The extraordinary 43rd edition of CIFF has just ended and its largest number of exhibitors, visitors, events, the undoubted improvement in the product design and the great satisfaction for the amount of agreements concluded, reflect the ongoing and rapid evolution of a country like China that, increasingly alert, seeks quality, innovation, contents and extreme concreteness.

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According to EUWID, over the course of the second half of 2018, German beech roundwood exports to China declined at an increasing rate. Whilst in the first two quarters, at 155,325m³ and 154,917m³, beech roundwood exports to China surpassed the comparative figure of the preceding year by 18 percent and 24 percent respectively, exports in the third and fourth quarter developed along negative lines. From July to September, at 26,387m³, the volume of beech roundwood exported to China declined by 17 percent, and in the fourth quarter, at 41,881m³, by as much as 44 percent. 

The decline in the third quarter was due to base effects because, following weather-related delays in the supply of logs, quite significant volumes were still shipped to China in the third quarter of 2017, and the full extent of closures of businesses in China which had not acquired the necessary approvals was not yet noticeable. The main reason for the decline in the fourth quarter, however, was the slower growth rate of the Chinese economy. Over the course of the fourth quarter, exporters also repeatedly drew attention to the uncertainty and reticence in the purchasing behaviour of Chinese customers, which was attributed to the tariff dispute between the USA and China, and also affected processing of beech.

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Svenska Cellulosa (SCA), Europe’s largest private forest holding company, which produces paper, pulp and wood products has acquired a total of 10,000 hectares of land and forest from the Latvian Forest Company for 26.2 million euros, reports by EMERGINGEUROPE.

SCA has been buying timber from the Baltic countries for decades, and most analysts believe that it was only a matter of time before the giant decided to secure its investment in the region.

“We have been in the Baltic states for a long time as a buyer of timber,” explains SCA’s Jonas Mårtensson. “The Baltic states are a natural part of the base for our raw material supply and our operations there are strengthened by a forest asset of our own. We may well consider more acquisitions of forest land in the Baltics.”

SCA acquired the subsidiaries of Latvian Forest Company that own the actual forest and land resources and closed the deal on April 8 . The assets purchased comprise of 7,600 hectares of productive forest land, 2,000 hectares of farmland and an additional 800 hectares of land.

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According to FORDAQ, on 15 April, the European Council adopted a set of conclusions on the progress achieved in the implementation of the EU Forest Strategy and on a new strategic framework for forests. The conclusions follow the publication of a Commission report in December 2018, which reviewed the role played by the strategy in its first five years of life.

In its conclusions, the Council welcomes the progress made in the implementation of the EU Forest Strategy, which has contributed to the promotion of sustainable development through sustainable forest management, and improved the cooperation between member states, the Commission and other relevant stakeholders on EU forest-related policies.

The conclusions then set out the priorities to be followed in the next two years in order to achieve the objectives of the strategy, such as further improving coordination, communication and the sharing of best practices.

Finally the Council calls on the Commission to present an ambitious communication on stepping up the EU action against deforestation and to develop a new EU forest strategy beyond 2020.

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The LIGNA Preview at the Hannover Exhibition Center in Hannover, Germany, is the most important press event leading up to the world's leading trade fair for machinery, plant and tools for the woodworking and timber processing industry.

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Qualitative grading of industrial soft and hardwood assortments into the two new quality categories of “Prima” and “Sekunda” is being introduced in Sweden with effect from 1 August. The main change is that the quality of the individual logs will no longer be determined in future but the average quality of a whole load instead, according to EUWID.

As such, the new system permits higher tolerance of wood defects of lesser importance from the perspective of the industry but simultaneously specifies stricter limits for defects of greater relevance and weights them more heavily as well. 

When the new sorting criteria for industrial soft and hardwood is introduced, the version of the existing “Quality requirements for pulpwood” released by the former interest group SDC Ek on 1 August 2016 will become obsolete.

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Premier John Horgan revealed on Thursday the pillars of a “conscious and deliberate strategy” to curtail exports of minimally processed lumber, reports by CoastReporter.

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According to CBC news, the U.S. Forest Service is planning the largest sale of Alaska old growth timber in years.

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Wood flooring remains in style, according to Andrew Denny of Textures Flooring, and the expert highlights European white oak, French oak, Northern Appalachian white oak, and walnut as popular wood choices. 

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Canadian forestry stocks with strong fundamentals and recent price momentum, reports by THE GLOBE AND MAIL.

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