What does the fu­ture hold for our wood­chip in­dus­try

Ma­jor op­er­a­tors give their views

Australian Forests and Timber - - FRONT PAGE -

AUS­TRALIA’S WOOD chip­ping in­dus­try has per­formed ex­tremely strongly over the past five years as ex­ports have surged with ma­jor growth from China and to a lesser ex­tent Ja­pan. Ac­cord­ing to ABARES March/June 2016 data the re­ported value of wood­chip ex­ports reached record lev­els in 2015–16, in­creas­ing 15% from $953 mil­lion to $1.1 bil­lion. All well and good, but what of the fu­ture? Aus­tralian Forests & Tim­ber News de­cided to ask some of the ma­jor play­ers in the busi­ness to join our “dis­cus­sion piece” to help as­cer­tain the in­dus­try strengths and just where it is head­ing.

Mem­bers of our ex­pert panel are: Tony Price Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor and CEO Mid­way Lim­ited

Tony is cur­rently Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor and CEO of Mid­way Ltd which is an in­te­grated mar­ket­ing and pro­cess­ing busi­ness with ex­port op­er­a­tions in Gee­long, Port­land and Bris­bane. Prior to join­ing Mid­way he held a num­ber of se­nior man­age­ment po­si­tions in the hard­wood plan­ta­tion sec­tor and has also run his own con­sul­tancy busi­ness. Tony has around 30 years ex­pe­ri­ence in all facets of the for­est in­dus­try, but has a par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est in har­vest­ing, pro­cess­ing and mar­ket­ing. Tony holds a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence (Forestry) from the Aus­tralian Na­tional Univer­sity, a Post Grad­u­ate Di­ploma in Busi­ness Man­age­ment and has at­tended the In­ter­na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Pro­gramme at INSEAD in France.

James Neville-Smith Ex­ec­u­tive Chair­man Neville Smith For­est Prod­ucts Pty Ltd NSFP SmartFi­bre Pty Ltd

James is the Ex­ec­u­tive Chair­man of both Smartfi­bre PTY LTD and Neville Smith For­est Prod­ucts PTY LTD. He has been in­volved in the for­est pro­cess­ing sec­tor since 1995. The Neville Smith fam­ily in­volve­ment in the sec­tor started in 1924. James has been in­volved in many strate­gic M&A trans­ac­tions in the sec­tor which has seen the fam­ily busi­ness grow to be­come Aus­tralia’s largest hard­wood sawmill com­pany be­fore ex­it­ing the in­dus­try com­pletely in 2006. James then led the fam­ily back into the Sec­tor in 2010. James worked in the fi­nance mar­kets be­fore join­ing the fam­ily forestry busi­ness. He is 46 years old and is mar­ried with 4 chil­dren.

Rob Scar­lett Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer of Bun­bury Fi­bre Ex­ports and Bun­bury Fi­bre Plan­ta­tions

Rob started his ca­reer in forestry in 2005 with Pentarch For­est Prod­ucts be­fore mov­ing across to Mit­sui Bus­san Wood­chip Ocea­nia in 2008. In that time he has held a num­ber of op­er­a­tional and man­age­ment roles work­ing across ar­eas such as project de­vel­op­ment, M&A, sales and mar­ket­ing and op­er­a­tions. Rob has worked on projects in Aus­tralia, New Zealand, South Amer­ica, North Amer­ica and South East Asia, and has held ex­pa­tri­ate po­si­tions in Ja­pan and New Zealand. Rob is cur­rently the Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer of Bun­bury Fi­bre Ex­ports and Bun­bury Fi­bre Plan­ta­tions (both 100% Mit­sui sub­sidiaries) and has been in this role since 2014. He holds a Bach­e­lor of Com­merce and diplo­mas in Fi­nan­cial Mar­kets and Chi­nese (Mandarin).

Ques­tion: Where do you see the fu­ture of ex­ist­ing mar­kets and emerg­ing mar­kets?

