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September 2016
Sawmilling South Africa News
Its that time of the month again where we try to keep you in the picture as to the comings and goings in the Sawmilling Industry. At the moment things are still looking good  for us sawmillers from a trading perspective but as you all know we have reached that time of the year where many millers are starting their annual wage negotiations and a challenging time it is for those. News from the Mpumalanga region is that this year is proving to be a quite daunting, with some mills already out on strike or experiencing industrial action. If any of you need help or advice give us a call and if we cant assist we may be able to put you on to someone who can.
We would once again like to let all sawmillers know that we have been progressing well with the next round of  sawmilling skills development training courses. We are well into the the curriculum development for Log Yard, Dry Mill and Wett Mill supervisors and as usual are very grateful to those mills who have unselfishly given of their staffs time to assist us. If there are any other experienced sawmillers or training providers who would like to get involved in the process please drop either myself, Roy Southey or our training coordinator Mrs Dianne Randall a mail and we will gladly involve you. A big thank you must go to MTO, Bracken Timbers, CJ Rance and Midlands Pine Products who thus far have been extremely supportive to the cause.
News from the market place this month is that structural timber sales are still strong and this can be seen in the stock levels at the majority of mills. Some mills are down to just a few days stock and this, although good on the one hand is not good on the other as merchants and fabricators are experiencing frustration in getting the required dimensions for their truss plants. Some are even threatening to turn to Steel if the situation does not improve. While this used to be an empty threat years ago, now with the development of light roles steel members is a serious threat to our industry. Sawmillers need to sit up and take note of the situation and try to address these shortages. Light weight steel is already making serious inroads in to the truss market and we must not let this continue under our noses.
We are fast approaching the busy time of the year for most mills but please don’t forget that the Association will be holding our usual regional meetings or “information sessions” in November and this year we will be traveling with Dr. Peter Stohr, the renowned kiln drying expert, who will be making a presentation with advice aimed at sawmill managers this time. Dr. Stohr will be delving into the financial benefits of the correct drying technique and kiln set-up so this should even hold interest for the accountants among you. The idea at this stage is that we will start up in Limpopo and work our way down to Mpumalanga, KZN, Eastern Cape and end up in the Western Cape. These meeting will be held between the 14th and 18th November. We will be sending notice out under separate cover to all SSA members but at this stage please diarise that week in November.
That’s about it for this month so until next time keep cutting straight and drying flat.

Roy Southey
Executive Director: Sawmilling South Africa
Feature article
Contact: Wood-Mizer Africa
National News
Montigny turnover at E1.7bn
MONTIGNY Group of Companies has grown its turnover from E700 million per year 2 years ago, to about E1.2 billion last year & nearly E1.7 billion this year.  They had just completed construction of the largest sawmill in Southern Africa at a cost in excess of E80 million. read more
Woodlands launches biofuel boiler
Woodlands Dairy, the producers of First Choice dairy products in the Eastern Cape, launched the first-ever Biofuel Boiler in the South African diary industry on Tuesday - a R30 million capital investment.
The boiler’s primary fuel is biomass in the form of sustainable wood chips proposed and provided by MTO Forestry. read more
In South Africa, a chance to stop the illegal forest plunder for precious woods
As the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) begins in SA, EIA released new analysis revealing the nature & scale of a highly destructive trade in precious woods. read more
New ITC-SA Board of Directors elected
The Institute for Timber Construction (ITC-SA), whose vision is to create and maintain the highest standards in the engineered timber construction industry, held its Annual General Meeting on the 18th of August at which its new Board of Directors was elected. read more
Wood wins at ITC-SA timber construction awards
A prominent highlight on the local timber construction calendar, The Annual Timber Engineered Product Awards, hosted by the ITC-SA at Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg on the 19th of August, showcased & rewarded top class workmanship in the fields of decking, timber frame construction & roofing. read more
Renttech South Africa’s Unilift range
Renttech South Africa will be exhibiting – among its welding, generators & lifting/rigging ranges – their own Unilift brand of lifting equipment. Specifically, the company will be showcasing its new range of Unilift KV lever hoists and the recently introduced Unilift-KII chain block series. read more
Umgano Timbers sawmill opening
Safire Crop Division’s Ruth Bezuidenhout and Gareth Smallbones recently attended the official opening of the Umgano Timbers sawmill near Creighton in KZN, an enterprise which came about directly as a result of a community project planting scheme. read more
