5 Aug 2010

More co-operation needed, says Wood Council

3:11 pm on 5 August 2010

The Wood Council says there needs to be greater co-operation between forest owners and wood processors so that exports can keep growing.

The council represents the interests of wood processors, pine manufacturers and forest owners and contractors.

Over the past year the forest industry has experienced a log and timber export boom worth $500 million, with prices surging by about 25%. Most of the demand has come from China.

Forest owners are warning, however, that the boom won't last - prices and volumes have already fallen from a high in April.

Wood Council chairman Doug Ducker says that recently there's been some intense debate by the council about how to make the industry more integrated.

Mr Ducker also heads the Hawke's Bay company PanPac Forest Products. Even though it owns 33,000 hectares of forest, he says, that's not enough to sustain operations at its Whirinaki mill north of Napier, so it has to work closely with farm foresters for its supplies.