Do you see fur­ther con­sol­i­da­tion from these coun­tries or are there emerg­ing as-yet un­tapped mar­kets? Given hard­wood chips dom­i­nate, with soft­wood chips and pel­lets re­main rel­a­tively in­signif­i­cant are there un­tapped op­por­tu­ni­ties for these prod­ucts as well?

Tony Price: I re­ally see very lit­tle growth in the Ja­panese pulp mar­ket other than po­ten­tially dis­plac­ing sup­ply from other coun­tries. The Chi­nese mar­ket is likely to re­main strong with new Dis­solv­ing Pulp and BCTMP ca­pac­ity still com­ing on line. The likely im­pact of ad­di­tional BEKP mar­ket pulp sup­ply from South Amer­ica and the new OKI Mill in Su­ma­tra may have an im­pact on Kraft pulp pro­duc­tion in China, par­tic­u­larly as some pulp mills may shut and buy in pulp, but to what ex­tent is un­clear at this stage. On the mat­ter of emerg­ing yet un­tapped mar­kets, In­dia is a pos­si­bil­ity, other mar­kets in­clude pel­lets and biomass chips. I think there is go­ing to be in­creas­ing de­mand for soft­wood biomass chips and wood pel­lets for power pro­duc­tion, given in­creas­ing pres­sure to close down coal fired power sta­tions in Ja­pan (also nu­clear) and po­ten­tially China.

James Neville-Smith: My ex­pec­ta­tion is that the two core mar­kets of Ja­pan and China will re­main un­changed as the two pow­er­house mar­kets for the fore­see­able fu­ture. I sus­pect the cur­rent trend of Ja­pan mov­ing side­ways or slightly down vs China main­tain­ing mod­est growth will con­tinue. There will be de­vel­op­ments into the biomass space, how­ever, the ex­tent to which this prod­uct spec­i­fi­ca­tion em­u­lates the cur­rent wood­chip spec is yet to be clear. As far as I’m aware there are no tra­di­tional wood­chip ves­sels be­ing loaded for biomass out of Aus­tralia. There are, how­ever, rep­utable groups mak­ing gen­eral en­quiry for hard­wood chips for Biomass, so I sus­pect in the fu­ture de­mand for biomass fi­bre will be­gin to chip away at the lower end of the wood­chip spec/ price. The In­dia story is yet to crys­tallise and I can’t see this chang­ing in any ma­te­rial way over the next 5 years.

Rob Scar­lett: Ja­pan is a ma­ture sta­ble mar­ket with a slight de­cline bias. Cer­tain seg­ments of this mar­ket (coated pa­per, newsprint) are un­der pres­sure as a re­sult of struc­tural changes in pa­per us­age, while other mar­ket seg­ments such as san­i­tary pa­per (age­ing pop­u­la­tion) and pack­ag­ing (in­ter­net shop­ping de­liv­er­ies) are see­ing growth based on so­cio eco­nomic trends. Over­all, we see Ja­pan re­main­ing as a sig­nif­i­cant and sta­ble buyer for the long term. We ex­pect to see con­tin­ued growth in de­mand from China but with a slight slow­down in the pace of growth as new pulp projects come on line, par­tic­u­larly in In­done­sia and South Amer­ica, with the abil­ity to ex­port pulp to China. Global Mit­sui has de­vel­oped a strong HW wood­chip im­port sup­ply chain to the grow­ing In­dian mar­ket, supplied mainly from South Africa. Cur­rent pric­ing does not sup­port im­ports from Aus­tralia, how­ever, we are op­ti­mistic this mar­ket will con­tinue to grow and present sales op­por­tu­ni­ties from Aus­tralia over the medium term, and in the short term ab­sorb sup­ply from South Africa that would oth­er­wise have com­peted with Aus­tralian sup­ply in North Asian mar­kets. Korea and Tai­wan are small, sta­ble mar­kets that gen­er­ally pur­chase lower qual­ity wood­chips. A change in de­mand for FSC cer­ti­fied pa­per prod­ucts may present in­creased op­por­tu­ni­ties, how­ever, we are not fore­cast­ing sig­nif­i­cant growth in ex­ports from Aus­tralia to these mar­kets.

