U.S. Court Says China At Fault

U.S. Court Says China At Fault

U.S. Court Says China At Fault

 

U.S. Court of International Trade in June upheld a U.S. International Trade Commission determination that the People’s Republic of China is injuring the U.S. hardwood plywood industry by exporting hardwood plywood supported by unfair subsidies and selling it at below market value (otherwise known as dumping) in the U.S.

The decision stems from a petition filed by the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood with the U.S. Dept. of Commerce and ITC in November 2016. In its preliminary determination, Commerce found that hardwood plywood from the PRC was being sold at less than fair value and that the PRC industry was receiving countervailable subsidies.

Concurrent with Commerce’s proceedings, the ITC investigated whether the domestic industry was materially injured or threatened with material injury by the imports. ITC issued a preliminary determination find that there was reasonable indication of injury to the U.S. industry, and subsequently in a final determination concluded that the U.S. hardwood plywood industry is materially injured by the PRC imports because they’re subsidized and sold in the U.S. at less than fair value.

The Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood includes Columbia Forest Products, Commonwealth Plywood, Murphy Company, Roseburg Forest Products, States Industries and Timber Products Co., all domestic producers of hardwood plywood.

American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood and related companies subsequently challenged aspects of the ITC final determination of injury. These companies include Far East American, Inc., Northwest Hardwoods, American Pacific Plywood, Canusa Wood Products, Concannon Lumber and Plywood, Fabuwood Cabinetry Corp., Hardwoods Specialty Products, Holland Southwest International, Liberty Wood International, McCorry & Co., MJB Wood Group, Patrioit Tmber Products, Richmond International Forest Products, Taraca Pacific, USPly Trade Co. and Wood Brokerage International. A separate complaint against the ITC ruling was filed by Zhejiang Dehua TB Import & Export Co. and affiliated plaintiffs.

The complaints against the ITC injury determination challenged the ITC’s findings that imports from PRC are substitutable with domestic hardwood plywood; that the volume of imports from PRC are significant; that imports from PRC undersold domestic hardwood plywood and resulted in price suppression; that imports from PRC significantly impacted the domestic industry.

U.S. Court of International Trade denounced these challenges and upheld the ITC determination of injury. On the specific challenge as to the degree of volume of imports from PRC, the Court pointed to the ITC finding that between 2014 and 2016 the market share of imports from PRC increased from 37.9% to 40.1%, while the domestic industry decreased from 21% to 17.3%. And specifically in the cabenetry end use segment, hardwood plywood imports from China increased from 224MMSF to 301MMSF, increasing its market share by 6.9%, while the domestic market share decreased by 5.1%.

The Court emphasized that ITC overall noted that the domestic industry’s production, capacity utilization, end-of-period inventories, shipments and market share all declined during the investigation period, as did net sales revenues, cost of goods sold, ratio of operating incomes to net sales, gross profit, operating income and net income.

 

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Arauco Gets Graying PB Mill Going

Arauco Gets Graying PB Mill Going

Arauco Gets Graying PB Mill Going

 

ARAUCO held a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 16, 2019 at its new particleboard and lamination facility in Grayling, Mich. Executives from ARAUCO, ARAUCO North America, as well as customers and public officials from Chile and the state of Michigan attended the ceremony, which also included a plant tour. The Grayling mill represents a $450 million investment toward supporting ARAUCO’s North American customer base and increasing the company’s ability to meet the furniture manufacturing industry in the U.S. Midwest market area and beyond.

The 820,000 sq. ft. operation is the company’s first greenfield facility in the U.S., its 11th North America manufacturing site and the largest of its kind globally. The operation is designed to be one of the most productive in the world and houses North America’s highest-capacity, single-line particleboard press, two thermally infused laminating (TFL) lines and a large stocking warehouse for just-in-time service delivery. The plant currently staffs more than 200 full-time employees and has generated 700 additional jobs in related supplier and logistics industries since construction commenced in spring 2017.

