltd. received $430,500 from the federal and provincial governments to boost its wood briquette production, according to the Chrionical Herald. The family business based in Weymouth, Nova Scotia launched Fiber Fuel to make wood briquettes using residual sawdust and chips from its wood trim business in 2008. The company has not been able to keep up with demand for the fuel. The new funding will help the company add a second wood fibre compressing machine and a biomass dryer, which should be up and running in November. The new equipment is expected to boost the company's briquette production by 400 per cent. The briquette business will take over the extra waste wood that was formerly consumed by the Resolute Forest Products' Queens County paper mill that closed in 2012. For more information, go to http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/1234854-lewis-mouldings-gets-cash-for-wood-waste-fuel-business

Moulding bull market rally

Aug. 13, 2014 - A wave of demand is coming and so are higher prices, concludes Peter Butzelaar the Vice President of International Wood Markets Group in his U.S. Clear Pine Lumber and Moulding Market Outlook: 2014-2018.  After enduring four years of declining demand of epic proportions, underlying demand is beginning to re-emerge. "Although not the strong start the industry was anticipating for 2014, the results in the second half of this year should build on the demand gains made in 2013," comments co-author Russell Taylor. WOOD MARKETS is projecting U.S. housing starts to surpass 1 million starts in 2014 followed by an additional 125,000 starts in 2015. As the labour market and income levels improves, housing demand will see accelerating growth as will residential repair and remodelling (R&R) - the two main drivers of moulding demand. However, due to mill closures, supply chain consolidation, and limited supplies of domestic clear pine fiber, traditional moulding supply in North America is forecast to struggle to keep up with demand. For more information on the report, go to www.woodmarkets.com.

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