China imported logs and lumber for a record nine billion dollars in 2013, with North America, Russia and New Zealand being the major suppliers.
Technological innovations are changing the face of Canada's trucking industry, and will continue to do so as long as the industry is willing to embrace change.
There’s a cautious optimism within the industry that though the recovery has been slow, the U.S. economy will continue to recover.
Consolidation continues as market starts to recover, says Wood Markets.
The cut-to-length logging for pulp done by Peter W. Graham Contracting Ltd. was put on hiatus in mid-2011.
Foothills planer line...
Foothills planer line
Faller training - undercuts...
Faller training - undercuts
Welcome home to forestry...
Welcome home to forestry
CFI tests chainsaw...
CFI tests chainsaw
Mar. 6, 2014, Pointe-Claire, Qué.– FPInnovations and HiTech Communications have signed a distribution agreement that authorizes the Newfoundland-based company to serve as the sales agent for the FPDat and FPTrak product line in Newfoundland and Labrador as well as in Nova Scotia. In addition to distributing FPDat and FPTrak, HiTech Communications will also provide local technical support and installation services. This agreement will offer an advantage for end users in these two Atlantic Provinces as they will benefit from local points of contact. FPDat is a unique, rugged, on-board computer developed, at the request of the forest industry, by FPInnovations through research projects supported financially by the Transformative Technologies Program (TTP) of National Resources Canada (NRCan). FPDat collects and analyzes data directly from forest equipment such as feller-bunchers, harvesters, skidders, and forwarders, as well as other mobile heavy machinery in the energy and construction sector. FPDat informs operators and managers in real- time on various parameters such as utilization, treated areas, GPS track logs, productivity and the causes of downtime. More than 300 FPDat units are already in use across Canada with additional specialized features continuously being developed, such as the Transport and the Grader modules. The FPTrak web- based service provides data hosting and a reporting interface for information generated by the FPDat. "Competition in the forest products industry is driven, in part, by fibre costs. By creating opportunities to reduce fiber costs through optimized operations, FPDat holds the potential to increase the competitiveness of traditional industries," explained Peter Lister, Vice President, Forest Operations and Wood Products of FPInnovations. "We are very proud to add FPDat to the collection of products and services we provide to our growing customer base", says Murray Caines, President of HiTech Communications. Distribution agreements with service providers located in the other provinces are also being explored to extend FPDat's deployment in other regions of Canada.
Mar. 4, 2014 – The new GT Radial GDM635 on/off highway drive tire is being introduced in North America to provide mixed service fleets consistent traction and effective protection against stones and long tread wear. Featuring a full inch (32/32nds) of tread rubber for outstanding durability and wear, the GT Radial GDM635 is currently available in the 11R24.5 size. It is backed by the GT Radial six-year limited warranty. "We're excited to kick off the year with the introduction of an outstanding new drive tire for on/off highway applications," said Justin Wright, commercial product marketing manager for Giti Tire USA, which markets and sells GT Radial tires in North America. "The GDM635's deep lug tread design is one of the tire's strongest selling points, offering a full inch of rubber to get the job done." Wright said the new deep-tread drive tire is perfectly suited for a variety of mixed service fleet operations, including logging, mining and oil field services. The GT Radial GDM635's aggressive independent block design is optimized to provide consistent traction, and the tread's v-shaped grooves with stone ejectors offer effective protection against stone retention and drilling. The tire has been engineered with four belts, which provide effective casing protection for outstanding durability and retreadability. It has a special cut/chip tread compound to resist cutting, chipping, chunking and tearing in harsh off-highway environments. Giti Tire USA is the sales and marketing operation in North America for Giti Tire Pte. Ltd., which manufactures GT Radial brand tires for passenger, SUV, light truck, truck, bus, and high performance vehicles. In truck and bus tires, the company provides a wide range of GT Radial long haul, regional and mixed service products in North America. Most of the GT Radial premium long haul line is verified by SmartWay: GSL213FS for steer axles, GT669+FS for drive, and the GT979FS (low profile sizes 22.5 and 24.5 only) for trailers. GT Radial tires are sold through distributors, independent dealers and retailers throughout North America. For more information, visit www.gtradialtrucktires.com.