“This is a historic day and milestone for our company,” said Matías Domeyko, CEO, ARAUCO. “The official start of production at Grayling exemplifies the outstanding innovation and sustained growth ARAUCO is known for globally, and what has been central to propelling our positive business results. The Grayling mill achievement also is the culmination of unwavering commitment from our valued investor who shared our vision for capturing significant market opportunity in North America.”

Kelly Shotbolt, President of ARAUCO North America, acknowledged the significant contributions of the Grayling project managers, and praised state of Michigan officials and local Crawford County representatives for creating an environment conducive to undertaking such a large-scale business endeavor.

“We are grateful for the incredible support received both from Grayling community leaders and the state of Michigan. It has been vital to enabling ARAUCO to renew our industry in North America through what is arguably the most advanced, automated and large-scale facility of its kind anywhere in the world,” Shotbolt said. “While known for automobile manufacturing, Michigan also is the office furniture capital of the world. We are pleased to substantially expand our production capacity to assure a strong, sustainable supply of quality, raw and finished product for this growing region.”

With an annual production capacity of 452MMSF, the Grayling plant will soon produce the full breadth of the company’s high-quality raw particleboard in a variety of thicknesses, as well as ARAUCO’s PRISM TFL collection.

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Boise Cascade has announced new investments in Alabama and Louisiana in support of its engineered wood products (EWP) growth strategy.

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In a significant step toward modernizing their production line, Hunt Forest Products in Pollock, La. is receiving new lathe controls and BlockLogix optimization from USNR, as well as a Bosch valve upgrade to the lathe spindles and replacing the lower portion of the core drive.

Find Us On Social

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The monthly Panel World Industry Newsletter reaches over 3,000 who represent primary panel production operations.

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Timber Industry Feels Wrath Of Michael’s Aftermath

Timber Industry Feels Wrath Of Michael’s Aftermath

 

As one forest products company timberlands official who worked in the vicinity of last year’s Hurricane Michael and 2005’s Hurricane Katrina observed, Michael made Katrina “look like a thunderstorm,” with regard to the unprecedented damage to timberlands. (Katrina inflicted a far greater death toll as it came into Louisiana and Mississippi.)

The Florida timber industry is truly seeing the consequences of Hurricane Michael nearly seven months after the storm hit.

Rot, bark slippage and blue stain are beginning to settle in as timber salvage efforts continue in the wake of Hurricane Michael.

Michael came ashore October 10, 2018, the eye crossing Mexico Beach and then moving inland and northeast, causing catastrophic or severe damage to 2.8 million acres of Florida timberland according to the Florida Forest Service. A Category 4 hurricane with winds reaching 155 MPH, Michael cut an 80-mile wide swath across 11 counties in the Florida Panhandle, where conservative estimates put timber loss in the state at $1.3 billion and total damage expenditures at $39 billion. According to the Florida Forest Service, 72 million tons of prime timber were broken or blown over—imagine 2.5 million loaded log trucks—affecting 16,000 private landowners.

Florida’s estimated monetary timber loss is just less than double that reported by the Georgia Forestry Commission, which stated that 2.37 million acres of Georgia forestland sustained damage valued at $763 million.

In packaging an emergency landowner assistance funding request of $583 million, the Florida Forest Service indicates the potential for significant increase in wildfires over the next 10 years. Usually, the Panhandle has 4.87 tons per acre of available fuel; post-Michael, the average is 58 tons per acre, a 10-fold increase, and in the catastrophic areas of Bay, Calhoun and Gulf counties there is more than 100 tons per acre of fuel on the ground.

Wildfires aren’t the only major concern for the Panhandle. Reforestation remains uncertain for the 16,000 private landowners who make up nearly 80% of the devastated timber base, as they watch family investments, college funds, retirement funds and other generational security rot away. Florida Forest Service notes that without guidance and financial support many of the private landowners will not clean up and will definitely not replant.

