At 300 cubic metres sawlog per hectare that equates to $250,000 per hectare at harvest for a blackwood plantation. Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT) is a Tasmanian Government Business Enterprise responsible for sustainably managing  public production forest (Permanent Timber Production Zone land) and undertaking forest operations for the production and sale of forest products from these forests. Celery top pine sold for an average price of $530 per cubic metre. Five species attract strong demand and high prices, these being black heart sassafras, plain white sassafras, king-billy and huon pine and leatherwood with average log prices over $1,000 per cubic metre. The above chart shows the log volumes and average unit prices paid per tender. Length 4.4 metres, butt diameter 103 cm, head diameter 93 cm, volume 3.31 cubic metres, weight about 3650 kg. All of these species take 400-1,000 years to reach maturity so I suspect even these prices are cheap. It is unlikely that this tiny set of market-based blackwood log prices is representative of the broader blackwood market. The following chart shows the volume and price summary for all tenders back to 2015. Huon pine can only be found the wild forests of western Tasmania, growing in lush, wet rainforests along with myrtle, blackwood and other species. The large volume of unsold logs at the April 2018 tender was mostly due to a large parcel of Silver wattle (Acacia dealbata) logs. An additional $18,100 revenue was received by Forestry Tasmania directly from Tasmanian taxpayers to compensate for the costs of harvesting this 210 cubic metres. When will Tasmania get a fully commercial, profitable forest industry? If figure has a genetic component to its origin then there is the potential for cloning. There are a few key issues that need to be discussed: The butt log from the above tree had a diametre of over 1 metre, with a total combined merchantable length of 9 metres. So much for “enterprise”! 2018-19 saw 147 cubic metres put to tender. I wonder how much of the 1,531 cubic metres of product was blackwood? Perth office remains closed due to on-site renovations. Like Forestry Tasmania the Forest Products Commission is not run as a commercial business but as a community service to achieve political objectives. Is this an indication of sustainability? Compare that with just 200 cubic metres tendered by Island Specialty Timbers/Forestry Tasmania last year. Most Tasmanians and Australians don’t seem to care about Tasmanian forests! STT is seeking FSC certification for approximately 713,000 ha, the remaining PTPZ land area is managed either by third parties or is not eligible for FSC Forest Management certification due to its plantation conversion history. The results of the August 2015 tender at Island Specialty Timbers have just been posted. That’s a total of $17,000 for the two logs totalling six (6) cubic metres from the one tree! At these prices a well managed blackwood plantation is worth over $200,000 (at mill door) per ha after 30 years! Posted in Island Specialty Timbers, Prices. These logs provided the highlight in an otherwise quiet year. . These tender results represent the only publically available competitive market prices for blackwood sawlogs. Remember that a commercial blackwood plantation aims to grow sawlogs that are 6.0 metres in length and an average volume of 1.5 cubic metres. The butt log from this same tree is now up for tender at IST Geeveston – lot 13. The table below summarises the IST tender results for the 2015-16 financial year: All up the IST tender results for 2015-16 are a mixed bag with indications of a soft market. Tasmanian blackwood is the only Tasmanian “special species” that has the potential to be grown commercially; the other species being too slow growing. The dataset is too small to allow any analysis or correlations to be made between price and log quality apart from the obvious result that feature-grain logs attract a significant price premium over plain-grain. A fresh, very large diameter log with little taper, excellent dark colour and tear drop figure. Please comment via email or contact our offices (contact information below). So here is my half yearly update and financial year summary of their tender results. Anyway it is an extraordinary price for a log. Blackwood and feature eucalypt/tas oak were the other major sellers at 18% and 23% of sold volume. If feature grain can be cloned then the prospects for commercial blackwood growers improve dramatically. They do not represent average “run-of-the-bush” quality logs. 337 people like this. Blackwood comprised 55% of unsold log volume, perhaps suggesting that the local Tasmanian market for plain grain blackwood is saturated. Large volumes of large, good quality logs from blackwood plantations should generally command better prices than shown by the IST result. Last year Sustainable Timbers Tasmania sold 9,747 cubic metres of specialty timbers, so these competitive tender sales represent a mere 1% of specialty timber sales from public forests in Tasmania. Some of these logs may be considered equivalent to those grown in commercial blackwood plantations. It would improve market transparency and stimulate greater investor interest if IST would tender more blackwood logs and demonstrate real commercial focus. Blackwood is the only Tasmanian special species which has the potential to be grown commercially and profitably by Tasmanian farmers in either plantations (like NZ farmers) or through better management of existing on-farm blackwood. This is an extraordinary price for such a small log. For comparison a target plantation blackwood log pruned to 6 metres with a dbh of 60 cm would have a volume of 1.5 cubic metres. So it can be seen most of the IST logs sold at tender are small to very small in size. Over 100 lots are to be auctioned this Saturday totalling over 1,000 tonnes of specialty woods. For the past three years I’ve been collecting, analysing and reporting blackwood log tender results from Island Specialty Timbers (IST) as, despite the miniscule volumes and generally poor quality, these are the only competitive blackwood log prices that are publically available. Unfortunately this log had spiral grain and was deeply fluted so the sale price was only $275 per cubic metre. And at $600 a hectare of plantation would be worth…….. Not content with breaking the blackwood sawlog price record at their August tender, Island Specialty Timbers have saved the best til last. It makes no sense! Actually despite the low volumes sold plain grain blackwood logs didn’t do so bad. But here in Tasmania 800+ year old heritage is destroyed every single day! Increasing the blackwood volume tendered to even 100 cubic metres per year would be a good start. The following chart shows the average volume and small end diameter of plain grain blackwood logs sold by IST at tender. Tasmania Special Timber Island Specialty Timbers' locations at Geeveston, Derwent Park, Smithton and Strahan are now open to the public. Remember also these tender prices are effectively mill door prices that already include harvesting and transport costs. Which is why so many community organisations are trying so hard to shut this industry down! The same can’t be said for average or minimum prices.

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