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Newsletter: November 2014
Sawmilling SA
Barry Collier
Sawmilling South Africa News
The new Sawmilling South Africa newsletter!
Roy Southey

This is the first of the new format monthly up-dates and we sincerely hope that you find the ‘monthly’ publication of more value than the old weekly up-date,which quite frankly, was little over kill in an industry as intimate as ours. By progressing to a once-a-month publication it allows us to gather and sift a lot more meaningful information, which we are sure, will be of more interest and use to you as sawmillers. Here at Sawmilling South Africa (SSA), we continuously strive to improve our contact with you and the quality of that contact. We live in a fast-paced world and yes, even we sawmillers are in it whether we like it or not.

Old news now but news that we are sure will get many of you up in arms, as by far the majority of you sawmillers will have come through the ‘Saasveld’ system in reaching your current position we are sure, like the rest of the forestry world here in South Africa, are amazed to hear that the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) authorities intend dropping the reference to Saasveld in the official naming of the George Campus.


This is indeed a huge waste of valuable branding and one that has been built up over generations, with great respect to all past and present students, lecturers, researchers and staff alike.  We urge you to express your disapproval of this senseless initiative in whichever way you choose but an email to the campus director would be a good start. His email address is


News from the regions is that timber volumes are moving nicely as expected for this time of the year as we move deeper into the final quarter. All forecasts are that the pick-up will be sustained well into the new year. This is the first time in a number of years that the forecasts are looking so positive, so let’s hope that the tide has eventually turned.


Many of you will be aware of the fact that the revised BBB-EE act has been signed into legislation by President Zuma recently and that the new Act gives the DTI/authorities a lot more ‘clout,’ so to speak, in the implementation, fact gathering and enforcement of the revised Codes of Good Conduct, which will follow early in the new year. The Codes that will apply to the forest sector are under review as we speak and I am pleased to inform you that significant progress is being made in this direction. It is in everyone’s interest to familiarise yourself with the revised act and to stay updated as to the progress of the development of the revised Codes. We shall highlight all developments in this regard here in the newsletter.


All that remains is for me to once again ask you to embrace the new format and we shall talk again next month.

Roy Southey
Executive Director: Sawmilling South Africa


National news
Exploring the discussion around solution uptake values for timber treatment
Timber Treatment

Much has been said in the South African industry regarding the correct solution strength that is required to treat timber. Currently retention is measured in kilograms per cubic metre, which is based on the SABS standards for timber treatment.



International news


Timber industry spurs Latvian industrial output growth


Latvia's industrial production increased at an annual pace of 1,3 percent in September, driven by strong growth in its timber industry. This is according to the latest figures published by the country's Central Statistics Bureau, which show the manufacture of wood and cork articles - excluding furniture - was up by 7,7 percent over the same period.



Malaysian timber exporters eye thriving PHL construction industry


Malaysian timber producers are looking at the Philippines as a new export market amid strong growth in domestic construction activity.NyaeeAyup, Malaysia Trade Office-Manila commissioner, said several companies have recently asked the assistance of her office to look for possible buyers of their lumber products.



Metsä considers cuts in sawn timber production

The balance between demand and supply in sawn timber has weakened due to increased supply in the Nordic countries, says the Finnish company,Metsä, in its latest financial report. Metsä says that production of sawn timber might have to be restricted during the remainder of the year. The weak trend in construction in the company's main markets in Europe decreases demand for wood products, Metsä points out. In other markets demand is picking up.



Prefabs add value to timber


Exporting timber houses makes more economic sense than exporting logs.That was Dan Tremewan's thought, as he watched, from his Lyttelton home, logs being stacked at the port below.

Four years of thought later, the Christchurch property investor and developer has unveiled Welhaus, his own brand of modular, engineered timber homes.


Based on what he had seen in Europe, he has developed the concept in several low-energy designs. The first example has just gone up in seaside North Beach.Others are planned for Huntsbury and Lyttelton, with more orders on the books.Realtor Harcourts will market the homes locally and Tremewan is investigating national and offshore markets.



UK's timber sector reports record number of orders and booming profits


Data from Britain's Structural Timber Association (STA) shows a record number of orders for the UK's timber sector last year, with some organisations doubling their business, according STA suggests that some members had seen sales increase as much as 163% and by 84% in the last three months. 



Russia Is Running Out of Forest

It seems unfeasible that Russia, which holds a fifth of the planet's forests, could run out of wood.

And yet it is happening, at least with commercially usable forests, environmental analysts say.

