Image

Structural timber supply short for at least six months

4 May 2021

One of Australia’s largest structural timber manufacturers, Timberlink Australia, which has mills in South Australia’s South East and in Tasmania, was among the Radiata pine processors that have ramped up production.

Timberlink chief executive Ian Tyson said timber supplies across the nation were tight. “We are doing all that we can to produce as much timber as possible, including extra shifts at the mill,” Mr Tyson said. He said demand for building materials had increased since COVID-19, with high levels of housing starts and renovation activity.

“We are expecting the tightness in supply to ease slightly over the coming months as inventory improves and import levels adjust,” Mr Tyson said. “Timberlink is producing more timber than at any other time, and our AU$100 million investment in our Australian mill upgrade program will shortly further increase our production capacity.”

OneFortyOne — the largest integrated forestry company in South Australia and a large producer of structural timber — said a reduction in imports had also impacted the supply. Executive general manager Cameron MacDonald said imports had previously made up 25 per cent of demand for timber in Australia.

“We’re seeing a worldwide phenomenon where government stimulus has seen a lot of new home building activity, as well as do-it-yourself projects, and the timber prices in the US have doubled,” Mr MacDonald said. “So, a lot of those imports are going to America rather than coming to Australia and it’s really been a significant drop in imports.”

He said he hoped common sense would prevail with the HomeBuilder scheme, which required construction to start within six months. “Everyone’s asking the federal government to relax that deadline so that we can push some of this demand out because it’s not just timber, it’s tradies, it’s bathroom fittings, everything’s in short supply at the moment,” he said.

“My concern is that two years out, we’re going to see significant drop in demand for new homes, whereas if we relax those timelines on HomeBuilder, I think we’ll see a more orderly reduction in demand.”

Australian Forest Products Association deputy chief executive Victor Violante said home builders potentially faced months of delay in accessing structural timber. “A number of processing mills are working at capacity and will continue to do so until things settle down,” Mr Violante said. “This is a good problem to have, but it highlights the need for Australia to be self-sufficient.”

Source: ABC

Read More
Image

Kenworth unveils futuristic SuperTruck 2

Kenworth showcased its SuperTruck 2 demonstrator vehicle at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Las Vegas last month, a project developed over six years in collaboration with the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) SuperTruck programme. The aim of the project ...
Read more
Image

Key drivers to decarbonise heavy transport fleets

The industry was buzzing once again for the Wood Transport & Logistics 2024 event that ran last week in Rotorua, New Zealand. Well over 200 forestry and log transport companies from across Australasia, America and Europe, came to Rotorua to ...
Read more
Image

Rocket Lab launches climate science satellites

Rocket Lab, a global leader in launch services and space systems, today launched the first of two back-to-back launches for NASA’s PREFIRE (Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment) climate change-focused mission. ‘Ready, Aim, PREFIRE’ lifted-off from Rocket Lab Launch ...
Read more
Image

Hiringa launches hydrogen refuelling network

Taranaki-based green hydrogen developer Hiringa Energy has marked the opening of New Zealand’s first zero-emission green hydrogen refuelling network set to service heavy freight across the North Island. The initiative is the first of its kind in Australasia and was officially ...
Read more
Image

Lidar technology for scalable forest inventory

Evaluating the trade-offs between the various platforms. When considering Lidar technology for forest inventory, it is essential to evaluate the trade-offs of each platform. This article provides some pointers. There is a critical need for rapid, rigorous, reproducible and scalable ...
Read more
Image

Remote-controlled firefighting technology demoed

BurnBot, an innovative firefighting technology, has been successfully demonstrated in Incline Village, Nevada. These remote-controlled machines can quickly clear vegetation, reducing wildfire risk. In just 2-3 days, BurnBot cleared 75% of the vegetation on 22 acres – a task that would take ...
Read more
Image

Hyne Group further expands

The Hyne Group is now pleased to announce the further expansion of this new operating division, with the acquisition of Express Pallets and Crates (Express), based at Narangba near Brisbane. Express has been in operation for some 35 years, under the ownership and ...
Read more
Image

FWPA Report: Transforming softwood timber verification

Forest & Wood Products Australia (FWPA) is pleased to share new research introducing biased position testing as a cost- effective and efficient method for the verification of structural softwood timber properties.  This innovative approach can unlock significant cost savings and improved efficiency ...
Read more
Image

Heli-saw to ‘transform’ tree-trimming around power lines

New Zealand’s electricity sector could be transformed by a radical new approach to keeping trees off power lines, says a King Country-based energy distributor. The Lines Company (TLC), based in Te Kūiti, has undertaken its first successful trial of the heli-saw – a ...
Read more