Leading Japanese manufacturer, Oji Holdings Corporation (Oji Holdings), through its New Zealand subsidiary, Oji Fibre Solutions (OjiFS), is investing A$72 million in a new corrugated box manufacturing facility in Queensland. The investment is a boost to the region and will create an initial 55 jobs in the Gold Coast suburb of Yatala.
OjiFS will manage the new automated facility, and will manufacture a range of quality packaging products to meet increasing needs for use with fruit, meat and consumer goods in Queensland, New South Wales and Northern Territory.
In a press release, OjiFS Chief Executive Officer, Dr Jon Ryder, says the investment confirms the company’s commitment to growth in Australia.
‘We believe there is opportunity to take advantage of the increasing demand for corrugated packaging in Queensland and the Yatala project fits our strategy to increase vertical integration across our pulp, paper and packaging businesses.’
OjiFS plans to operate the Yatala facility with a 5/6 Green Star environmental rating, with lower water and electricity consumption and increased construction materials recycling.
The commitment from OjiFS has received support from the Queensland Government as part of the Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund. The company expects to create ongoing supply chain opportunities for local businesses, and aims to increase facility jobs to around 77 in the future.
Based in Tokyo, Oji Holdings is the fifth largest pulp and paper company in the world, with 158 consolidated subsidiaries located in 17 countries worldwide.
The factory to the world has a new export: inflation. And it’s shipping faster than many thought possible just a few months ago.
China’s weakening yuan, stimulus designed to ensure robust growth ahead of a crucial Communist Party Congress next year, and rebounding commodity prices are pushing up factory prices. Having turned positive in September for the first time in more than four years, producer prices rose 1.2 percent in October from a year earlier. That will almost double to 2.3 percent in November, according to analysts surveyed ahead of data due Friday.
The pace is seen quickening even more next year: JPMorgan Chase & Co. estimates factory inflation will rise to as high as 4 percent in the first quarter while Commonwealth Bank of Australia sees it peaking at 6 percent in the third quarter of 2017.
Such increases would ripple through China’s vast supply chain across Asia, and to consumer markets from New York to New Zealand. The price turnaround coincides with a recent spike in oil prices and rising expectations for global reflation as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump prepares to boost fiscal and infrastructure spending.
The prospects look promising for New Zealand’s economic expansion to continue in the face of considerable international uncertainties, Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler said today.
Speaking to the Development West Coast Conference in Greymouth, Mr Wheeler said that in many respects the economy is performing well.
“Relative to the trends over the past two decades, New Zealand is experiencing stronger economic growth, lower inflation, and a lower unemployment rate – even with record levels of labour force participation. The Achilles heel of many New Zealand expansions – a large current account deficit – has not eventuated.
“However, not everything is as positive. The overall expansion, now entering its eighth year, is weaker than other post-WWII expansions. GDP growth on a per capita basis has been slow and labour productivity growth has been disappointing. House price inflation is much higher than desirable and poses concerns for financial stability, and the exchange rate is higher than the economic fundamentals would suggest is appropriate.”
Mr Wheeler said that, in the absence of major unanticipated shocks, prospects look good for continued strong growth over the next 18 months, driven by construction spending, continued migration, tourist flows, and accommodative monetary policy. Supply disruptions associated with the Kaikoura earthquake are unlikely to have a major impact on overall economic growth, while some increase in freight costs and construction cost inflation is likely.
“Our November 2016 Monetary Policy Statement forecasts show annual real GDP growth of around 3¾ percent over the next 18 months, with inflation approaching the mid-point of the target band, the unemployment rate continuing to decline, and the current account deficit remaining within manageable levels.
“The low point for CPI inflation has probably passed and, supported by the improvement in global commodity prices in recent months, we expect the December quarter 2016 CPI data to confirm that annual CPI inflation is moving back within the 1 to 3 percent target band.
Mr Wheeler said that New Zealand will enter 2017 with considerable political and economic uncertainties.
“The greatest threat to the expansion lies in possible international political and economic developments and their implications for the global trading environment. The main domestic risk – and one that could be triggered by developments offshore – is a significant correction in the housing market. Numerous measures indicate that New Zealand house prices are significantly inflated relative to usual valuation indicators.”