Ques­tion: What is your five year fore­cast on the value of ex­port wood­chips? Do you en­vis­age the same level of growth over the next five years? What fac­tors (in­ter­na­tional/ do­mes­tic) do you see that may in­flu­ence the growth or re­duc­tion in ex­ports? Are there other coun­tries (apart from China / Ja­pan / New Zealand) that you be­lieve may emerge as sig­nif­i­cant con­trib­u­tors to the value of ex­ports?

Tony Price: Not year on year, I think we can ex­pect to see on­go­ing, but mod­est growth through ad­di­tional de­mand and re­place­ment of other sup­pli­ers over the next 5 years. While a short­age of sup­ply is pre­dicted in the Asi­a­pa­cific re­gion in the next 5 years un­less we can achieve price in­creases we will see the hard­wood plan­ta­tion es­tate de­crease re­duc­ing the vol­ume avail­able for ex­port in 5 years. The main is­sue is the eco­nom­ics of grow­ing plan­ta­tions based on the cur­rent ex­port price. If stronger de­mand results in im­proved prices this will stim­u­late in­ter­est in grow­ing trees. The Chi­nese and Ja­panese pulp pro­duc­ers are our ma­jor mar­kets at the mo­ment and are likely to con­tinue to be. There is some pos­si­bil­ity that In­dia may de­velop as a mar­ket, al­though they are more likely to buy in mar­ket pulp. There is likely to be a strong de­mand for biomass from Ja­pan, Korea and po­ten­tially China which could re­sult in fur­ther de­mand for our prod­uct. Whether it will in­crease the val­uere­mains to be seen.

James Neville-Smith: The cur­rency will largely drive the com­pet­i­tive­ness of Aus­tralian wood­chips which is of course dif­fi­cult to pre­dict. There are ques­tion marks over the sus­tain­abil­ity of the South East Asian ex­port vol­umes that have risen so dra­mat­i­cally over the past 10 years. There is also the is­sue of large scale pulp mill op­er­a­tions in In­done­sia that will ab­sorb large vol­umes of chips that would oth­er­wise have been ex­ported. The macro de­mand fore­cast looks rea­son­ably pos­i­tive due to stronger GDP growth in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries re­sult­ing in greater use of pa­per prod­ucts across the board. The pre­dicted paperless of­fice is far from play­ing out and de­mand for pa­per in ma­ture economies has de­clined but is plateau­ing at higher lev­els than what was pre­vi­ously pre­dicted. The growth in dis­solv­ing pulp­ing pro­duc­tion par­tic­u­larly in China is bring­ing de­mand di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion into play which is also a pos­i­tive story for wood­chip de­mand glob­ally. De­vel­op­ment in Pulp pro­duc­tion in South Amer­ica over re­cent years has held the mar­ket pulp price down which has a flow on ef­fect to wood­chip prices. Putting cur­rency aside the price of wood­chips ex­ported out of Aus­tralia has been in de­cline for at least a decade. The net re­sult will see a sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion of plan­ta­tion es­tab­lish­ment un­less the trend turns around.

Rob Scar­lett: From a vol­ume per­spec­tive we ex­pect to see con­tin­ued in­creases in HW chip ex­ports from Aus­tralia over the next few years, but not at the same rate of in­crease we have seen in re­cent times. With re­cent growth in vol­umes most ma­jor

ports are now op­er­at­ing at or near ca­pac­ity with lim­ited op­por­tu­ni­ties to sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease vol­umes. In­cre­men­tal in­creases may be seen from newly-de­vel­oped or de­vel­op­ing ex­port projects (Tiwi Is­lands, Esper­ance, Kan­ga­roo Is­land, South­ern Tas­ma­nia). On the de­mand side we see no lim­its for the mar­ket to ab­sorb in­creased out­put of HW wood­chips from Aus­tralia as­sum­ing any in­creases are in­cre­men­tal.

