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March 2016
Sawmilling South Africa News
After extensive travel in the sawmilling industry over recent months we can say that almost all millers, especially those involved in the structural lumber sector, are reporting better trading conditions – with both sales volumes and prices showing growth. We also believe that the same can be said for the industrial segment, although we do not have any solid evidence to back up this claim. Certainly if you read the latest Crickmay Lumber Index it would support the above. Could the fact that, not only volumes, but also sales prices have picked up, have anything to do with the change made last year to the Lumber Index and the decision to leave out pricing? Time will only tell.

Important news for all sawmillers is that a substantial start has been made on developing the two most important skills required in our industry – Saw Doctoring and Kiln Drying. Workshops for both these qualifications were held in PMB last week under the guidance of Mrs Dianne Randal who SSA have employed to manage the entire skills development project, in collaboration with the FP&M Seta. A panel of experts has been arranged for each of these skills, with Wetmilling and Drymilling being next on the agenda. These, together with that of Kiln Operator, will be registered as an occupation in the short term, but after presentation and negotiation between SSA, The FP&M Seta and the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), Saw Doctoring will be elevated and registered as a trade.

This is finally the realisation of the ultimate ambition of the vast majority of Saw Doctors in the country – to have their skills recognised as a bonafide trade. We still have a lot of work to do in this area, but at last we can say with confidence that Saw Doctoring will, in time receive its due credit and recognition. Other skills, such as Log Yard Supervisor and Treating Plant Operator will be dealt with in time, meaning that at last there is something concrete and constructive being done in our industry about skills development.

We are entering the second of the year’s “silly seasons” – that of the Easter holidays, so please keep your wits about you and drive carefully over the period. There’s so many positive things happening in our sector – let’s keep up the trend! Keep safe and we will talk again next month.

Roy Southey
Executive Director: Sawmilling South Africa
Feature article
A Wood-Mizer Africa’s travelogue in the DRC
The DRC is a massively expansive country comprising some 5 million odd square kilometres. The sawmillers working in that country are a resilient bunch and no wonder – it’s a tough job cutting timber in the DRC. Wood-Mizer Africa’s wide footprint across Africa includes large swathes of territory in the DRC.  

Wood-Mizer’s travels off the beaten track to reach the sawmillers that trade in that country reveals a country that offers rich timber and sawmilling opportunities but also some stern crisis’s that it needs to overcome in order for the country and its people to unlock the potential that are found there.

The current downturn in global economic activity has seen the DRC’s economy slowing down significantly making it important for them to diversify into downstream manufacturing to alleviate some of the pressure that comes from an over dependence on minerals.

National News
Former SAPPI forester builds a contracting business with Bell Equipment
Emmanuel Mashile is a qualified forester with a difference. He is business-minded too and, judging from his dabbling in retail sales and services, it must have been clear to everyone that Emmanuel would soon become self-employed. read more
Invitation to the AHEC American Hardwoods Seminar - Cape Town
The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) will be hosting a seminar for specifiers, importers, traders, manufacturers and end users of American hardwoods on the 8th of April at the River Club in Observatory, Cape Town. read more
LCP Roofing hosts Safintra Newlok information session
LCP Roofing, leaders in roof truss technology, recently played host to an interactive information session on Newlok, Safintra’s latest concealed fix roofing product. read more
Forestry programme equips new generation of guardians for Knysna forests
An innovative programme in forestry management is not only creating jobs in some of Knysna's most vulnerable communities, but also teaching locals about plantations and indigenous forest. PG Bison, South Africa's leading diversified timber company, is currently offering the programme to 28 learners. read more
Furniture manufacturers decry skill gap in timber industry
A large skills gap in the timber industry at Knysna in the Southern Cape is said to be the result of Woodwork not being offered at most schools anymore. read more
Revolutionary new wine made with wood chips
A Western Cape winery launched a revolutionary low-kilojoules wine last month made with indigenous South African wood chips. Economic Opportunities MEC, Alan Winde, joined Audacia director, Trevor Strydom, for the launch of this innovative product, which has worldwide patent rights. read more
How to approach a pallet wood project
The latest craze in homemaking in South Africa is the revival of do-it-yourself home projects. This comes as a response to a worldwide increased awareness of the changing weather patterns and global warming caused by our irresponsible use of Earth’s resources. read more
Budget sets aside R1.1bn for drought relief
As South Africa’s water woes worsen on the back of a protracted drought, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday announced relief initiatives totalling R1.1-billion over the medium term. The reprioritised funds aimed to alleviate the pressure of a severe drought on the farming sector and water-stressed communities. read more
KAP sani2c - a world class event with a social conscience
KAP Industrial Holdings Limited, a JSE listed company, is proud to announce a B-BBEE partnership with sani2c mountain bike event, and hereby introduces the KAP sani2c. read more
International News
Sawlog, pulpwood, chip and biomass prices in North America - All in one report!
Wood raw-material costs account for 50-70% of the production costs when manufacturing lumber, pulp and wood pellets. read more
The Global Forest Industry in the 4Q/2015 - excerpts from the 4Q 2015 issue of the Wood Resource Quarterly
Global sawlog prices fell again and the GSPI Index has declined 14.7% in one year. The European Sawlog Price Index (ESPI) has dropped 18.1% from the 4Q/14. read more
ECOWAS tax on timber will collapse industry - Ghanaian MP
GHANA - A decision by ECOWAS to impose tax on imported timber on member states including Ghana will hurt the timber industry, New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament (MP) for Atwima-Nwabiagya North, Benito Owusu-Bio, has said. read more
Allied Timbers abandons contract milling
ZIMBABWE - Allied Timbers has abandoned contract milling and is now in the process of acquiring own equipment as it seeks to improve viability and ensure resource sustainability.  read more
Ground zero in the highly dangerous and rapidly growing illegal luxury timber trade
PREY LANG, Cambodia—The Asian elephant, the banteng and the sambar are just some of the species threatened by illegal logging in Cambodia, where an estimated 804 square miles of forest disappear every year. read more
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Weather in Scotland...

Just got off the phone with a friend who lives in Scotland.
She said that since early this morning the snow has been nearly waist high and is still falling.
The temperature is dropping far below zero and the north wind is increasing to near gale force.
Her husband has done nothing but look through the kitchen window and just stare.
She says that if it gets much worse, she may have to let the drunken bastard in.
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