At LIGNA, Biesse is presenting the future of Industry 4.0: 6000 square metres where automation and interconnection become an even more effective spur and bring to life the Automaction concept - Biesse's constant innovative spirit.

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The likely impact of a prolonged trade dispute between China and the US is undermining the confidence of producers, reports by ITTO.

Over the past 12 months, even as China’s GDP growth slowed, demand for West African logs and sawnwood held up but the combined effect of tariff increases in the US and the expanding of anti-dumping tariffs is hitting China’s wood product exports to the US and this will inevitably lead to a slowing of orders for West African producers.

Shipments to European markets are beginning to slow as the usual holiday season lull in demand starts. Producers had respectable business levels in the EU market in 2018 and in the early part of this year demand was steady.

Last year there were increased exports of sawnwood to the EU with Gabon seeing a 15 percent rise in shipments, a 13 percent rise from Congo, a 15 percent rise from Ghana and a 5 percent rise in shipments from the DRC. However, sawnwood shipments from Ivory Coast fell 10 percent.

There was also a rise in log exports to the EU last year except for the 6 percent decline in shipments from Cameroon and the 21 percent drop from Equatorial Guinea. Most of the gains in EU imports of tropical logs last year were in France and Belgium.

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According to ITTO, producers in Gabon report that since April exports have been held up first by a strike by Customs Officers and recently by a series of other problems. The most recent problem has been that companies ready to stuff and seal containers have been unable to arrange inspections by Ministry of Forestry officials and Customs Agents as the courts have seized the official stamps used to confirm the inspection.

News circulating in trade circles is of the apparent 'misplacement' of a huge number of containers of kevazingo. Local analysts are at a loss to explain how so many containers could have gone missing.

On a brighter note the media in Gabon has reported that the management of the Gabon Special Economic Zone (GSEZ) will, through a system named 'Tracer Nkok', implement timber tracking in order to ensure transparency in the flow of logs entering the Nkok economic zone.

Tracer Nkok aims to ensure that only logs that meet due diligence requirements enter the Nkok area. Tracer Nkok will also provide due diligence technical support for zone operators.

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The US, Japan, the EU, China and the Republic of Korea have remained the five largest importers of Vietnamese forest products, accounting for some 87 percent of the industry’s total export value, reports by nhandan online.

As of April 18, more than 29 hectares of concentrated forests were planted, accounting for 21.6 percent of the yearly plan. Meanwhile, the number of forest law violation cases was brought down by nearly 1,076 or 25 percent from last year. The area of damaged forest was also reduced by 58 hectares or 23 percent.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc recently issued Directive No.08/CT-TTg, outlining measures to increase forestry shipments to US$11 billion in 2019, US$12-13 billion in 2020, and US$18-20 billion in 2025.

Vietnam has 4,500 enterprises processing and exporting wood and forestry products, 1,863 of which are exporters. They include more than 700 foreign-invested businesses with large production scales and the application of advanced technologies in production.

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Located in Suzhou City, 100 kilometers away from Shanghai, Sufoma Machinery Co., Ltd was set up in 1961 and belongs to China Foma Group. As a China national high-tech enterprise and industry backbone enterprise of China’s man-made board industry, Sufoma is a professional manufacturer for sanding machine and CTS line, particleboard production line, MDF/HDF production line and short-cycle lamination production line. And we have made significant progress in metal sanding field both in products technology innovation and market exploration.

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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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