According to, panel producer Norbord’s European operations has reported continuing strong demand in Q1, with double-digit demand growth in both the UK and Germany.

The company said OSB was continuing to gain market share from plywood.

Its European operations delivered adjusted earnings before interest tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of US$6m (Q1 2016: US$10m).

Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord’s president and CEO, said in Europe the company continued to face a post-Brexit translation headwind from the weaker Pound Sterling, and Q1 included the additional impact of higher resin prices that exceeded the panel price increases it had recorded to-date.

He said in local currency terms, OSB prices in the UK were 5 percent higher than the same quarter last year and have firmed by about 10 percent since their post-Brexit lows. On the continent, OSB prices were 3 percent lower than the same quarter last year but flat versus the prior quarter.

UK MDF and particleboard prices were up 8 percent and 3 percent, respectively versus both comparative periods.

"Our project to modernize and expand the Inverness, Scotland OSB mill to serve this rapidly growing customer demand remains on budget and on track to start up in the second half of this year,” said Mr Wijnbergen.


The Forestry Commission is targeting the local processing of Rosewood for value addition and export purposes, reports from STARRFM online.

The Commission says this new agenda is aimed at efficient regulation of the exploitation of Rosewood in accordance with agreements with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

It would also help in reducing the illegal harvesting and export of the wood. Addressing a press conference at the Corporate Offices of the Forestry Commission, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, John Allotey said the Commission will issue licenses to some local factories that have been identified to have the capacity to process rosewood.

“The Forestry Commission will regulate the exploitation of rosewood in accordance with agreement with CITES. Henceforth the commission will be tasked to ensure domestic processing of rosewood logs for value addition prior to export to overseas market”, he stated.


U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell recently announced over $8.3 million to substantially expand and accelerate wood products and wood energy markets. Federal funds will leverage almost $37 million in matching funds from 36 business, university, nonprofit, and tribal partners in 19 states for a total investment of over $45 million. The public-private partnerships leveraged with these grants will lead to the removal of hazardous fuels from forests while spurring the economic development of rural communities, according to Biomass Magazine.

The awarded funds will stimulate the removal of hazardous fuels from national forests and other forest lands to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and promote forest health.

“The Wood Innovations Grant Program helps create jobs in rural communities and keeps our forests healthy,” Tidwell said. “By investing in strong markets for forest products, we can incentivize sustainable forest management and sustain our rural communities".

This year the Forest Service received 114 proposals, highlighting the expanding interest in using wood as an innovative building material and renewable energy source. Since 2005 more than 230 grants have been awarded to small businesses, nonprofits, tribes, states, and local governments to improve forest health while creating jobs, renewable energy, and healthy communities.

Of the 38 projects funded, 26 focus upon expanding wood products markets, and 12 increase wood energy markets. Projects address a wide range of issues that include increasing capacity at mass timber manufacturing facilities, testing the resiliency of cross-laminated timber (CLT) structures against explosives, establishing biomass district energy systems, and examining the use of biochar in restoring water quality.


interzum ended on 19 May 2017 with record results. A total of approximately 69,000 visitors from 152 countries attended the world’s largest trade fair for furniture production and interior construction between 16 and 19 May 2017. “It was the best interzum ever yet,” said Katharina C. Hamma, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH, who is delighted with the results. “With this year’s interzum, we offered the industry a unique event. interzum has reached a new level with the rises in visitor figures, the growth in exhibitor numbers and the increase in floor space combined with measures to enhance the event’s quality,” said Ms Hamma. Some 1,732 exhibitors (2015: 1,537) from 60 countries presented their innovations at interzum 2017. Foreign exhibitors accounted for 79 per cent of the total.


More international visitors

interzum’s international reach is not only increasing amongst exhibitors. The trade fair also attracted growing numbers of international visitors. The proportion of foreign visitors rose to around 74 per cent (2015: 71 per cent). Overall, more than 51,000 visitors came from outside Germany. Within Europe, increases in visitor figures were recorded in particular from the Netherlands (up 26 per cent), Spain (up 25 per cent), Italy (up 20 per cent) and Eastern Europe (up 46 per cent). Visitor numbers from Poland and the United Kingdom also rose. Considerable increases were seen in visitors from Asia (up 53 per cent), the Middle East (up 25 per cent), Africa (up 17 per cent), Australia/Oceania (up 31 per cent), North America (up 26 per cent) and India (up 41 per cent).


Trends for tomorrow’s living spaces

This year interzum addressed some very exciting themes and ideas for trade visitors. It demonstrated that outstanding innovations in furniture production and interior construction are constantly being developed. New materials, technologies and design approaches were just some of the key areas that the trade fair focused on. The products on display ranged from fittings, surfaces and decors to textiles, glass and lighting all the way through to innovative materials. The wide-ranging special events at the trade fair examined global trends such as sustainability, digitalization and mobility. The special Mobile Spaces event area explored how a new understanding of mobility will influence vehicle interiors. With events such as this, interzum underscored its focus on groundbreaking ideas and highlighted their importance to exhibitors.