Florida Forest Service Director Jim Karels told a Senate committee it could take a decade or more for Florida’s timber industry to recover as he recommended that the state provide funding to help nonindustrial private forest landowners clear fallen trees and start replanting the forests, and for equipment and programs to help reduce the fire threat.

Coastal Plywood in Havana, Fla. lost about a week of production following the storm due to power outage, but the mill held up well during the storm. Officials expect to see some increase in raw material costs, and without question an increase in haul distance.

Rex Lumber’s SYP sawmills in Graceville and Bristol, Fla. had to cut production in January due to weather and log flow. Winter rain hampered the recovery effort, and an official there said the window to salvage wood had moved into weeks.

Sapp’s Land & Excavating, Inc., based in Chipley, Fla.—about 70 miles north and slightly west from where Michael’s eye came ashore—reduced number of operating crews from five to four due to losing a few employees to the demand for equipment operators in the area for the cleanup effort.

Sapp purchased and implemented a John Deere 2554 log loader with a dangle sawhead that allows the operator to cut wood parallel to the ground.

For Sapp, whose main chips market is Enviva’s large wood pellet mill in Cottondale, production has shifted to a higher concentration of standing timber, as opposed to timber already blown down from the storm.

Morris Timber Products of Lynn Haven, Fla. made machine purchases following the storm to aid operators and bring efficiency to its peak. Morris has two Barko 595 track shovel machines outfitted with topping saws in order to clear up standing trees that are broken. Morris has his shovel operator trying to handle cutting and pushing stumps as best as he can—with the realization that stumps are going to be one of the biggest challenges to those who decide to replant.

His crew is also making heavy use of two Caterpillar 521 track cutters with 360 degree rotating sawheads, which allow operators to flip the head over and cut trees on the ground.

WestRock, which operates a corrugated packaging mill in Panama City, returned to full production of containerboard during November 2018; however, given the damage to the facility, the company didn’t expect the mill to return to full pulp production until the end of June.

In early April, the Florida legislature was nearing passage of a $90 billion budget that included $1.6 billion in emergency funds and another $220 million for Hurricane Michael.

Forest2Market, a global provider of timber prices, market data and in-depth analytics for suppliers and consumers of wood raw materials, believes overall the damaged timber inventory represents about a 12-year equivalent of current annual removals and more than a 15-year equivalent in the severe and catastrophic damaged areas.

The impact of the initial loss of inventory combined with the intense harvesting in areas only moderately damaged, or those left luckily unscathed, will result in an age/class imbalance. Forest2Market believes this will help intensify competition for available timber and result in some strain on supply that will drive prices higher for years. It is possible this will also affect the current oversupply of sawlogs.

Federal government aid could also come in the form of timber sales and harvesting in the Apalachicola National Forest, which is east of where the storm came in. Some tonnage could be flowing out by the end of this year.

 

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Egger Gets Going On P’Board Plant

Egger Gets Going On P’Board Plant

 

Egger reported in mid-November it has started construction on its first U.S. manufacturing plant. Construction of the particleboard plant in Lexington, NC began after the North Carolina Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued an air quality permit. The plant is expected to open in 2020.

Earlier this year Egger broke ground on its corporate office building in Lexington. The building will include 80 work places for its North American office staff and serve as the base for all plant operations.

Egger has already hired 50 employees through its Apprentice Training Program with Davidson County Community College. Egger will hire 400 over the next six years.

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The monthly Panel World Industry Newsletter reaches over 3,000 who represent primary panel production operations.

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Panel World is delivered six times per year to North American and international professionals, who represent primary panel production operations. Subscriptions are FREE to qualified individuals.

