Logging owners call for logging trade mission to India following approval of new fumigant for log export

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The Forest Owners Association wants a delegation of government ministers to urgently visit India to try to reopen the export log market there, following the Forest Protection Authority’s approval. New Zealand environment for EDN fumigation of stacks of export logs.

The EPA has just announced that it has approved the use of ethanedinitrile as an alternative to methyl bromide for the fumigation of logs in New Zealand prior to export.

EDN is a much 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 a depletion of 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 largest log export destination, but other log treatments, such as debarking, have allowed log exports to continue.

Forest Owners Association president Grant Dodson says India’s requirement has led to the collapse of a quarter-billion-dollar-a-year log export market because the use of methyl bromide is now very restricted in New Zealand.

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

“It is vital to return to India. The longer we stay out of this market, the harder it will be to get back into it,” says Grant Dodson.

India is currently the sixth largest economy in the world, but it is predicted to be the third largest in the world, behind only China and the United States, by 2030.

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

“These countries will also work to keep us out for as long as they can. But with EDN’s approval here, we can now return to India with confidence and start competing on equal terms again.

“We still need to go through regional consent processes at export fumigation sites here in New Zealand, before EDN can be used for any destination.”

“But the real ‘traffic jam’ has been waiting for EPA approval.”

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