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April, 2022

Forest Owners call for forest trade mission to India

Forest Owners call for forest trade mission to India following approval of new fumigant for log exports 

The Forest Owners Association wants a delegation of government ministers to urgently go to India to try to re-open the export log market there, following the New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority approval for EDN fumigation of export log stacks. 

The EPA has just announced it has approved the use of ethanedinitrile as a replacement for methyl bromide to fumigate logs in New Zealand before they are exported. 

EDN is a far more environmentally friendly fumigant.  It is effective on insects and pathogens, but breaks down quickly in the environment.  It is neither a greenhouse gas nor does it deplete the ozone layer. 

India however still stipulates that methyl bromide must be used for log imports from New Zealand. No other fumigants are currently approved by India. 

China is by far New Zealand’s biggest log export destination, but other log treatments, such as debarking, have enabled log exports there to continue. 

The President of the Forest Owners Association, Grant Dodson, says the Indian requirement has meant the collapse of a quarter of a billion dollar a year log export market, as the use of methyl bromide is now highly restricted in New Zealand. 

New Zealand log exports to India fell to only $28 million last year.  

“It’s vital to get back into India. The longer we are out of that market, the harder it will be to get back in,” Grant Dodson says. 

India is currently the sixth largest economy in the world, but is widely predicted to be global number three, behind only China and the USA, by 2030. 

Grant Dodson says other log exporting countries, such as Canada, have been heavily investing in their Indian export market. 

“These countries will also work to keep us out for as long as they can.  But with EDN approval here, we can now confidently go back to India and begin to compete on equal terms again.” 

“We still have to get through regional consent processes at the export fumigation locations here in New Zealand, before EDN can be used for any destination.” 

“But the real ‘log jam’ has been the wait for the EPA approval.” 

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