While domestic sawmilling continues to supply the bulk of Australia’s timber needs, Europe has for centuries been a key part of the supply to this country. The forestry sector in Australia has clearly been affected by the recent bushfires, and there are increasing concerns about the long term timber supply implications as a result of these fires. On top of this Australia is now facing the uncertainty that COVID-19 brings to the economy, and to the industry. Fortunately Australia has access to the wide range of global supply options that are constantly providing the domestic market with high-quality wood from sustainably managed forests.
“We have partnered with Australian building material retailers and merchants, frame and truss manufacturers and construction companies for several decades”
“In my 20 years with Stora Enso, I believe we have done this in a very stable and responsibe way and will continue to do so into the future.”
“Our range of sawmills in nine European countries and facilities in all main Australian population centres provide a uniquely strong supply base and great competitive access to serve our key customers across the country,” he says.
“We have good stock volumes in all warehouses, with a full pipeline of product always in production. Our sawmills have the capacity to ramp up if indeed that need is required.”
Stora Enso is one of the world’s largest users of wood and last year delivered 36.3 million cubic metres of wood to its mills. This equates to approximately 50% more than Australia processes domestically.
Above: Stora Enso’s Sunila Mill at Kotka in southern Finland
Stora Enso has a proud heritage and know-how in forestry and timber, and is committed to the development of products and technologies based on renewable materials. Stora Enso has some 25 000 employees in more than 30 countries, and is publicly listed on the Helsinki and Stockholm stock exchanges.
The company has its manufacturing base in Europe, a continent of approximately 180 million hectares of forest, corresponding to 45% of the land area. The net annual increment from European forests is over 700 million cubic metres, with harvesting consistently at the level of two thirds of the annual growth increment, ensuring that the amount of wood available is continuously increasing.
European forests are managed following strict forest laws to ensure their future health and productivity while at the same time protecting biodiversity.
”This means that the timber products arriving into Australia are of high quality and from well-managed forests. A 100% of our wood comes from sustainable and fully traceable sources,” says Darrin.
“We’re are providing the market here with the full range of structural timbers and further developing our engineered wood products all graded to Australian standards. We’ve also been supplying mass timber products, like CLT, to some of the landmark tall wooden buildings in Australia. We’re well positioned to continue to provide the Australian market with this renewable raw material.”
Above: Baltic pine forest: net annual increment from European forests is over 700 million cubic metres.
Darrin says that, along with other wholesalers and importers, Stora Enso Australia is absolutely focused on their customers’ needs.
“Daily it is about what we can do better for our customers with added services, product developments, technical support, and bringing their global knowledge of timber to customers and our building projects.”
Darrin confirmed that along with other wholesalers and importers, Stora Enso Australia looks forward to continuing to supply competitively priced quality softwood timber products into the future. He points to longer term forecast demand data that clearly demonstrates that Australia will increasingly require a level of continuing imported solid softwood timber and engineered wood products.
“Without this imported volume, the building industry will be less resilient, smaller and employing fewer people, or the industry will be forced into using more of less environmentally friendly alternatives to timber, such as steel,” he says.
“So, we are 100% committed to continuing to ensure that Australia’s building and construction trades have access to fit-for-purpose, quality timber products.”
“Also, the reality is that wholesalers and importers are substantial employers carrying out a significant amount of value-adding processing, grading, component assembly, preservation treatment, machining, grading and repacking.
Above: MGP10 Baltic pine – timber products arriving into Australia are of high quality and from well-managed forests.