In today’s talking points, Australian woodchip prices are up and Qu Dongyu takes on the head of UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Demand from China drives Australian woodchip prices up

Australian woodchip has enjoyed rising prices for the past few years, which has peaked at the current price for Tasmanian blue gum (woodchip) at US$182 (AUD$260) per bone-dry tonne.

Midway Limited, Australia’s largest processor and exporter of woodfibre, expects that demand will grow. Demand from mills in China exceeds that of most other Asian countries, though demand from Indonesia also continues to increase.

Woodchips that are exported to China go towards kraft pulp (which produces fine paper), dissolving pulp (which produces fibres such as nylon, wool and cotton) and thermomechanical pulp, BCTMP (which produces cardboard and other packaging).

CEO of timber exporting company Pentarch Forestry, Paul Heubner, believes that changes in the Chinese market, as construction moves to China’s west, have impacted demand for solid wood.

Source: ABC News

Qu Dongyu appointed head of UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation

Qu will take up the position on August 1st, and become the first Chinese national to do so. Qu, a biologist by training, has years of experience in developing digital technologies in agriculture.

The agency brings together UN member countries to discuss issues regarding food and agriculture, and at present, food security and malnutrition due to climate change are at the forefront of discussion.

Qu is expected to enact policies to solve these issues for both advanced and developing countries alike, as the world’s population continues to increase. In particular, he is expected to support small farms and fisheries to combat food waste.

Source: SCMP