Many of the innovations presented in Cologne can be used in both stationary and mobile spaces.

interzum 2017 in numbers

Some 1,732 companies from 60 countries (2015: 1,537 companies from 58 countries) appeared at interzum 2017 on a gross exhibition space covering 187,400 m² (2015: 163,000 m²). This included 368 exhibitors from Germany (2015: 372 exhibitors) and 1,364 foreign exhibitors (2015: 1,165 exhibitors). Foreign exhibitors accounted for 79 per cent (2015: 76 per cent). Including estimates for the last day of the trade fair, 69,000 trade visitors from 152 countries (2015: 58,023 trade visitors from 143 countries) visited interzum, with foreign trade visitors accounting for approximately 74 per cent (2015: 71 per cent). *

The next interzum will take place from 21 – 24 May 2019 in Cologne, Germany.


Signing ceremony took place at Dieffenbacher’sLigna booth in Hanover


On the second day of Ligna 2017, Vietnam-based Thien Lam Dat JSC and Dieffenbacher sealed the deal for a complete MDF plant in BacGiang, about 50 km east of Hanoi.


“We began to plant fast-growing tree plantations with the objective of producing wood-based panels 11 years ago. During the years we have visited more than 30 plants in Europe to study the technology and find the right supplier for our project. This long journey consequently resulted in our partnership with Dieffenbacher, which we are very proud to announce today here at the Dieffenbacher booth,” said Mr. Dang Quoc Lich (Chairman of the Board, Thien Lam Dat JSC) during the signing ceremony. Mr. Christian Dieffenbacher (Member of the Board of Management, Dieffenbacher) added: “We are happy that all our efforts were rewarded. I am sure that it will be a very fruitful cooperation and that the new MDF plant will be a great success for Thien Lam Dat.”


According to Mr.Lich, it was very important for Thien Lam Dat that all of the equipment willbe manufactured in Europe. The core of the plant will be the CPS+ press system. The scope of supply includes the complete production line, from the wood yard throughthe strapping and packing line as well as an energy plant.


The raw material for the MDF production will come from Thien Lam Dat’s plantations and will be mostly acacia wood. Start-up of the plant is planned for mid-2018.


Image: Signing ceremony at Ligna 2017 in Hanover. From left: Christian Dieffenbacher (Member of the Board of Management, Dieffenbacher) and Dang Quoc Lich (Chairman of the Board, Thien Lam Dat JSC).


Dirk Eisenmann 

Head of Marketing and Communications

Tel. +49 (0) 72 62 65-224

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LIGNA 2017 had delivered big in terms of innovations and global appeal during May 22-26, with a significant increase in the number of exhibitors and visitors from abroad and new impetus for the wave of digitalization currently redefining the industry. It had attracted a total of 93,000 visitors, including some 42,000 attendees from outside Germany who had come to Hannover from more than 100 different countries.


Mega-theme Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 concepts for the wood industry were the dominant theme at this year’s LIGNA, with major emphasis placed on digitalization, integration and automation.

Leader companies such as IMA, WEINIG, Wood-Mizer, Altendorf, Wemhoener, Dieffenbacher and Leuco introduced advanced new products and technologies through the fair. In line with the mega-theme of Industry 4.0, visitors were especially interested in the trend towards visualizing process and work steps.

In the HALL 11-13, the layout of Biesse’s stand was totally based on the concept of industry 4.0. With more than 40 technologies solutions and 300 experts on the spot, it help visitors to discover the advantages of digital factories and enable them benefit from the conditions offered by being Industry 4.0 ready. Customers can improve their production at lower costs. 


Innovation highlights

There have been many sparkling innovation results of woodworking industry displayed on Ligna which reflected current industry trends and delivered practical benefits for visitors. 


CERATIZIT team has shown the exciting innovation highlights on the exhibition. The cutting tools and tooling system they have offered can achieve improved surface quality in both hardwood and softwood machining. Besides, manufacturers gain a better cost-benefit ratio. Corrosion and oxidation resistance during cutting makes higher process reliability. 


In addition, as a renewable energy source, biomass has been used widely in the industry. But burning biomass releases carbon emissions even higher than burning coal. However, INNERGY-THE specialist in boilers and thermal plants in the wood sector, offers sustainable installations and smart solutions to generate energy from biomass with low emissions which is good for environment.