Ques­tion: Where do you see the do­mes­tic op­por­tu­ni­ties for im­prov­ing our in­ter­na­tional com­pet­i­tive­ness? From the for­est to the mill and load­ing onto the ship, where do you see the likely ma­jor changes or op­por­tu­ni­ties that may im­pact on the com­pet­i­tive­ness on wood­chip ex­ports? Is be­ing awarded Forestry Stew­ard­ship Coun­cil cer­ti­fi­ca­tion a sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fit? Do you work with for­est con­trac­tors to as­sist them to im­prove their pro­duc­tiv­ity to bet­ter re­flect your re­quire­ments?

Tony Price: Con­tin­u­ally seek­ing to drive ef­fi­cien­cies through­out the sup­ply chain. Har­vest and haulage are ma­jor costs and we need to en­sure we have the right scale of op­er­a­tions and that equip­ment is be­ing fully utilised. i.e. the eas­i­est way to re­duce the unit cost of a piece of equip­ment is to work it harder (i.e. longer). We are also con­stantly look­ing to re­duce costs through im­proved ef­fi­ciency in our pro­cess­ing, chip stor­age and ship load­ing op­er­a­tions. FSC cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is nec­es­sary to do busi­ness with some cus­tomers. How­ever, it does add sig­nif­i­cant cost and the mar­ket does not pay a pre­mium for it. Wher­ever pos­si­ble we are keen to work with our for­est con­trac­tors to im­prove pro­duc­tiv­ity, safety and qual­ity per­for­mance and this should be to our mu­tual ben­e­fit.

James Neville-Smith There is no doubt that sta­bil­ity through­out the sup­ply chain will de­liver the most ef­fi­cient op­er­a­tions and best stumpage. In re­cent years spot pur­chases and the ab­sence of long term sales con­tracts has height­ened the risk pre­mi­ums within the sup­ply chain re­sult­ing in in­ef­fi­cien­cies. This is no fault of the sup­ply chain op­er­a­tors, it’s sim­ple busi­ness. If I need to in­vest $2-3m in equip­ment and are only given a 12 month rolling con­tract, I’m go­ing to charge a lot more than if I’m given se­cu­rity for 3-5 years. Im­proved ship­ping ef­fi­cien­cies in terms of ves­sel choice and com­paction gains have as­sisted op­er­a­tors in re­cent times, but cer­ti­fi­ca­tion costs have, with­out doubt, added to the cost of do­ing busi­ness in this sec­tor. The cost ben­e­fit is hard to quan­tify, but in some mar­kets it’s a ne­ces­sity, so the sup­ply chain has to ab­sorb the cost. In the end the mar­ket pays for it one way or an­other.

Rob Scar­lett: Aus­tralian sup­pli­ers have been suc­cess­ful in im­prov­ing com­paction fac­tor lev­els over re­cent years, in­creas­ing the ef­fi­ciency of ship­ping and our over­all com­pet­i­tive­ness. We ex­pect to see this trend con­tinue as sup­pli­ers im­prove their knowl­edge, in­fra­struc­ture and tech­niques. Lo­cally we are work­ing with our plan­ta­tion con­trac­tor base, which are prin­ci­pally small fam­ily run com­pa­nies, to im­prove pro­duc­tiv­ity along with safety and qual­ity, in some cases fi­nanc­ing the pur­chase of equip­ment to achieve these out­comes. In part­ner­ship with our trans­port con­trac­tor base we have im­proved pro­cesses and sys­tems to come into line with the Chain of Re­spon­si­bil­ity stan­dards, which has also as­sisted con­trac­tors in achiev­ing ac­cred­i­ta­tion un­der the Ac­cred­ited Mass Man­age­ment Scheme al­low­ing them to im­prove ef­fi­ciency. We ex­pect FSC cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to grow in im­por­tance as a com­pet­i­tive edge when ex­port­ing to Ja­pan, par­tic­u­larly in the run up to the 2020 Olympics which is be­ing tar­geted by FSC Ja­pan as an event at which to in­crease brand aware­ness. Un­for­tu­nately the cost and com­plex­ity of main­tain­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is in­creas­ing, and we are en­cour­aged to see progress be­ing made on the draft Na­tional Stan­dard and in ar­eas such as the Con­trolled Wood Risk As­sess­ment.

