Forestry Reports

Forestry Council Report April 2021


Market Review 

  • Due to low volume of timber sales in the private forest sector it is difficult to get timber prices although recent reportestimates that the since Q1 of this year, the price of timber has increased by an unprecedented 35%. Under normal conditions, timber prices tend to increase or decrease in relatively small increments of about 5%.
    • Licensing issues related to the felling of Irish trees and Brexit stockpiling have added to problems in the market as well as strong global demand has seen a substantial increase in timber prices.   
  • In March, a total of 193 forest licences were issued compared with 272 licences in February. Of the 193 licences, 140 were issued to the private sector and 53 issued to Coillte. 
    • The breakdown of the licences that issued to the private sector is as follows: 52 afforestation licences, 48 forest road licence and 40 felling licences.
    • The total number of licences issued in March 2021 was 29% less than the output in February and 45% less than the output in January.

  • The following information is from DAFM dashboard:

Activity since last National Council

  • IFA held an online meeting on March 11th with Minister Hackett and Jo O’Hara on Project Woodland and the plan for forestry licences over 200 attended to discuss the plans. Over 220 farmers with forestry attended the meeting. 
    • IFA issued press release giving Minister Hackett’s forestry plan a period of twelve weeks to begin implementation and restore farmers’ confidence.
    • Under Project Woodland the following working groups have been established: 
  • The four working groups have had their first meeting. The groups will be chaired by Michael Cantwell (Backlog), Dr. Matt Crowe (Shared Approach), Prof Thia Hennessy (Organisational Development) and Michael Layde (Effective Processes). 
    • The recruitment of a Project Director, a specialist project manager and a systems analyst for Project Woodland is underway. All will work closely with the assistant secretary general responsible for forestry and in charge of Project Woodland.
  • IFA wrote to outline disappointment with regard to the restrictions that have been placed on IFA’s representation on the Forest Policy Group, which has been limited to one seat on the group. The current composition of the Forest Policy Group is not balanced. There is unequal representation with industry and the environmental pillar accounting for 36% and 27% respectively, compared with just 9% representation for private forest owners. 
  • IFA attended COFORD Roundwood Forecast and Wood Mobilisation Working Group Meeting where there were presentations from Forestry Division of DAFM on Project Woodland. 
  • Analysis of feedback to IFA’s survey of European forest owner organisation on felling licences systems is ongoing to support IFA’s position to introduce single consent system for forestry licences. 
  • IFA attended webinar on Agroforestry – trees on farms and carbon neutral livestock systems. 

Any EU/COPA developments

  • There is a public consultation on the new EU Forest Strategy, which is open until 19th April 2021.

Upcoming issues

  • To work closely with Department and all stakeholders to see that the actions and recommendations set out in Project Woodland are implemented as soon as possible and a timeframe for deliverables is confirmed.
  • To finalise analysis of feedback to IFA’s survey and develop presentation for COFORD on 22nd April. 

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