LCP Roofing scoops three timber construction awards
While the awards have traditionally been a platform to acknowledge & reward excellence in the timber frame building sector with various categories from decking to structures larger than 220m2, this is the first year that the event has included a category specifically for the roofers. read more
International News
Mexico to close seven illegal sawmills in an effort to protect the monarch butterflies
Mexican environmental authorities say they have closed 7 sawmills operating illegally in the monarch forest reserve that serves as the wintering ground for monarch butterflies that migrate to Mexico from the United Sates and Canada. read more
NZ export log prices edge up from 8-month low
New Zealand export log prices edged up from an 8-month low in September as demand, shipping rates & the currency remained relatively stable. The average wharf gate price for New Zealand A-grade logs edged up to $111 a tonne in September, from an 8-month low of $110 a tonne in August. read more
Tulipwood brings a smile to London
Visitors to the London Design Festival can experience an unusual curved wooden building called The Smile. Designed by Alison Brooks of Alison Brooks Architects, the sloping structure demonstrates the potential of CLT, which Brooks says is “stronger than concrete.” read more
Softwood lumber prices trending upwards
Demand for softwood lumber has gone up in many markets around the world in 2016, resulting in a substantial increase in global lumber trade. With very few exceptions, the major importing countries have imported more lumber during the first 6 months this year than they did during the same period in 2015. read more
“E-mailable” solar house snaps together like a 3D puzzle without a single nail
Clemson University students designed & built a Southern hospitality-inspired home that’s powered entirely by rooftop solar. Constructed from CNC-milled plywood, the innovative carbon-neutral house exists largely as a set of digital files to allow the average person to build their own house, with local materials, efficiently & affordably by hand. read more
Biomass energy study tour
“We are looking for any interested attendees who are considering a biomass energy plant investment for their business and who would like to learn more about the technology available,” said a joint statement from Christian Jirkowsky & Sohum Gandhi (organisers and tour guides). Both have extensive experience in the field. read more
NZBIO award for new green glue for wood products
Scion’s environmentally-friendly bioadhesives and resins made from natural sources, are contributing to a reduction in the use of fossil resources and greenhouse gas emissions, reinforcing the New Zealand wood processing industry’s licence to operate. read more
Tasmania's forestry industry concerned Government woodchip solution falls short
Forestry Tasmania is signing contracts with two operators to export woodchips from forests in southern Tasmania, but the industry has concerns it will have product left on its hands. read more
Divided we fall – Get ready for a softwood war
Unless a miracle happens & a deal is reached by this October, SLA V is coming. The most contentious trade dispute in Canada-U.S. relations looks like it will be rearing its ugly head again this fall once the U.S. government’s 1-year commitment to not initiate trade remedy action expires. read more
Forestry contractors call for more wood flow details
FICA President, Ross Davis says, “It’s no use politicians proclaiming regional log shortages without specific details, as every region has different drivers. But it would be useful for wood sellers & buyers to have timely information about supply changes.” read more
Aiming to 3D-print synthetic wood
Associate Professor David Leung is working on creating a new, sustainable industry for synthetic wood manufacture through 3D bio-printing live plant cells that could vastly reduce the need for tree harvesting. read more
1600 jobs at risk if over harvesting of Northland pine forests continues
Over harvesting of Northland pine forests to satisfy a global demand for timber could force the closure of the region's wood processing businesses & loss of jobs. At the current rate of 4.8 mill cu m of radiata pine harvested in the region each year, supplies would... read more
Tasmanian forest industry finally rebounding after extended downturn
15-year-old eucalyptus nitens stand in line side by side. The rows of green & brown plantation represent the future of Tasmania’s once mighty forestry industry. The forest industry in Tasmania has left its troubled past behind & is heading for a calmer, more profitable future. read more
Mobile technologies wanted for primary sector event
Now in its 5th year, MobileTECH has firmly established itself as one of the leading cross-industry technology events in New Zealand. MobileTECH attracted close to 350 attendees from the agricultural, horticultural and forestry industries in 2016. read more
Tiwi Island three-year woodchip export deal underway as first ship sets sail
The first of 14 shipments of woodchips from a Tiwi Islands forestry plantation is due to set sail to Japan. The traditional owners of the Tiwis are in charge of nearly 30,000 hectares of Acacia mangium trees. read more
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SSA · Forest Lodge, Sedgefield · Knysna, Western Cape 6573 · South Africa

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