Ques­tion: Would the wood chip sec­tor ben­e­fit from a sig­nif­i­cant ‘in­jec­tion’ of re­search and de­vel­op­ment into the in­dus­try? What ar­eas do you feel de­serve par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion that would make the in­dus­try more pro­duc­tive?

Tony Price: Yes, the sec­tor would def­i­nitely ben­e­fit from more re­search. In­creas­ing the pro­duc­tiv­ity of our plan­ta­tion es­tate through im­proved ge­net­ics, pur­su­ing on­go­ing in­no­va­tion through­out the sup­ply chain, but par­tic­u­larly in har­vest­ing and trans­port. Ex­plor­ing other end uses for our wood fi­bre i.e. bio­fu­els, nanocel­lu­lose etc.

James Neville-Smith: There are al­ways grounds for fur­ther re­search into fi­bre growth and op­ti­miza­tion within the plan­ta­tion sec­tor. In terms of Pulp and Pa­per pro­cess­ing, un­til this coun­try wakes up to the eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity that is be­ing passed by each year we ex­port wood­chips in­stead of pulp there is no point in in­vest­ing funds in pulp pro­duc­tion. I think the biomass space is still rel­a­tively un­known, and I’m sure there is a new in­dus­try in nan­otech­nol­ogy (us­ing wood fi­bre) on the hori­zon that we should be in­vest­ing in.

Rob Scar­lett: The post-MIS era has seen a sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in re­search ex­pen­di­ture and we are sup­port­ive of a re­newed fo­cus in this area, in­clud­ing the de­vel­op­ment of For­est Re­search Aus­tralia. We be­lieve a more col­lab­o­ra­tive and co­or­di­nated ap­proach to re­search and de­vel­op­ment will lead to in­creased ef­fi­ciency and im­proved out­comes. From our per­spec­tive we feel a fo­cus on re­search into sec­ond and third ro­ta­tion pulp­wood plan­ta­tion man­age­ment (growth mod­el­ling, slash makeup and re­ten­tion, nutrition, multi-stem har­vest meth­ods etc) would be ben­e­fi­cial given the cur­rent es­tate pro­file.

Ques­tion: How have you broad­cast your mes­sage to politi­cians to pro­mote wood­chips on both the do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional stage to pro­mote ac­cep­tance and ex­port op­por­tu­ni­ties? What ar­eas do you feel our politi­cians (and their poli­cies) could im­prove their ef­forts to pro­mote a vi­brant in­dus­try? Or, are there any politi­cians that are worth sin­gling-out for their sus­tained and ef­fec­tive ef­forts? Do you feel there is suf­fi­cient pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion to ex­plain wood chip­ping and ad­dress con­cerns? If not, how do feel this topic should be tack­led?

