Industry News

Bidwells' Winter 2018 Report shows stabilising prices of UK coniferous timber

Property Consultants Bidwells have released their Winter 2018 Timber Price Database which looks at the standing conifer timber prices achieved six months to December 2018.

According to the report, prices in the UK Timber Market has stabilised following major increases over the previous half year. 

Returns from the sale of 776,970 cubic metres of private sector coniferous timber grown in Scotland, Northern England and a small amount in Wales with a total standing value to the grower of £29.8 million suggest that the meteoric rise in timber prices experienced in the half year between October 2017 and March 2018 has levelled off.

Data submitted from 121 coniferous transactions suggests that prices have risen slightly between April and September 2018, though it is more accurate to say that values have been maintained at their previously high levels.

Continued weakness of sterling remains a major factor in UK grown timber prices, but high global demand and tightness of supply suggests no reason why the big picture will change in the foreseeable future.

Raymond Henderson, Forestry Partner at Bidwells commented: “It is always difficult to predict the future, given the influence which global demand and exchange rates have on domestic timber values, but the overall macro-economic situation of increasing demand and tightening supplies suggests no reason to suspect a weakening of prices over the short term.

“We do of course live in strange times where informed projections are apt to be overtaken by events and the ongoing uncertainties created by the unfolding drama of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU – or possibly not as the case may be – make crystal ball gazing murkier and less certain than ever.  That said, the fundamentals of timber sales should not alter too drastically regardless of our membership of the European club.”

Reports are produced on a sixth monthly basis and new contributors are welcome. All information is treated in the strictest confidence.

To view the full insights and research, click on the report here

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/bidwells-winter-2018-report-shows-stabilising-prices-uk-coniferous-timber]

André de Boer passes ETTF lead role to Thomas Goebel

André de Boer is stepping down as Secretary General of the European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF) in 2019, handing over the reins to Thomas Goebel, Chief Executive of German Timber Trade Federation GD Holz.

The first quarter of next year will see a transition process, with Mr Goebel [left pictured] officially taking on the role by April 1, combining it with his position at GD Holz,. The ETTF secretariat is also moving to Berlin.

A commercial lawyer by profession, Mr de Boer took over at the helm at the ETTF ten years ago after its formation from an amalgamation of European timber trade bodies. Prior to that he was Managing Director of the Netherlands Timber Trade Federation (VVNH) for 20 years.

His time at the ETTF, he said, has been both challenging and exciting. “The European timber importing sector in this period has had to adapt to major changes; concentration of the industry and a decline in tropical timber trade, as well as the implementation of the EU Timber Regulation,” he said. “But the trade has evolved and moved with the times, and at the same time the ETTF has gained relevance throughout the international market as advocate of a legal and sustainable, but also a commercially significant and dynamic industry.

“We are now an integral part of the conversation on climate change and the development of a low carbon bioeconomy. There’s also recognition at government level that a commercially viable forestry and timber industry is integral to maintenance of the forest resource; it’s widely accepted that it’s a case of use it or lose it.”

Mr de Boer said now was the time to hand over to a new team to take the organisation forward and exploit the opportunities to grow the European timber market.

Mr Goebel said he looked forward to his new role. “The ETTF has equipped itself well to master the challenges and realize the opportunities to come for the timber trade and is well placed to further strengthen representation of its members interests,” he said.

In another strategic move for the future of the ETTF, its annual general meeting earlier this year decided that it should join the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries, Brussels-based CEI-Bois, where a key focus will be helping develop a new timber trade segment.

“CEI Bois, with its close connection to the EU in Brussels, will further serve the interests of the trade through this separate trade pillar, in which the ETTF will play a leading role,” said Mr Goebel. “It’s decisive that we develop this facility.”

At present the ETTF has 18 member associations in 16 countries.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/andr%C3%A9-de-boer-passes-ettf-lead-role-thomas-goebel]

Ghana: New study by GTF describes existing gender balance and makes recommendations

The Global Timber Forum (GTF) has published a commissioned analysis of gender in the wood processing sector in Ghana.

The new study reveals that in the wood processing sector women workers are much less visible than their male counterparts yet are involved in multiple areas of the value chain. This involvement ranges from the administration and provision of labour through to acting as financiers of business.

At a country-level, other studies on gender balance have previously shown that Ghana outperforms many regional neighbours in sub-Saharan Africa. For instance, the country ranks 72 out of 144 countries across all criteria in the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2017 and has a particularly high score for the criteria of “economic participation and opportunity”.

The study identifies the following key findings:

  • Participation of women exists across all points of the wood processing sector.
  • Roles assigned to men and women in the sector are however defined by the historical and socio-cultural context.
  • Women’s involvement in leadership and governance of wood processing associations is relatively lower than that of men.
  • There is limited understanding and appreciation of the impact of gender imbalances in the sector, even amongst those men and women working in the sector.
  • Actors in the sector lack knowledge of existing laws on women’s rights to engage in, and have a voice in, the sector.

In terms of business opportunity for the wood processing sector, the United Nations Development Programme cited a figure of 95 billion USD as lost to productivity every year through the failure to integrate women into national economies across sub-Saharan Africa.

The study therefore makes a series of recommendations for policy makers as well as for the associations that represent the wood processing sector.