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Arauco-Grayling Is Paving The Way

Arauco-Grayling Is Paving The Way

As of the end of August, Arauco reported 1,526,355 total project hours completed since April 2017 at its particleboard plant under construction in Grayling, Mich. The company also reported the use of 802 contractors and the hiring of 175 employees. The plant is built on an 160 acre site. The main building is 820,000 SF. In addition to the particleboard production line, which will feature a 10 ft. wide by 52.5 m continuous press, the plant will operate two thermally fused laminating lines. The photo below was taken in September, showing the paved wood yard in the foreground. The facility has received its first load of FSC wood. (Photo courtesy of Arauco)

Katerra Plans Components Factory

Katerra Plans Components Factory

Katerra Plans Components Factory

Katerra, a technology company that claims it is redefining the construction industry, announced plans to open a new advanced manufacturing factory in Tracy, Calif., where it will produce building components including wall panels, floor systems, roof truss assemblies, windows, cabinets and finishes.

Katerra reports it is expanding its U.S. operations to support $3.7 billion in new build project bookings. With its new 577,000 sq. ft. factory, Katerra’s manufacturing presence in Tracy will add more than 500 jobs. This facility will complement Katerra’s existing California operations, including its headquarters in Menlo Park and office in San Francisco.

“Establishing a manufacturing presence in the Central Valley made sense to efficiently serve the West Coast market while gaining access to talent to operate advanced robotic equipment,” says Michael Marks, chairman and co-founder of Katerra.

Katerra says its integrated factory model seamlessly connects building design to the factory floor and job site. Compared to its first and existing factory located in Phoenix, Ariz., Katerra’s next generation plant will be an advanced manufacturing facility with significantly more automation. The operation will include fully automated wood frame wall production lines, automated floor lines, automated cabinet and finish areas, automated roof truss lines, an automated window line and a light gauge steel production line. The factory will be able to produce, on an annual basis, the equivalent of 12,500 multifamily units. Production is scheduled to begin in 2019

Katerra is also currently constructing a mass timber manufacturing facility in Spokane, Wash., which will produce cross-laminated timber wall panels and floor systems when it comes on­line in 2019. Katerra’s near-term manufacturing expansion plans for the U.S. includes three more building components factories to serve the South and East Coast markets, as well as another mass timber production facility to be lo­cated in the Southeast.

l Barely a week after announcing the acquisition of North American pioneering mass timber design firm Michael Green Architecture (MGA) in the Pacific Northwest, Katerra has now acquired Atlanta-based architectural firm Lord Aeck Sargent (LAS). While LAS doesn’t have the mass timber experience that MGA does, it counts sustainable urban projects in its portfolio.

More importantly, the two acquisitions give Katerra architect licenses in 31 states plus in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada while doubling Katerra’s overall design staff.

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Latest News

Boise Announces New Investments

Boise Cascade has announced new investments in Alabama and Louisiana in support of its engineered wood products (EWP) growth strategy.

Hunt Modernizes Lathe Operations

In a significant step toward modernizing their production line, Hunt Forest Products in Pollock, La. is receiving new lathe controls and BlockLogix optimization from USNR, as well as a Bosch valve upgrade to the lathe spindles and replacing the lower portion of the core drive.

Roseburg Names Tony Ramm Senior VP

Roseburg announced that Tony Ramm has been named Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Labor, overseeing the company’s human resources, benefits and compensation, recruitment, and environmental health and safety teams.

Forest Products Industry Says Goodbye To Walter

Walter Jarck, whose career in the forest products industry spanned 65 years and ranged from logging machinery to engineered wood products, died January 3, surrounded by his children, in North Wilkesboro, NC. He was 92.

Find Us On Social

Newsletter

The monthly Panel World Industry Newsletter reaches over 3,000 who represent primary panel production operations.

Subscribe/Renew

Panel World is delivered six times per year to North American and international professionals, who represent primary panel production operations. Subscriptions are FREE to qualified individuals.

Advertise

Complete the online form so we can direct you to the appropriate Sales Representative. Contact us today!