Tony Price: Over­all we haven’t been very suc­cess­ful in this in­stance, al­though we ac­tively sup­port the work by AFPA and FWPA. They could pro­vide as­sis­tance in pro­mot­ing other forms of cer­ti­fi­ca­tion such as AFS (PEFC) with the im­port­ing coun­tries I think they need to be more forth­right in pre­sent­ing the for­est in­dus­try as a sig­nif­i­cant con­trib­u­tor to the Aus­tralian econ­omy, par­tic­u­larly in re­gional ar­eas, and es­pous­ing our en­vi­ron­men­tal cre­den­tials, rather than re­spond­ing to mi­nor­ity in­ter­est groups. The for­est in­dus­try has the po­ten­tial to be an im­por­tant player in the emerg­ing car­bon econ­o­my­given wood’s abil­ity to se­quester car­bon or be used as a car­bon neu­tral en­ergy source. We have strong sup­port from our cur­rent Fed­eral Min­is­ter Sen­a­tor Anne Rus­ton and a num­ber of other re­gional politi­cians. With all the po­lit­i­cal is­sues on the agenda it is dif­fi­cult to at­tract at­ten­tion, but AFPA is do­ing a good job. How­ever, I think there’s lit­tle ap­pre­ci­a­tion of what we do among the gen­eral pub­lic. Our in­dus­try does not have the nec­es­sary fi­nan­cial ca­pac­ity to mount a ma­jor ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram and to be hon­est we are prob­a­bly not up­per­most in the pub­lic mind at the mo­ment. I think the car­bon de­bate is our best chance to con­vince the pub­lic of the ben­e­fits of sus­tain­able for­est man­age­ment. Ex­pand­ing our plan­ta­tion base and sus­tain­ably man­ag­ing our na­tive for­est has the po­ten­tial cre­ate a sig­nif­i­cant car­bon sink, whereas other in­dus­tries such as min­ing, agri­cul­ture etc., can only seek to re­duce their car­bon foot­print.

James Neville-Smith:

I think the FWPA has done a fab­u­lous job pro­mot­ing the re­newa­bil­ity and high­light­ing the car­bon ben­e­fits of us­ing wood prod­ucts in gen­eral. I would love to see the util­i­sa­tion of a tree pub­li­cised to show the ex­tent to which we as an in­dus­try seek to max­imise the value of the en­tire tree. I be­lieve the gen­eral pub­lic are more ed­u­cated these days than ever when it comes to prag­matic sus­tain­abil­ity and where forestry sits. I am op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture of the en­tire sec­tor.

Rob Scar­lett: We ac­tively sup­port the work of FIFWA in pro­mot­ing the in­dus­try at a gov­ern­ment level. At a Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment level we sup­port the work of the WA For­est Com­mu­ni­ties Network who have been suc­cess­ful in pro­mot­ing “Tim­ber First” poli­cies to lo­cal coun­cils. Be­ing an elec­tion year in Western Aus­tralia now is an op­por­tune time to push the in­dus­try agenda and garner fur­ther sup­port from all ma­jor par­ties. Ideally we would like to see more fo­cus by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment on ways to sup­port the con­tin­ued growth of the forestry in­dus­try in Aus­tralia through a ded­i­cated min­is­te­rial port­fo­lio. The FWPA has pre­pared some fan­tas­tic pro­mo­tional and ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams and we would love to see a Fed­eral Politi­cian ded­i­cated to rais­ing the pub­lic pro­file and pro­mote the clean, re­new­able, and sus­tain­able ben­e­fits of our in­dus­try.

Fur­ther Com­ments

Tony Price: Mid­way Lim­ited was es­tab­lished in Gee­long, Vic­to­ria and has been in­volved in wood­chip ex­ports for over 30 years. Mid­way is a ma­jor wood­chip pro­ces­sor and mar­keter, han­dling over 3 mil­lion green met­ric tonnes (GMT) of hard­wood and soft­wood wood­chips an­nu­ally. Mid­way has ex­port op­er­a­tions in Vic­to­ria and Queens­land and man­ages a num­ber of plan­ta­tion projects in Vic­to­ria.

James Neville-Smith SMARTFI­BRE is sit­u­ated on 2.5 ha which it owns, strate­gi­cally lo­cated ad­ja­cent to the Bell Bay Port on the eastern bank of the Ta­mar River, ap­prox­i­mately 45 km north of Launce­s­ton.

The mill is lo­cated within the Bell Bay Ma­jor In­dus­trial Zone and ben­e­fits from un­lim­ited op­er­at­ing re­stric­tions and is able to op­er­ate 24 hours per day.

