Sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences be­tween cat­e­gories

Australian Forests and Timber - - In The News -

A vol­un­tary sur­vey of se­lected pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties was con­ducted to as­cer­tain the to­tal level of in­vest­ment over the past five years, where that in­vest­ment had oc­curred within the pro­duc­tion se­quence, what type of tech­nolo­gies were be­ing tar­geted and what po­ten­tial ben­e­fits were be­ing sought.

The se­lected op­er­a­tions rep­re­sented ap­prox­i­mately 90% of the soft­wood sawmilling in­dus­try, 45% of the hard­wood sawmilling in­dus­try, 98% of the pan­els in­dus­try and 69% of the ply­wood in­dus­try.

The fi­nal sum­mary of data avail­able for in­clu­sion in the re­view rep­re­sented 52% of the soft­wood sawmilling in­dus­try, 40% of the hard­wood sawmilling in­dus­try, 58% of the pan­els in­dus­try and 42% of the ply­wood in­dus­try.

The anal­y­sis on this data iden­ti­fied a to­tal of $473 mil­lion had been in­vested by th­ese op­er­a­tions over the past five years.

It also iden­ti­fied sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences be­tween the var­i­ous cat­e­gories when the level of to­tal in­vest­ment was ex­pressed as $/m³ of in­vest­ment per an­nual log vol­ume pro­cessed. The re­sults of this anal­y­sis were that $33/ m³ had been in­vested within the soft­wood sawmilling cat­e­gory, $111/m³ had been in­vested within the hard­wood sawmilling cat­e­gory, $153/m³ had been in­vested within the panel plants and $78/m³ had been in­vested within the ply­wood in­dus­try.

The op­er­a­tions whose data was not avail­able for in­clu­sion within this sur­vey rep­re­sent a col­lec­tion of more sig­nif­i­cant pro­ces­sors within the soft­wood sawmilling, pan­els and ply­wood cat­e­gories and

could be as­sumed to re­flect a sim­i­lar level of in­vest­ment as those in­cluded. The hard­wood sawmilling cat­e­gory has a large num­ber of small op­er­a­tors whose in­vest­ment pro­file is likely to be far less pre­dictable.

If it is as­sumed that all sur­veyed cat­e­gories re­flect the in­vest­ment rate of the un­sur­veyed op­er­a­tions then the project to­tal in­vest­ment over the past five years would have been in the or­der of $938 mil­lion.

The anal­y­sis of in­vest­ment within the sawmilling cat­e­gories un­sur­pris­ingly iden­ti­fied the green-milling process to be the most sig­nif­i­cant area of in­vest­ment with in ex­cess of 30% of all in­vest­ment for both soft­wood and hard­wood sawmills.

How­ever, dry-milling, kiln dry­ing, re-man­u­fac­tur­ing and stor­age dif­fered in in­vest­ment im­por­tance be­tween hard­wood and soft­wood for the op­er­a­tions sur­veyed.

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