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New Zealand: Citic Wants The Wood

Citic Wants The Cheap Wood - 2/08/2002

New Zealand¡¯s position as one of the world¡¯s lowest cost producers of plantation pine is apparently the major reason why the Chinese investment company, Citic wants to sink NZ$413 million into getting the Central North Island Forest Partnership (CNIFP) out of receivership. In the August issue of InWood magazine, due out next Monday, Fletcher Challenge Forests chief executive Terry McFadgen says, New Zealand¡¯s cost position is the attraction. "Despite the mistakes since 1996, nothing has changed their (Citic¡¯s) fundamental view that this is the place to invest." But he warns that unless the Chinese Government can be persuaded to reduce huge tariffs on imported timber, the economics of processing [the CNIFP wood] in New Zealand will be difficult. "We¡¯ve got to get out there and beat up some people nicely to get those tariffs down, or we¡¯ve got to make the trade-offs [more log exports]," he says in the article. (Note: The CNIFP, which owns 163,000 ha of pine forest and three sawmills, went into receivership nearly two years ago.)


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