The SMARTFI­BRE site con­sist of a log yard ca­pa­ble of stor­ing 8000GMT(with ex­pan­sion plans to dou­ble this stor­age ca­pac­ity), of logs, a new heavy duty 96” Pre­ci­sion chip­per run by new elec­tri­cal sys­tems in­clud­ing a new elec­tric mo­tor to re­place the old diesel drive that has been in op­er­a­tion for 15yrs, to a con­crete out­side chip stock­pile (OCS) which can hold 120,000gmt (with ex­pan­sion plans of a fur­ther 30,000GMT ca­pac­ity) of wood­chips with a re­claim and a con­veyor belt that can load out at 1000 GMT per hr (800tn on av­er­age) which links di­rectly to the Bell Bay Port in­fra­struc­ture owned by TasPorts.

SMARTFI­BRE has op­er­a­tional per­mits, and chip­ping ca­pac­ity to process 800,000 GMT per an­num. Cur­rently nor­mal op­er­a­tions in­volve five shifts per week for ten (10) hours per day 10,000 per week and go­ing for­ward the plant is ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing at least 16,000 GMT of chips per week with ex­tended split or dou­ble shifts.

Rob Scar­lett: Mit­sui Bus­san Wood­chip Ocea­nia (MWO) is a wholly owned sub­sidiary of Mit­sui & Co., Ltd. MWO has been in­volved in Aus­tralia’s wood­chip ex­port in­dus­try for close to three decades. MWO is a ma­jor Aus­tralian wood­chip ex­porter, ship­ping ap­prox­i­mately 2.5 mil­lion green met­ric tonnes (GMT) of hard­wood and soft­wood wood­chips from Aus­tralia an­nu­ally. MWO has in­vest­ments in two plan­ta­tion log pro­cess­ing and wood­chip ex­port­ing busi­nesses in Vic­to­ria and Western Aus­tralia, and in­vest­ments in four plan­ta­tion projects on the east and west coasts of Aus­tralia, to­talling more than 27,000 hectares. MWO is in­volved in all stages of the value chain, from own­ing plan­ta­tions, to man­ag­ing har­vest­ing and lo­gis­tics, own­ing and op­er­at­ing wood­chip mills, man­ag­ing port fa­cil­i­ties, char­ter­ing wood­chip car­ri­ers, and mar­ket­ing to cus­tomers through­out Asia.

Mit­sui & Co. Ltd. (“Mit­sui”) is one of the world’s most di­ver­si­fied trad­ing, in­vest­ment and ser­vices en­ter­prises. In Aus­tralia Mit­sui man­ages a di­verse port­fo­lio of busi­nesses in in­dus­tries in­clud­ing iron ore, coal, oil, gas, power gen­er­a­tion, trans­porta­tion, con­struc­tion and min­ing ma­chin­ery, chem­i­cals, steel prod­ucts, wood­chips, salt, food, and fi­nan­cial ser­vices. Mit­sui is a lead­ing ex­porter of Aus­tralia’s key nat­u­ral re­sources and agri­cul­tural com­modi­ties. On an eq­uity ba­sis Mit­sui and its group com­pa­nies are the fourth largest ex­porter in Aus­tralia with ap­prox­i­mately A$6.5 bil­lion in to­tal ex­ports an­nu­ally. Mit­sui has global ex­per­tise in di­rect in­vest­ment, fi­nance, mar­ket­ing and lo­gis­tics, and of­ten works in part­ner­ship with lead­ing Aus­tralian and in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies. In the past 10 years Mit­sui group com­pa­nies have in­vested about A$15 bil­lion in Aus­tralia. Its Aus­tralian op­er­a­tions are backed by a network of 138 of­fices in 65 coun­tries. This global pres­ence al­lows us to gather mar­ket in­tel­li­gence from around the world, iden­tify new busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties and cre­ate new trade flows.

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