Selected recommendations made in the study:

  • Cultural limitations to women’s agency should be acknowledged and, where necessary, purposive strategies should be followed for example where the aim is to increase women’s engagement in leadership and governance.
  • State agencies should invest in awareness raising about gender and in building capacity of their staff, and of wood processing sector associations’ leadership, in gender and gender analysis.
  • Association leadership should sensitise membership about what gender is about and raise awareness of its relevance to the contributions both female and male members make to the sector.
  • Associations should carry out simple participatory gender analysis of their organisation and members. This will increase understanding of the needs, interests and fears of both men and women engaged in the sector.

 

Learning from success

As part of the study one company was highlighted as having made a number of policy changes to improve the gender balance as well as the types of jobs available to each gender. The Bibiani Logs and Lumber Company Limited, is a family-owned business that has been in operation since the late 1960s. It employs 371 people of which women constitute 100. The Chairperson of the company is a woman.

Both men and women are given equal opportunities for self-development on the job without any discrimination. The company’s policies make it a requirement for both men and women to be trained on all areas of production. As a result, the company has women operating the veneer milling machines.

Recent interviews demonstrate that the steps taken on gender by the leadership of the company has increased awareness and acceptance of opportunities of equal value for men and women in the company.

Study author, Nana Ama Yirrah, said “The study clearly shows an opportunity for the Ghanaian wood processing industry to attain the business benefits of a more diverse workforce. The SME wood processing industry has a wide range of pressing business challenges, but I believe this study shows that some small steps can be taken now to create a more favourable gender environment. For example, this can start with putting in place gender sensitive policies and appropriate sensitisation and training.”

As part of the study one company was highlighted as having made a number of policy changes to improve the gender balance as well as the types of jobs available to each gender. The Bibiani Logs and Lumber Company Limited, is a family-owned business that has been in operation since the late 1960s. It employs 371 people of which women constitute 100. The Chairperson of the company is a woman.

Both men and women are given equal opportunities for self-development on the job without any discrimination. The company’s policies make it a requirement for both men and women to be trained on all areas of production. As a result, the company has women operating the veneer milling machines.

Recent interviews demonstrate that the steps taken on gender by the leadership of the company has increased awareness and acceptance of opportunities of equal value for men and women in the company.

Study author, Nana Ama Yirrah, said “The study clearly shows an opportunity for the Ghanaian wood processing industry to attain the business benefits of a more diverse workforce. The SME wood processing industry has a wide range of pressing business challenges, but I believe this study shows that some small steps can be taken now to create a more favourable gender environment. For example, this can start with putting in place gender sensitive policies and appropriate sensitisation and training.”

 

Notes

  1. The full study can be found here
  2. During 2017 the GTF commissioned Nana Ama Yirrah to undertake an analysis of gender in the forest industries sector in Ghana.
  3. Nana Ama Yirrah is a Land Economist, Development Policy Analyst and Gender Specialist by profession with over 21 years of experience in land and natural resource governance, land policy, women’s land rights and development practice.
  4. Methodology involved interviews with forestry association members and public sector agencies, with fifty-one interviews being held in total, representing fourteen associations and institutions, with ten of the interviewees being women. Research tools were participatory and included application of a simple gender analytical framework combined with story-telling and case studies.
  5. The study has been funded by UK Aid from the UK government, however the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/ghana-new-study-gtf-describes-existing-gender-balance-and-makes-recommendations]

Timber Market undergoes biggest period of change in decades

Property Consultants Bidwells have released their Summer 2018 Timber Price Database which looks at the standing conifer timber prices achieved in the six months to September 2017, indicating the timber market has undergone perhaps the biggest period of change seen in decades.

Returns from 79 transactions totalling over 742,000 cubic metres of coniferous timber, with a value to the grower in excess of £28 Million have been received and indicate on average significant price rises over the period.

With Bidwell’s last commentary back in December 2017 stated that there were “current reports of supply shortages and increasing upwards pressure on standing sales values” – this has proved to be something of an understatement as the latest set of results for October 2017 – March 2018 had clearly demonstrated.

All signals are pointing towards prices of coniferous timber throughout Scotland & Northern England having continued to increase since the end of March and there are still considerable supply pressures on timber processors. 

Raymond Henderson, Forestry Partner at Bidwells commented: “It is always difficult to predict the future, given the influence which global demand and exchange rates have on domestic timber values, but the overall macro-economic situation of increasing demand and tightening supplies suggests no reason to suspect a weakening of prices over the short term."

“Good news for timber growers then, but possibly less so for many processors, and given the closely linked health dependence of each sector on the other, it can be in no-one’s best interests to see unsustainably high prices. The hope is therefore that what we have been seeing is a re-basing of timber values at levels which can be maintained in the long term.”

To view the full insights and research, please click on the report here

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/timber-market-undergoes-biggest-period-change-decades]

NEPCon launches online survey on Due Diligence best practices and EUTR

NEPCon is encouraging EU-based companies working in the timber sector to share their experience with Due Diligence and the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).

The five-minute survey is part of the 'Supporting Legal Timber Trade' project, aimed to show timber-related businesses how to align with the EU Timber Regulation and discover possibilities of gaining a competitive edge.

The survey targets a wide range of timber-related companies from pulp and paper manufacturer, sawmill, wood processor to timber trader.

The online consultation is available in 10 languages, namely English, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, German, Romanian, Hungarian, Spanish and Portuguese.

This survey will provide further understanding on how confident the companies are with the EUTR and the Due Diligence and difficulties they are experiencing, as well as their trusted resources to help them comply with the regulations.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/nepcon-launches-online-survey-due-diligence-best-practices-and-eutr]

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