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    Extra funding for timber transport announced

    2017 - 02.27

    The Scottish government is to put an additional £5 million into funding for timber transport in the country in a move described as “fantastic news” for the forestry sector.

    The extra money for the 2017 Strategic Timber Transport Fund (STTF) will help minimise the impact of timber lorries on the rural road network, as well as those moving timber by sea or rail.

    The investment means the STTF now has a total of £7.85 million to offer as co-funding to support forestry and woodland projects in Scotland.

    Since its launch in 2005, the STTF has supported 136 projects which have reduced the impact of timber lorries taking 29 million tonnes of timber to market.

    Confor, which promotes sustainable forestry and the woodland sector, welcomed the investment.

    “This additional funding is fantastic news. It is a real vote of confidence in Scotland’s £1 billion forestry sector and the 25,000 jobs it supports,” said Stuart Goodall, Confor chief executive.

    “Accessing Scotland’s maturing forestry resource can put pressure on the rural road infrastructure and this additional funding is a vital contribution to bringing more of that to market. This is also very good news for Scotland’s rural communities, supporting local employment and reducing lorry miles on public roads.”

    Announcing the funding as part of the agreed Scottish budget for 2017-18, Scotland’s rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Forestry is a burgeoning, £1 billion rural industry that is producing around seven million tonnes of timber a year and is expected to increase this to 10 million over the next decade.

    “This will generate significant benefits for our rural economy but we must also do all what we can to mitigate the impact on local communities. This fund seeks to address the impact of increased timber traffic for minor rural roads, many of which need to be improved to deal with heavy vehicles,” he added.

    Scotland’s forestry sector is an important part of the country’s economy. The combined forest industries, including sustainable construction, pulp and paper, woodfuel and biomass and research and innovation, contribute nearly £1 billion to Scotland’s economy each year.

    Brazil and India sign agricultural co-op agreements

    2016 - 10.20

    Brazil and India have signed co-operation agreements to help foster opportunities in the agriculture and pharmaceutical sectors.

    Speaking at a BRICS trade event in Goa, Brazil president Michel Temer said he and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi had agreed to expand relations in these areas.

    In the agricultural field, Brazil’s Agricultural Research Corporation team signed two agreements with the Indian government.

    One will see co-operation with India’s Department of Animal Reproduction, Dairy and Fisheries India on developing bovine genome and assisted reproductive technologies.

    The other, with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, will expand knowledge in the areas of ​​genetic resources, agriculture, animal husbandry, natural resources and fisheries, signed with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

    Agreements in the pharmaceutical industry will see work on product regulation between the National Health Surveillance Agency and the Central Organization of India Quality of Medicines Control Directorate General of Health Services.

    The moves could prove to be good news for people thinking of investing in timber and timber plantations in Brazil.

    Brazil’s economy is largely defined by its forestry – the country has 7.7 million hectares of certified forest and has the third-largest ‘frontier forest’ – forests classed as undisturbed, intact natural forest ecosystems.

    Forestry investment report makes for interesting reading

    2012 - 03.02

    A new report details the most attractive timber investment locations in the world, providing a valuable insight for anyone considering investing in timber and forestry.

    The Global Tree Farm Economic Review by RISI has just been released and it has already been welcomed by investors thanks to its positive news about timber demand in China.

    Although it’s plain to see that China’s appetite for timber seems pretty insatiable at the moment, some have claimed that it is dropping off. However, this recent report shows that 2011 demand hit record levels and that there was also a 30 per cent rise in the timber demand deficit in China, totalling per 150,000 cubic metres.

    The report looks at geographic, political and economical factors that could have an impact on the forestry industry in each country. It found that timber demand is also on the increase in several other nations, including India, which is also experiencing massive economic growth.

    The report added that tree plantation schemes, such as the one operated by Greenwood Management, for example, in Brazil, are becoming popular for the production of timber for emerging markets.

    Good new for investors as UK Timber Price Indices show rise

    2011 - 11.24

    The latest Timber Price Indices have been published showing that timber prices are still rising, thanks to growing demand in Asia and Europe.

    The latest figures have been welcomed by timber investors, who are keen to see that predictions of timber prices continuing to increase over the coming months, are grounded in realism.

    The figures showed that coniferous standing sales averaged at £14.77 per cubic metre for the year to the end of September 2011. During September, standing coniferous sales in the UK had increased by 16 per cent on the same month year before.

    In the six-months to September 2011, softwood sawlog prices had increase by an impressive seven per cent, further adding to the reasons for timber investors to crack open the Champagne. Softwood, is, after all, what makes up the vast majority of timber sold in the UK.

    For those looking to put their money in forestry a bit further afield, they can invest in plantations run by Greenwood Management in Brazil. These offer investors the peace of mind that only an ethical investment option can provide, as well as a truly effective way of diversifying their investment portfolios.

    Irish farmers turning their land over to forestry

    2011 - 10.24

    It’s no secret that we have been singing the praises of forestry as a great way to make money for some time now and it seems that farmers in Ireland are catching on to the trend as well.

    According to a recent article in The Corkman newspaper, a growing number of farmers in the Republic of Ireland are turning to forestry to increase their income. Some claim that planting up their farmland with trees is proving extremely profitable thanks to growing timber prices.

    Helen Mahon of SWS Forestry, based in Clonakilty, has been giving keen newcomers to forestry some tips on how to turn farmland into tree-growing land. She explained that one of the reasons why farmers are keen to swap to forestry is that once the trees are planted, the business is much less labour intensive than growing animals or crops for food. She added that there are also government grants in place to help people turn their land over to forestry for free.

    Farmers will then receive a premium each year for 20 years to compensate for the income they would have received through farming during that period.

    The farmers then, of course, get to start bringing in an income from selling timber from mature trees on a cycle system, through which sustainable practices can be ongoing and highly profitable.

    A similar model is being used all over the world, such as by our sponsor Greenwood Management in Brazil, where they grow fast-growing plantations on behalf of their investors. It’s easy to see the attraction for the Irish farmers and for those investing in sustainable forestry.

    Timber markets strong

    2010 - 01.05

    Timber Investment news from New Zealands Timber Federation….A huge boom in China’s construction markets is cited as the main driver behind  increasing timber demand in New Zealand..According to the Federation, the cost of building timber in New Zealand will rise by up to 10 per cent,  due to extreme supply shortages and growing timber demand.

    The Chinese building regulations have recently changed policy to encourage the use of timber constructions for house building. With up to 20 million people migrating to the cities each year in China from the rural areas, this will certainly be placing a strain of the supply of lumber to the region with timber price rises almost invevitable.  A massive increase in log exports to China is underway….In 2007,  nearly 15 per cent of New Zealand logs went to China, this now stands at 60 per cent.

    The Federation goes on to say that substantial cuts in production as a result of plant closures have more than offset last years reduction in home building…….  quoting directly from the Federation.

    “Prices in both the domestic and export markets are now rising steadily with a number of price increases in the range of 5 per cent to 10 per cent already announced for the domestic market in February and March. Although export prices and margins have been squeezed by the exchange rate, export volumes have actually lifted by about 10 per cent as firms have chased cash to ease liquidity pressures. Lifting production would be difficult in the face of log shortages and expected tough economic conditions in the first half of this year. There is now a huge reliance on, and vulnerability to, China as a result of the biggest and fastest restructuring of our forestry trade in its entire statistical history.”

    The Timber Investment Blog is sponsored by Greenwood Management. For more information on investing in Forestry please click here