Using technology improve forestry

The key concepts underlying LIGNA are automation, efficiency and networked processes which are also applied to forestry. RIF, the institute for research on sustainable forest management developed the virtual forest which supports various processes that are essential for an efficient work in the forest. With the technologies and system developed for forest, date can be efficiently managed which is of benefit of collecting forest information just in time and making comprehensive forest plan.


New LIGNA layout

The new LIGNA layout was also well received by primary industry visitors, with the four thematic areas of Forestry Technology , Sawmill Technology , Wood-based Panel Production and Energy from Wood . The focus was on the production of wood as a raw material for products or energy generation, through the planning, felling and retrieval stages. The current state of the art on the use in forestry of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), or drones, proved a popular drawing card, along with the latest forest surveying processes.


The next LIGNA will turn on May 27-31, 2019.


According to Construction DIVE, the softwood lumber dispute, which had been fueled by speculation over the past few months, reached its first milestone of certainty in April, when the U.S. government announced an average 20% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber imports. Another set of taxes, in the form of antidumping duties, is expected by June 23.

The recent price increases driven by the looming tariffs could increase the cost of a new home by $3,600, according to the NAHB, while the U.S. Lumber Coalition puts forth a smaller figure, $400 on $6,000 in current lumber costs for a $350,000 house. Another challenge is supply: If Canadian mills look to other countries for their exports, U.S. homebuilders could face shortages unless domestic manufacturers ramp up their own production in time.   

Still, it could be as much as six months before the full impact of the new taxes is felt, since many builders negotiated deals in advance.

On the commercial side, material prices, and, subsequently, construction costs, are growing at a faster pace than what contractors are charging. Like the NAHB, the Associated General Contractors of America is requesting that legislators work to prevent international disputes that could impact material prices.


If Brazilian legislators approve the Provisional Measure MP 758/16 of December 2016 that changes the use limitations for protected areas such as the Jamanxim National Park and the Tapajós Environmental Protection Area. An area of around 1 million hectares could be at risk according to Braziian newspaper Valor Economico, reports from Valor. 

MP 758/16 aims to re-designate 862,000 hectares of forest in the Jamanxim National Park to allow railroad expansion to transport of soybeans from Mato Grosso to other states. Valor Economico reports that other proposed amendments could weaken protection of the Amazon; for example parts of the Jamanxim National Park could be redesignated as environmental protection areas (APAs). APAs are the most flexible type of conservation units in Brazil since they permit agriculture and mining in the areas. An amendment that re-designates around 170,000 hectares of the National Forest of Itaituba into an APA was recently approved.

Spokespersons from the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation said they foresee an increase in deforestation in the Amazon If these decisions are implemented.


According to ITTO, for the first time ever a shipment of timber destined for China has been shipped from Jayapura, the capital of Papua. Papua is the largest and easternmost province of Indonesia and has borders with Papua New Guinea to the east and West Papua province to the west. (Papua was formerly called Irian Jaya).

Until now, shipments from Papua had go through Makassar in South Sulawesi, the nearest international port.

The central government has been urging the state-owned port operator to up-grade facilities as vessels at the port must be ‘geared’ as there are limited port cranes.

Papua Governor, Lukas Enembe, said as the port becomes better equipped and better known the Province will be able to attract investors to take advantage of the abundant natural resources in the Province.


Data released by the U.S. agencies show that American hardwood lumber global exports were up 10% in value and 11% in volume in 2016, with China the number one market accounting for over half of all shipments.  In Southeast Asia markets were steady with Vietnam importing 72% of all shipments to ASEAN countries by value.

Worldwide exports of hardwood lumber from the USA amounted to 3,916,336 M3 valued at almost $2.3 billion. Canada was the second largest market, making Vietnam the second largest outside North America.  Exports to Vietnam amounted to $157,324,361 – an increase of 2% on the previous year on a volume up 8%. Leading species was tulipwood (yellow poplar) which was up 41% in volume and 29% in value.  White and red oak, together with American black walnut, were the top four species, with a marked upward tendency in red oak. Other notable species were cherry, red alder, ash and maple. There was growth in shipments of hickory from a very small base, reflecting the increase in flooring production in Vietnam. Most specieshowever, except red oak, are not back to their peak year 2014, as shown in Table 1. 

Other markets in Southeast Asia were slightly down by 2-3% only, with Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore importing a further $60 million bringing the total for the ASEAN region to $217.7 million.  Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia were the 10th 11th and 12th global markets - all with white oak as their number one species accounting for 54%, 35% and 48% of U.S. hardwood lumber shipments respectively.   


American hardwood logs shipments globally were down 5% in value at $717.9 million but up 4% in volume at 2,069,422 M3.  All ASEAN markets reduced their imports of U.S. logs, except Thailand, although volumes are already significantly lower than hardwood sawn lumber from the USA as shown in table 3.

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