Mar. 3, 2014 - Worksafe BC has recommended charges be laid in connection with the fatal explosion at a Prince George sawmill in April 2012. The explosion at Lakeland Mills killed 43 year-old Alan Little and 46 year-old Glenn Roche and occured shortly after a similar explosion in Burns Lake. Similar charges were also recommended after the Burns Lake incident but the charges were dropped after the Crown determined the investigation was flawed. For information on the Burns Lake report, go to http://www.woodbusiness.ca/sawmilling/worksafebc-releases-report.
Feb. 26, 2014, Yellowknife - Minister Aglukkaq today announced funding for a broad federal/territorial/local partnership that will work to develop a targeted approach to skills development, capacity building and employment to maximize emerging opportunities in the forestry sector. The first step in this initiative will be to create a steering committee, which will complete a labour market assessment report to guide this initiative as it moves forward.The project will also contribute to business planning and training programs to assist Aboriginal communities in close proximity to sustainable forestry sector opportunities. Quick facts • CanNor's investment of $200,000, along with $58,000 from the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), will go towards establishing the steering committee, funding the labour market assessment report, supporting the Diamond Jenness High School Forestry Program, and course-based business management training and on-site job-shadow initiatives to promote and develop skill sets within local Aboriginal communities. • With $60,000 in funding under the Aboriginal Forestry Initiative, Natural Resources Canada is supporting a study tour in Saskatchewan for Northwest Territory communities that have negotiated forest management agreements with the GNWT. • With funding from CanNor, the Forestry Program at Hay River's Diamond Jenness Secondary School began in the 2012-13 school year and, in its first year, over 22 students and several adult learners participated.
Mar. 4, 2014, Moncton - You are encouraged to attend our Spring Meeting and 95th AGM being held April 2 - 3, 2014 in Moncton, NB. As in previous years, the program will offer a wide variety of timely updates and practical information along with the opportunity to reconnect with your fellow colleges. Our program would not be complete without the contractors' roundtable on equipment maintenance and repair, the awards luncheon, our Log a Load for Kids fund raiser, and much more. First time attendees will get a 56% on the full member registration fee - newbies pay only $125 (taxes included) for the entire meeting. Mark Your Calendars!Delta Beauséjour, Moncton, NBApril 2 - 3, 2014
Mar. 3, 2014, Vancouver - Canfor Corporation has entered into a letter of intent with Groupe Lebel to sell the Daaquam sawmill located in Saint-Just-de-Bretenières, Quebec. The transaction is expected to close at the end of March, 2014 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including the execution of a formal agreement. The Daaquam mill produced 120 million board feet of lumber in 2013. Don Kayne, CEO of Canfor said, "Daaquam was sold because it was not core to our Western Canadian operations. Groupe Lebel is a well-respected company and Daaquam is a good strategic fit for it. We wish Groupe Lebel and all the employees of the Daaquam mill good luck in the future." The proceeds of sale of the Daaquam sawmill and working capital combined with the sale of other associated properties related to Daaquam to other third parties are expected to amount to approximately $25 million.