“As has been the case in several other countries, monetary policy has been made more challenging in New Zealand by low global inflation and zero or negative policy rates in several major economies. This has put downward pressure on our interest rate structure and contributed to asset price inflation and upward pressure on the New Zealand dollar. This trend may finally be turning.
“At this stage, global and domestic developments do not cause us to change our view on the direction of monetary policy as outlined in the November MPS. We expect monetary policy to continue to be accommodative, and that the projected policy settings will help generate sufficient growth to have inflation settle near the middle of the target range.”
The latest New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA) Survey of Business Conditions completed during November 2016, shows total sales in October 2016 decreased 6.81% (year on year export sales decreased by 20.72% with domestic sales increasing by 20.14%) on October 2015.
In the three months to October, export sales decreased an average of 7.0%, and domestic sales increased 13.9% on average.
The NZMEA survey sample this month covered NZ$288m in annualised sales, with an export content of 56%.
Net confidence rose to 42, up from -23 in September.
The current performance index (a combination of profitability and cash flow) is at 98, up from 94.3 last month, the change index (capacity utilisation, staff levels, orders and inventories) was at 101, up from 99 in the last survey, and the forecast index (investment, sales, profitability and staff) is at 105.5, up on the last result of 102.33. Anything over 100 indicates expansion.
Constraints reported were 63% markets, 16% skilled staff, 10.5% capital and 10.5% production capacity.
A net 5% of respondents reported a productivity decrease for October.
Staff numbers decreased 1.29% year on year in October.
Supervisors, tradespersons, managers, professional/scientists and operators/labourers reported a moderate shortage.
“Export sales continued their downward trend also experienced in September, with October export sales decreasing 20.72% on October 2015, with an average year on year decrease of 7% in the three months to October. Taking a longer view, export sales have been flat at an average year on year monthly decrease of 0.3% over the last 12 months.” Said Dieter Adam.
“Domestic sales again saw better results, increasing 20.14% on October 2015, and continuing the recent positive streak, with an average year on year growth of 13.9% in the three months to October. Domestic sales have held a positive trend, with an average year on year monthly increase of 5.4% over the last 12 months.
“Despite the fall in export sales, confidence and all three index measures, performance, forecast and change, all improved on September. Market conditions remain the largest reported constraint to growth. Reported profitability has been trending downwards throughout 2016 for manufacturers.
“The recent challenges for exporters reported in our survey was also reflected in the latest Overseas Merchandise Trade numbers from Statistics New Zealand for October. Export values for mechanical machinery and equipment decreased 7% on the previous month, and saw a decrease of 15.62% compared to October 2015. Electrical machinery and equipment exports improved 2.8% on the previous month, but felt a decrease of 13.59% on the same month last year. In the last three months, exports sales for both these categories have been well below the average experienced in the previous year.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which is battling rival ResMed over intellectual property for face and nasal masks, has succeeded in overturning the second of two preliminary injunctions against it in Germany, allowing the company to resume sales of the affected products in that country.
The District Court in Munich in August granted two preliminary injunctions preventing the sale of F&P Simplus, Eson and Eson 2 masks in Germany by F&P Healthcare's German subsidiary. The first injunction was overturned on Nov. 17, and the second on Dec. 1, allowing the company to resume sale of the products, Auckland-based F&P Healthcare said in a statement.
ResMed and F&P Healthcare are involved in a tit-for-tat dispute over intellectual property, with ResMed filing a patent infringement complaint in the Southern District of California as well as lawsuits in Germany and New Zealand, and to the US International Trade Commission against F&P Healthcare in relation to face and nasal masks, just days after the Kiwi company filed its own patent infringement lawsuit against the US company in the US District Court for the Central District of California relating to its flow generator products and masks.
“We are pleased with the outcome of the first two hearings in these patent dispute proceedings and we remain confident in regards to future proceedings," said F&P Healthcare managing director Lewis Gradon.
Fisher & Paykel told shareholders at its annual meeting in August that the company had been unable to resolve the IP dispute with ResMed after 18 months of talks, but said they were well prepared for the legal action which they wouldn't have taken unless they were "pretty confident" about winning. However, the company warned it could take a decade to be fully resolved.
Shares in F&P Healthcare jumped 6 percent to $8.70.
Private equity-owned Patties Foods, the maker of brands such as Nanna’s, Herbert Adams and Four’N Twenty pies, has bought New Zealand company Leader Products, a manufacturer of frozen convenience food products.
