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WhatWood Blog Forestry & Logging Dennis Nelson: "Investing in the forests of New Zealand would be fantastic for Russian companies"

Dennis Nelson: “Investing in the forests of New Zealand would be fantastic for Russian companies”

16 March 2019 ` 17:32  

DANA Limited, a New Zealand consulting company, together with WhatWood Timber Industry Analytics Agency are planning to organize a joint conference on the Russian and global timber industry in 2020.

We talked with Dennis Neilson, Founder of DANA Limited, about the current situation in the timber industry, markets of New Zealand, China, and Russia, global politics, as well as expectations for the medium term. 

– Dennis, to begin with, tell us a little about yourself: what is your educational background, what does your company do, and what projects are you working on? 

– I have a bachelor’s degree in forest management (Canterbury University In new Zealand, 1972) and a master’s degree in forest engineering (Oregon state University, USA, 1977). As an employee I have worked for more than 20 years in a large New Zealand international forest company Fletcher Challenge Limited. I managed land management and planning in forestry, logging, road traffic, transport, shipping and timber exports. I also held the position of strategic planning Manager in the pulp and paper division of Fletcher.

I currently own a company called DANA Limited, which is located in New Zealand.

We do research of the forest complex markets, organize conferences, seminars, study tours, industry tours.

Some of them were related to China, which I visited more than 50 times. If we are going to discuss the results of our company’s work, more than 60 conferences and excursions/tours have been organized and held for 26 years since the company was founded, and more than 60 reviews have been written in co-authorship.

I first visited the Soviet Union in 1990. I was in Moscow and traveled all over Yakutia. Then we wrote and published two big reviews about the Russian forest

industry: in 1997 and 2007. Since 2005 we have been working on the creation of surveys for RISE (USA), which provides an analysis of the world production of pulp and paper, biomass and plantation forest cultivation.

Focus on New Zealand

– Let’s talk about the timber industry in New Zealand. Recently, we’ve become interested in its development model based on raw materials. It seems that not so long ago, Russia was following a similar model. How much timber was harvested and exported from the forests of New Zealand in 2017-2018?

– The net volume of harvesting from New Zealand in 2017-2018 amounted to about 33 million m3 (data for 12 months, from September 2017 to September 2018), in this volume, more than 95% of round timber was radiant pine (Pinus Radiata is wood species growing in the San Francisco area, USA).

In 2018, a record volume of wood was exported, it amounted to 19 million m3 (58% of the total timber from New Zealand). It is the largest volume of round wood exports from the country, as well as the world’s timber exports.

China accounted for 15.3 million m3 (80% of total exports) of 19 million m3. This is comparable to Russia was 9.1 million m3 and China in 2018.

But I would not like to focus only on the raw material component. New Zealand’s economy is heavily dependent on sawn timber exports (more than 40% of production was exported in 2017, mainly to Australia and the US) and pulp (almost 90% of chemical and 100% of mechanical market pulp was exported, mostly to China, Australia and Indonesia).

– What is the share of private and state forests? How long does it take to grow a forest suitable for industrial harvesting?

– New Zealand has about 26% of its own land in forests. However, most of these forests have native wood species.


Read more: Russian Timber Journal 02-2019.

Prev pageIn Tyumen they supported the implementation of the project for the production of wood-sand-polymer composite Next pageRussian Timber Journal №02-2019: why invest in fastest-growing forest plantations in New Zealand; forest products exports from Russia in 2018 and State Duma has drafted a ban on logs export till 2035

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