February 28, 2014, Vancouver—Only about half of the forest, paper and packaging sector CEOs (54%) expect to see growth in their industry sector over the next 12 months, compared to 68% of CEOs overall, according to PwC's 17th Annual Global CEO Survey, released recently at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. "Forest, paper and packaging CEOs in the PwC survey identified a wide range of business risks to manage—85% are concerned about continued slow or negative growth in developed economies," said Bruce McIntyre, partner and leader of PwC's Forest, Paper and Packaging practice in Canada. "Compared to CEOs overall, far more worry about exchange rate volatility, high or volatile energy costs and raw materials prices. Overcapacity is already an issue in some markets, so it was not a surprise that more than half of sector CEOs expressed concern about new market entrants." Cost reductions and alliances top priorities Forest, paper and packaging companies are still very focused on making their operations as efficient as possible, with 77% planning cost reduction initiatives over the next 12 months. More CEOs are also looking to strategic alliances and joint ventures versus planning a merger or acquisition. McIntyre said: "The move towards alliances reflects a continuing trend towards greater cooperation across the value chain." Focusing on specific markets for growth and expansion Many CEOs (35%) who are looking to expand or do deals are targeting North America—in line with 30% of all CEOs who participated in the survey. Twenty-seven per cent of the sector CEOs reported Latin America as high on the agenda for deals, reflecting the availability of much faster-growing timber (eucalyptus), its increased uses, and the vibrancy of the pulp industry. When it comes to markets where CEOs expect growth and expansion, China ranked first, selected by 24% of the sector CEOs, with the U.S. close behind at 22%. Canada was also popular, with 12% of forest, paper & packaging CEOs saying it's one of their growth markets. Changing technology to transform industry, R&D continues The PwC survey found that 81% of forest, paper & packaging CEOs believe that technological advances such as the digital economy, social media, and big data will transform their business over the next five years. This reflects the impact of the shift to mobile on paper demand, but technology is expected to help the industry as well. However, while 92% of the CEOs acknowledge they need to update technology investment strategies, less than a quarter (23%) report that change programs are underway or completed. On a more positive note, 33% of CEOs indicated that they are innovating in areas such as nanotechnology, genetics, and new products. Sustainability a continuing priority Nearly two-thirds of FPP CEOs pointed to resource scarcity and climate change as driving transformation and nearly all (92%) of the CEOs surveyed said it's important to measure and try to reduce their environmental footprint. Talent Almost half of FPP executives (45%) plan to add staff with just 19% saying that they plan to downsize. McIntyre added: "Forest, paper and packaging company CEOs are also worried about finding people with key skill sets; 77% of those surveyed said they're concerned. That puts skills high on their list of business risks. Nearly all of them recognize the need to change talent strategies, but only about one-third have begun or completed initiatives."
Feb. 26, 2014 - Although North American softwood log and lumber exporters have been enjoying a resurgence of Japanese demand in the past year, various industry indicators suggest it will be short-lived. With the new federal government clearly pursuing a much stronger Japan-focused economic policy (higher inflation rates and a lower-valued yen) to stimulate the economy, imports will become more expensive and domestic wood products relatively less so. In addition, there are many signs of a change in Japan's drive to become more wood self-sufficient, such as a near-quadrupling of the number of sawmills using domestic logs, log exports having more than doubled, new/higher quality standards for structural wood products, a large new sawmill and laminating plant in Kyushu, and the weakening Japanese yen; collectively, these have made Japanese log exports more competitive. Of course, the growth of the domestic species wood industry depends to a large degree on price competitiveness with wood imports. The success (or lack) of the government's new economic direction will have a tremendous impact on future wood imports and Japanese self-sufficiency in wood. (The full Wood Markets article provides further details, with charts to tell the whole story.)
Feb. 13, 2014 - Following four years of mostly flat production (2009–2012), in 2013 North American non-structural panels began what is expected to be a long and steady recovery. The following article is summarized from WOOD MARKETS 2014–2018, our outlook report for MDF and particleboard, and contains an update detailing recent developments. Demand trends Since the majority of MDF and particleboard is purchased by manufacturers of products used in home and office interiors (e.g., furniture, cabinetry, flooring), the steady recovery in U.S. housing and R&R (repair and remodelling) markets has led to greater panel demand. On average, North American consumption of both MDF and particle- board increased in 2013: and• Total U.S. and Canadian MDF consumption is estimated to have risen by 5% in 2013 — from 2.5 billion sf (3/4" basis) in 2012 to 2.6 billion sf in 2013; and• Total U.S. and Canadian particleboard consumption is estimated to have risen by 7% in 2013 — from 3.0 billion sf in 2012 to 3.3 billion sf in 2013. While U.S. housing construction increased in 2013, Canadian housing slowed. This resulted in approximately a 6% decrease in Canadian particleboard consumption, offset by a 4% increase in MDF consumption, for an overall non-structural panel decrease in Canada of 2% from 2012 to 2013. Outlook The forecast for non-structural panel producers contains a mixture of sun and cloud for 2014 and 2015. Consumption is forecast to expand slowly as the housing and renovation markets strengthen. With operating rates generally well below 80%, there is substantial room for production increases before the potential for supply shortages begins to put substantial pressure on prices. WOOD MARKETS' forecast calls for a continued slow rise in prices of 3%–4% per year; rising fibre and resin costs are expected to keep a lid on margin increases. Capacity reopenings (if any) will likely be limited to niche products, such as thin MDF. For more details on Wood Market's outlook for 2014-2015, go to www.woodmarkets.com.