Patties Foods, bought by Pacific Equity Partners for $232 million in September, says the two companies are natural partners, both focused on manufacturing high quality frozen foods.
Leader, started by Tony Peterson and Richard Crabb in 1998, exports to Australia and Asia and has doubled revenue in the past five years. The product range includes meatballs, burger patties, toppas, finger foods and meal solutions under the brands Leader, Tony’s Tucka and Kauri Coast.
Peterson will continue as managing director and will maintain a stake in the combined business.
Paul Hitchcock, CEO of Patties, says the combination of Patties and Leader will provide significant growth opportunities for both companies.
“Leader is a great New Zealand success story and we are very keen to support the team in their continued growth,” he says.
“For example, we see immediate opportunities to leverage the Patties sales force in Australia to bring more of Leader’s great product range to Australian customers.”
The cost of the acquisition hasn’t been revealed. The transaction is expected to complete in early 2017 following regulatory approval.
Excessive red tape, glacial bureaucratic processes and arbitrary new rules in overseas markets are a big – and costly – part of the trade picture for Kiwi exporters of agriculture, food and other products say the NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF) and the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).
Two recent studies throw a spotlight on the burden imposed by so-called “non-tariff barriers” (NTBs) faced by New Zealand firms operating in the Asia-Pacific. The first report was prepared by the USC Marshall School of Business and released by ABAC at the recent APEC meetings in Lima and focuses on the impact of NTBs on food trade in the Asia-Pacific.
The second report has been prepared by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER), and examines the cost of non-tariff measures(NTMs) for business in the APEC region.
“Thanks to free trade agreements, New Zealand exporters are facing lower tariffs than ever before in the region. But they still don’t enjoy a level playing field because of NTBs and costly NTMs,” said Stephen Jacobi, NZIBF Executive Director.
Legitimate NTMs become NTBs when they are more trade restrictive than necessary. NTBs include opaque requirements for labelling and manufacturing processes, arbitrary product standards, and slow and costly Customs and other import procedures. Specific NTBs in agri-food trade include food safety rules that are not science-backed and a web of conflicting labelling requirements.
“These two reports show how NTBs add costs and complexity for business, undermine supply chains, make food and other goods more expensive for consumers, and in some cases even keep exports out of markets altogether,” said ABAC New Zealand member Tony Nowell, who led the ABAC project. “Given the number of small businesses in the New Zealand economy, it is particularly worrying that NTBs can have a disproportionately harsh impact on the operations of SMEs.”
“NTBs in food trade don’t just make life difficult for business. The APEC region has a population of three billion. Food trade helps to match up food supplies with demand, and contributes to food security. These measures actually undermine people’s ability to access safe, nutritious and affordable food,” said Mr Nowell.
More broadly, the non-tariff measures in place in the APEC region have been calculated by NZIER to cost New Zealand business billions each year. The NZIER discussion document estimates that Kiwi exporters face NTMs that impose costs of US$5.9 billion each year. While some measures are legitimate, others are blatantly protectionist, the report found.
“The outlook for the world economy is gloomy. Trade growth has fallen to its lowest level since the global financial crisis. Now more than ever we need to challenge hidden protectionism. NTBs are particularly noxious because they can be hard to even identify, let alone address,” Mr Jacobi said.
“We need greater transparency in rules, clearer timeframes for administrative processes, and regulations that are designed to avoid impeding trade. Exporters and consumers around our region deserve better,” Mr Jacobi concluded.
Issued by New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF) and APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).
Diverseco, Australia's leading integrated measurement, packaging and product inspection solutions provider, is delighted to announce the acquisition of Robot Technologies/Systems Australia (RTA).
RTA is Australia’s foremost integrator of robotic automation, with over thirty years of experience and expertise in industrial robotics, manufacturing automation, process automation and factory automation.
The company supplies and services robotics equipment for businesses within a broad range of industries across Australia and New Zealand. These include manufacturing, mining, commodity handling, defence and pharmaceutical.
The company’s suppliers include leading brands Kawasaki, Staubli, Kyokutoh, Servo-Robot, Nitta and Pro-face, with RTA currently providing applications for material handling, sorting, machine unloading, fluid application, painting and welding, among others.
