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Boral abandons more timber operations

Boral has announced further and major restructuring of its timber operations affecting its residues, woodchip, softwood and engineered flooring businesses. Source: Timberbiz

Boral will exit the residue and woodchip export business and sell the associated processing plant and equipment based at Tea Gardens and at the Port of Newcastle, in NSW.

The company will exit the softwood distribution business in Queensland and appoint an external distributor for these products.

In addition the manufacturing of engineered flooring at Murwillumbah on the NSW North Coast will be discontinued. The plant will continue to manufacture overlay solid flooring, which is less exposed to import competition.

Boral Timber will exit the residue and woodchip export business at the end of June 2013 due to a substantial fall in demand driven principally by deterioration in price competitiveness due to the high Australian dollar.

Alternative customers for sawmill residues in Australia are still being sought while the company’s timber residue processing plant at Tea Gardens and the stockpiling and ship loading assets at the Port of Newcastle will be offered for sale.

In Queensland, Boral has advised customers that it will no longer distribute softwood products through its Brisbane warehouse and has instead appointed an independent distributor for this product range.

Boral will close part of its Brisbane warehouse but will continue to distribute hardwood timber from the site.

As part of our efforts to ensure Boral Timber remains a sustainable business, our restructure will result in some job losses, which is regrettable but sadly, unavoidable. The strength of the Australian dollar and associated high volume of imports, combined with low levels of demand and high manufacturing costs, are all creating very challenging conditions for the business,” said Boral Timber’s executive general manager, Steve Dadd.

In this latest round of restructuring in Boral Timber, there will be a reduction of 29 positions however, as a result of redeployment and not filling vacancies in recent months, only eight permanent employees have been made redundant.