Feb. 13, 2014, Vancouver - Ainsworth and Louisiana-Pacific have entered into timing agreements that they will not consummate LP's acquisition of Ainsworth before March 13, 2014 as the Canadian Competition Bureau (CCB) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) continue their reviews. As previously announced, Ainsworth and LP each received (a) a "supplementary information request" for additional information and documents from the CCB and (b) a "second request" for additional information from the DOJ, in connection with the previously announced plan of arrangement (the "Arrangement") under the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) involving the proposed acquisition by LP of all the outstanding common shares of Ainsworth. Both Ainsworth and LP continue to work with the CCB and the DOJ as they conduct their reviews. As a consequence of the timing agreements described above, Ainsworth and LP also announced that they have agreed to extend the outside date for completion of the Arrangement from March 4 to April 18, 2014. The Arrangement agreement permits either party to further extend the outside date for two additional 45-day periods if required to obtain certain regulatory approvals. The closing of the Arrangement remains subject to a number of conditions, including the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the HSR Act and the receipt of other regulatory approvals and clearances including under the Canadian Competition Act. Subject to obtaining required regulatory approvals and clearances and the satisfaction or waiver of other closing conditions, it is now anticipated that the Arrangement will be completed by the end of the first quarter or during the second quarter of 2014. Further information about the Arrangement is set out in Ainsworth's management proxy circular dated September 24, 2013, which is available under Ainsworth's profile on www.sedar.com and under LP's profile at www.sec.gov.
Feb. 25, 2014, Guelph - Cherry Forest Products is the sole distributer of Novawood Ash Decking products in North America effective January 1st, 2014. Novawood, an FSC certified company based out of Turkey, is internationally accredited and specializes in the manufacture of Thermowood products. Thermowood Ash is an all natural, decking material alternative. Thermowood is the name given to lumber which has been thermally modified with high temperatures, water vapour and pressure. This process provides superior dimensional stability allowing for unlimited landscaping opportunities. As an added benefit to the process, the colour of the wood becomes homogeneous throughout the boards allowing for a more uniform absorption of stain than other woods. Thermowood Ash Decking is produced from sustainable forests and is more stable and durable than other wood species. It is 30% more fire resistant and 25% more acoustic and heat insolated than normal lumber, not to mention completely insect infestation, and biologically, safe. Cherry Forest Products is FSC certified and has been producing grade lumber, cut to size products, and custom ripped planks for over 30 years. They have also expanded into producing sliced veneer from their logs in the last 10 years. Cherry Forest Products ships to a vast majority of hardwood users in Europe and here in the local market, and have developed an excellent reputation for quality production and sustainable forestry. For more information contact Dennis Reid at email@example.com or visit our website at www.cherryforest.ca
Feb. 3, 2014 – Marwood Ltd., a secondary wood products manufacturer in Atlantic Canada has gained financial support from the provincial and federal government to expand operations and create 20 new full-time jobs. The provincial government is providing a $1.2 million repayable loan and the federal government is providing a repayable investment of $500,000 through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. "The expansion project involves the construction of a new wood scanning and optimizing plant, and the purchase of specialized wood scanning technology as well as trimming equipment to improve production efficiency," says the Operations Manager. The move will increase wood recovery and productivity and make the mills more competitive in its export markets. The remanufacturer primarily uses rough shorts from local sawmills and specilizes in pressure treating.