Image for Gunns reels as Japan paper mills shut. Moratorium meeeting, Tuesday

Tasmanian forestry company Gunns shares slumped as much as 14 per cent this morning amid concern about the impact of closure of a number of paper mills in Japan, managed by one of the company’s biggest customers, Nippon Paper.

Gunns shares were recently trading down 6 cents, or 10.7 per cent, at 50 cents.

A Nippon Paper statement on Saturday confirmed shutdowns at the Ishinomaki Mill, Iwanuma Mill, Nakoso Mill, Fuji Mill and Nippon Daishowa Paperboard’s Akita Mill. At Ishinomaki there was unconfirmed information that an employee was injured, but elsewhere the damage appeared to be limited to the plants, equipment and stock.

The statement noted damage in Sendai Port and Tokyo-Ariake Port but said Nippon Paper’s other mills were undamaged and continued to operate.

Gunns derives up to half of its revenues from exporting woodchip to Japan.

A spokesman for the company said it was too early to determine any impact on its customers.

Paddy Manning’s Age story HERE

Share Price HERE

Public meeting tomorrow-15th March

Moratorium public meeting- an explanation

The Wilderness Society and the Huon Valley Environment Centre will host a public meeting to outline their concerns with the state of the moratorium on logging high conservation value forests.

Vica Bayley, spokesman for The Wilderness Society, said this meeting’s date coincides with the original deadline for the moratorium.

“The purpose of this meeting is to simply and clearly outline our position to the public as we continue to negotiate with industry for an exit from native forest logging, toward a more sustainable industry.

“A moratorium is both urgent and critically important to these negotiations.

Political representatives have been invited to attend and address the crowd.

The meeting will feature a range of environmental and scientific speakers and include a slide presentation by the group Nature Photographers Tasmania of some of the forest areas in question.

What: Moratorium public meeting
When: Tuesday 15th March
5.30-7 pm
Where: Town Hall, Hobart
Speakers: Peter McQuillan - University of Tasmania
Phill Pullinger - Environment Tasmania
Jenny Weber - The Huon Valley Environment Centre.
Vica Bayley The Wilderness Society.
Rob Blakers Wilderness Photographer - Nature Photographers Tasmania

First published: 2011-03-14 06:00 PM

Media Release
Tuesday 15 March 2011

Web campaign boosts forest vigil
Conservationists mark missed moratorium opportunity

When 12 noon
Where Executive Building 15 Murray st Hobart

Tasmanian forest campaigners and community members will gather at Hobart’s Executive Building today to highlight their disappointment at the State Government’s failure to implement a promised moratorium on the logging of high conservation value forests.

Still Wild Still Threatened and Huon Valley Environment Centre are launching a ten-day campaign calling on the State Government to take immediate steps to ensure that the crucial moratorium is properly implemented. A new ‘Moratorium Now’ blog, documenting stories from around Tasmania and giving a voice to the forests that are falling, will be launched alongside a 10-day community forest vigil outside the Executive Building.

“The Tasmanian State Government has utterly bungled the implementation of this promised moratorium. This week, new roads and destructive clearfells are proceeding in forests that have been earmarked for protection,” Huon Valley Environment Centre’s Jenny Weber said.

“The misleading announcement by Premier Lara Giddings last week suggests a moratorium is in place. Sadly forests that today could have been protected as National Parks and World Heritage Areas are still being lost to the chainsaws,” Huon Valley Environment Centre’s Jenny Weber said.

“The State Government failed to take action over the past three months to implement a full and true moratorium, and now the promised protection of our forests is overdue,” Still Wild Still Threatened spokesperson Miranda Gibson said.

“Our presence outside Premier Lara Giddings office serves to hold her Government to account for every forest that falls as each day passes without a full moratorium in place,” Miranda Gibson said.

“We urge all Tasmanians to view the ‘Moratorium Now’ blog on http://www.nativeforest.net and share stories about our incredible forests,’
Miranda Gibson said.

This morning Vivienne Hadlow appeared in court over trespass and obstruct charges for her participation in a peaceful protest in the Picton Valley, in February.  Hadlow is a passionate conservationist who stood up to defend the old growth forests of the Picton Valley.

These Picton Valley forests could have been protected in a moratorium had the State Government taken action when it promised.

Jarvis Cocker

Gunns announcement

Company Announcements Platform Australian Securities Exchange

JAPANESE EARTHQUAKE The company is continuing to assess the effects of the Japanese earthquake on the business outlook. Based on initial customer discussions and public comments, it appears the most significant direct impacts are across a number of the Nippon Paper Industry mills (notably Akita, Ishinomaki and Iwanuma). Gunns has not been a significant supplier to these mills and based on historical sales levels would expect an annual shipment volume of approximately 100,000gmt to the directly affected region. We understand other producers have suffered loss of inventory (woodchip, pulp and paper) and are undertaking plant assessments prior to recommencing production. Gunns current sales commitments to the Japanese market are predominantly to mills located outside of the directly affected region. Contact Company: Greg L’Estrange

John Hawkins, Chudleigh

As predicted Gunns shares crashed 12.5% on a Public Holiday with 21.6 million shares traded.

A fall of one more cent will put them at a yearly low.

Not being able to announce a JV partner on a Federal Burke(lite) approval is the kiss of death.

Nippon paper will only take FSC accredited chips and Gunns as a result are no longer large suppliers into Japan. The earthquake is of no real importance; Gunns will use it as an excuse for a terminal decline in the share price.

The collapse in the share price is caused by a lack of faith and trust in this now Toxic company.