The Russian logging industry will face lack of harvestable timber in 10 to 20 years, a short time by the standards of an industry naturally tied to slow tree growth cycles, according to their consensus.



New study confirms CO2 advantages with wood

A new study published in the Journal of Sustainable Forestry, confirms that building with wood really does reduce carbon dioxide emissions. And while we talk about how wood sequesters carbon for the life of the building, that is really the smallest part of it.



Evolving timber production and marketing in China

Chinese consumers are also becoming more conscious of environmental and conservation issues and there is a growing interest in wood products that reflect cultural values.Another change has been with the location of the wood processing enterprises. Many have transferred from the developed and high cost eastern coastal regions to less developed areas in central and western China. The most recent development has been the rapid growth in online sales of wood products.



Visakhapatnam becomes haven for timber smugglers

With citizens struggling with day-to-day existence and administration busy with relief works following the devastation wreaked by Cyclone Hudhud, timber smugglers are having a field day ferrying away logs of trees that fell prey to the cyclone on the roads of the city.


In fact, with nearly 80 percent of the green cover of the city wiped out by the cyclone, timber smuggling is emerging as a lucrative opportunity for timber smugglers. The nearly five lakh trees, including huge and mid-sized ones that were either uprooted totally or partially in the city are proving to be fodder for the around 50 to 70 major timber depots in and around Visakhapatnam and nearly 250 small timber and sawmills, sources said.



International Tropical Timber Council Opens 50th Session

The International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) has opened the 50th meeting of its governing body, the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC)on 3 November 2014 and the associated sessions of its Committees in Yokohama, Japan.



Södra creates wood division

Södra is merging its Timber and Interior divisions into a new Södra Wood business unit in a bid to strengthen market presence and yield savings, the company said.


Södra Timber produces construction timber at sawmills in southern Sweden and Norway and has 750 employees. Södra Interior is one of Scandinavia's leading manufacturers of mouldings, panelling, flooring, poles, glued-joints and other interior fittings with operations in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Lithuania and has 630 employees.



Timber industry urges policymakers to back low-carbon economy

Representatives presented the report to a number of national and local politicians. The £8,5bn timber industry will have a significant role in promoting the low-carbon economy according to a report launched by the Timber Accord - an alliance of the UK's timber trade associations.


The report is divided into four key sections: Low-carbon economy; Sustainable jobs and growth; Homes for the future; and Health and wellbeing. It suggests 12 policy areas that the UK Government should focus upon to boost the economy as well as reducing emissions.Representatives presented the report to a number of national and local politicians and a full roll-out to policymakers across the UK will begin this week.



Equipment update

  Fitter - Mechanical Workshop - Saiccor Mill
  Fleet Maintenance Manager - Swartfontein
  Project Process Engineer - Saiccor Mill
Upcoming events
15 and 16 November 2014 - Soweto home building and renovation show
  Soweto The Soweto Home Building and Renovation Show will be an opportunity for suppliers to showcase their products and services through display stands and in the demonstration arena.



17 – 20 November 2014 - Expobois

Manufacturers, craftsmen, merchants and buyers will be able to see a comprehensive range of materials, machinery and equipment, workshop and on-site power tools, accessories, finishing and decoration products, meeting the needs of any target markets, all in one place.



18 – 21 March 2015 - International Wood Products Association (IWPA) Convention

World of Wood is organized by the International Wood Products Association and brings together importers, producers, wholesalers and service providers, among others.



14 – 16 April 2015 - Dubai International Wood and Wood Machinery Show

The Dubai WoodShow exhibition offers you a chance to meet wood and woodworking professionals and develop ideas for increasing the range and quality of your business.



11 - 15 May 2015 - LIGNA

LIGNA will feature a unique new offering for suppliers and manufacturers of forestry and primary wood processing technologies.



On-line business directory


FREE listing in the Sawmill Directory for all sawmills.


Sawmill Directory – We would like to thank the following Sawmills for listing in the FREE Sawmill Directory:


Bracken Timbers

Evergreen Timbers

Sapla Timbers

Saw-Em Timbers


"Take advantage of listing in the Sawmill Directory and get direct quote requests for your timber products"

For FREE registration please contact Craig Schütte on +27 (0)79 5222 637 or email
Smile: it's free!
Exercise for people over 40

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side.

With a 2,5kg potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute and then relax.

Each day you'll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.

After a couple of weeks, move up to 5kg potato bags.

Then try 25kg potato bags and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 50kg potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. (I'm at this level.)


After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each bag.

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