Friday, November 16, 2007

Longleaf Pine Growth Model and Stand Simulator Available

A new longleaf pine growth model and stand simulator is now available from FORSight Resources. The following information is from their news release. For additional details, you can email: --Brian

FORSight Resources releases FORSim – Longleaf Pine Growth Simulator (LPGS)

North Charleston, S.C., USA – November 16, 2007 – FORSight Resources, a leading provider of decision support services for natural resource management, announced today the release of FORSim – Longleaf Pine Growth Simulator (LPGS). LPGS is a versatile tool that provides biometricians and inventory foresters with the functionality of a longleaf pine growth engine in an easy-to-use, excel-based interface. The growth engine provides for alternative thinning treatments. LPGS provides a means for quickly analyzing and comparing stand-level treatments through graphical and tabular outputs. LPGS also calculates scores for assessing foraging habitat for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW), providing foresters and wildlife managers a powerful tool for developing and assessing treatment regimes in support of RCW recovery. Overall, users will find this to be a valuable addition to FORSim product

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Investing in African Plantations

A new firm, Arfwood Timberland Partners LLC, has been launched with the stated purpose of investing "in African timberlands specifically investments in: African Plantation forests companies, African Farm forests companies, African eco-tourism companies, African certified forest products retail companies, and African carbon sinks establishments. "

It is unclear to me if the proposed investments are just in African companies or if they will actually be investing in plantation and natural timberland as well. The following is an extract from their promotional literature. --Brian


say YES to investments in:
 African Plantation Forests
 African Farm forests
 Africa Eco-tourism
 African certified forest products retail
 African Carbon sink establishments

AFRWOOD TIMBERLAND PARTNERS LLC is a for profit perpetual timberland investment firm registered in the State of Delaware USA, specializing in Africa with power to secure the market by investing in local retail outlets. The company will invest in African plantation forests, African farm forests, African eco-tourism, African certified forest product retail outlets and African carbon sink establishments. The firm is managed by African wood Inc, and may take on any number of additional managers depending on need. The partners, who must be qualified investors in their jurisdiction, should be able to commit a minimum of five million United States dollars in patient long term investment funds since the managers cannot guarantee an exit route in the medium term.

For Commitments and inquiries contact: David F Amakobe, President, African Wood Inc, Suite 902, One commerce Center, 1201 north Orange street, Wilmington, Delaware 19801,

T. 302-884-6737, F. 302-884-6738, Skype: afrwoodusa, ,

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Bowater Continues Selling; 17,600 Acres Remain for Sale.

Bowater announced earnings today. The following paragraph is from their earnings statement. Looks like they are pretty well "wound down". --Brian

"During the third quarter of 2007, Bowater sold approximately 11,400 acres of timberlands primarily located in Tennessee, and during the first three quarters of 2007, Bowater sold approximately 119,200 acres of timberlands primarily located in Tennessee and Canada. One of Bowater's consolidated subsidiaries, which is owned 49% by a minority interest, sold approximately 25,000 acres of the 119,200 acres and recorded a pre-tax gain on the sale of land of $22.8 million during the first three quarters of 2007. During the third quarter of 2006, Bowater sold approximately 23,000 acres of timberlands, and during the first three quarters of 2006, Bowater sold approximately 519,000 acres of timberlands, its Degelis sawmill and its Baker Brook sawmill. As of September 30, 2007, Bowater has approximately 17,600 acres of timberlands classified as held for sale."

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Changes in Timberland Investments in the South

There is an outstanding paper by Tom Harris, Jacek Siry and Sara Baldwin (the TimberMart-South crew) that can be downloaded at no charge from Forestweb's site. The paper looks at the major changes and trends impacting forestry investments in the U. S. South. An outline of what is covered follows:

  • "Major Changes in the U. S. South: New items worthy of note
    »» A decade of timber price declines
    »» Retirement of the vertically integrated model for forest products
    »» Improved competitive position
    »» Maturing forestry investment industry
    Southern Timber Trends: Key, Overarching Issues
    »» Globalization
    • Increased Global Trade in Forest Products
    • Shift in Manufacturing
    • Role of Paper in Communications
    • Energy and Bioenergy
    »» Abundant Timber Supplies
    • Planting Rates down
    • New emphasis on thinnings
    »» Consolidation and Dis-integration
    • More concentrated products markets.
    • Dis-integration essentially complete
    »» Forestland Ownership Shifts
    • New owner objectives and investment horizons unclear.
    • HBU based values assuming new importance.
    A long-term history shows nominal increases in stumpage prices"

The paper is well illustrated with charts and graphs illustrating the authors' observations. It covers "all the usual suspects" (price trends, ownership changes, transactions, etc.) but I think the most interesting observation is the impact of the declining U. S. dollar. The charts compare delivered prices of conifer pulpwood in the major wood producing regions as well as a more detailed comparison (see graph) between the U. S. South and Brazil. Guess what? The South is now very competitive!! So while we hear all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth due to the falling dollar on the nightly business shows, there is a very positive impact in our manufacturing sector (more jobs, higher wages, higher stumpage prices from increased demand? etc.).

I would recommend reading FORESTRY INVESTMENTS: Major Changes in the U.S. South made available from Forestweb. Harris and bunch did a good job. --Brian