April/May 2016



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By John Greene

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently initiated significant certification changes that will have an extensive, positive impact on America's forest products industry as well as private forest ownership. The USGCB, the governing body for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating and certification structure, announced that it will officially recognize wood and paper certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and other PEFC-affiliated programs within its LEED building standard. The goal of this new pilot Alternative Compliance Path (ACP) is to encourage environmentally responsible forest management and eliminate illegal wood from the building materials supply chain.


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By Forest2Market

For project developers and investors pursuing greener replacements for petroleum-based fuels and chemicals, the choice of feedstock is a critical early decision point. From algae and animal and vegetable fats to agricultural crops and municipal solid waste, the possibilities are numerous. As the oldest energy source on the planet, wood is a logical choice as a biofuels or biochemicals feedstock.
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FedEx Commits to Biofuels Derived from Healthy Western Forests

By John Greene

Despite the tremendous drop in oil prices over the last year and the subsequent appeal of fossil fuels for energy, the cellulosic and advanced biofuels sector is forging ahead with support from a global industry that consumes massive quantities of fuel. As we have noted, the aviation industry has demonstrated a commitment to reducing its emissions and reliance on fossil fuels by expanding its energy portfolio to include more fuels manufactured from renewable resources. To provide some insight into the volume of fuel this industry consumes, the US air transportation sector alone used over 16.7 billion gallons of fuel in 2015.


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by Hannah Jefferies   

In early October 2015, large portions of South Carolina experienced record rainfall and flooding as Hurricane Joaquin and other weather patterns combined to create a system that dropped consistent heavy rain over most of the state for several days. Historic rainfall set daily, monthly and/or seasonal records at weather stations across the state; caused at least 16 dams to break or breach; and resulted in 541 road closures including a 19-mile stretch of Interstate 95.


Continue reading → Part I: Shifts in Wood Supply & Procurement Patterns...»   


Continue reading → Part II: Mill Inventories & Delivered Price...»

Continue reading → Part III: The Relationship between Haul Distance & Supplier Margin...»


Wood Remains the Preferred, Primary Renewable Energy Source in Europe

By John Greene

As we recently noted, the global resurgence in wood production has been driven in part by the popularity and expansion of wood pellets, which are primarily being used for thermal heating purposes at both the consumer and industrial levels. While most of the recent growth in consumption has occurred in Europe, the technology is certainly scalable and usable as a replacement for fossil energy virtually anywhere. Putting the numbers in perspective, Europe consumed 78 percent of the 26 million tons of wood pellets produced globally in 2014.


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By Pete Coutu

We have written extensively about the challenges associated with procuring wood from an increasingly fractured supply base, an issue that Fred Souba addressed just last month in his Lake States industry analysis. However, this trend is not unique to a single region; one question I often hear when speaking to landowners is, "How much is the logger or dealer getting for my timber at the mill?"


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By John Greene

Per a newly-released report from a joint collaboration between the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the Frankfurt School (FS), the annual global investment in new renewables capacity in 2015 was $266 billion-more than double the estimated $130 billion invested in coal and gas power stations in 2015. Total investments in renewables, including early-stage technology and R&D, as well as spending on new capacity was $286 billion or 3 percent higher than the previous record set in 2011. Since 2004, the world has invested an impressive $2.3 trillion in renewable energy.
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By Gordon Culbertson

Global demand for goods teaches us a lot about the malleability of market trends and developments, as well as new opportunities that exist to service these markets. The forest products industry is no different; if we know where to look, markets for forest raw materials exist in every corner of the earth. The advent of the export wood pellet industry in the US South, for instance, is a market that has grown from zero in 2008 to 3.6 million tons in 2014 due to European demand.
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