Established in 1986, the company’s operations were initially based on supply of robotics to the automotive industry and with RTA being the sole supplier of robots and associated services to Mitsubishi and Toyota.
Brenton Cunningham, Diverseco CEO said, “RTA is a valuable addition to our group, and will complement and enhance our group’s current capabilities, especially our supply of solutions to the manufacturing, packaging equipment and freight sector.”
Trinton Smith, RTA General Manager is confident that the purchase heralds a new era for the company, at a time when the manufacturing industry is undergoing a technological renaissance that is transforming operations.
“With Diverseco’s financial backing, corporate support and vision, we are excited about future opportunities and realising RTA’s full potential - as the go-to company for any business seeking sophisticated robotic automation solutions,” Trinton said.
“The fact is, far too many Australian companies remain unaware of how automation technologies can enable them to realise their productive potential by optimising their operations,” he added.
“Today, most industrial tasks can be automated with a diverse range of robots, far more than most people realise. In some respects, it’s matter of imagination that requires business leaders to envision what ‘can be’ rather than ‘what is.’ Once a company discovers the benefits provided by robotic integration in one part of their business, they are always keen to apply it to another.” Brenton said.
The robotics automation industry remains in a growth phase. For example, the Association for Advancing Automation in the U.S. reports that over fourteen thousand robots, valued at approximately $817 million, were ordered from North American companies in the first half of 2016. This is a new record.
Brenton said, “Manufacturing companies cannot afford to ignore the economic and competitive benefits provided by robotics advances. By embracing them now, they will improve productivity, forge ahead of their rivals and gain an edge with customers who are seeking their own gains in the supply chain..”
Brenton said, “Many of RTA’s core competencies reside in its people, many of whom are recognised experts in their fields, which includes mechatronics engineering. Consequently, we are delighted to have retained their experienced staff and contractors.”
RTA founder, industry legend Doug Smith will remain at the company and will be responsible for managing some key areas for the foreseeable future.
RTA will be closely aligned with another Diverseco company, Scaco Pty Ltd, due to similarities in their automation operations. Consequently, Group General Manager Tim Francis is tasked with overseeing both of these operations.
“The RTA team are second to none in their ability to optimise manufacturing processes across a multitude of industries by incorporating automation and robotics into company operations,” Tim said.
‘They are a great group of people! I’m certain that will embrace the Diverseco’s core values, contribute to our company culture and will continue to provide RTA customers world-class robotics solutions,’ he added.
To celebrate the acquisition, Brenton Cunningham and Doug Smith were recently invited to visit Kawasaki Robots Head Office in Akashi, Japan, where they were entertained by the senior management, provided a tour of facilities, and briefed of Kawasaki’s latest innovations. They are pictured shaking hands with Shin-ichi Hada, Senior Manager at Kawasaki Robotics.
A new development for the New Zealand building and construction industry, Fletcher Aluminium and NALCO have combined to form a joint venture that leverages their scale, market coverage, product innovation and reliability - the new company will now be known as Altus.
Their position will also make them a more attractive supplier in many of the industrial sectors they service. So boat builders, engineers or any business that requires aluminum solutions can look to Altus to have the expertise and capacity to meet all requirements.
Bigger, better, more innovative and more consistent - the word Altus has deep rooted origins and stands for depth and height. Altus with its team of experienced and visionary leaders and highly-skilled staff aim to be at the height of technical excellence and customer service.
'Together we aim to provide our customers with greater levels of service, consistent lead times, improved logistics, and ultimately a wider range of products,' says Altus managing director Ron Holden. 'Combining manufacturing facilities and capabilities will offer accelerated growth in productivity, quality improvement and innovation. Altus aims to lead positive change and make a real difference to our customers' world.'
In the past financial year, both Fletcher Aluminium and NALCO have experienced record manufacturing and sales demand, in part to New Zealand's booming building industry and to their approach on how to best capitalise new opportunities.
'Altus now has the size and scale capable of achieving market-leading outcomes in innovation design, manufacturing, marketing and sales and to be the number one supplier and employer of choice,' says Ron Holden. 'It's about being strong, reliable, customer driven and providing the very best service nationwide.'
'In the immediate future our customers won't notice the change; it will be business as usual while the two businesses continue to integrate with a focus on looking after customers first and foremost. As from today, 28 November, NALCO and Fletcher Aluminium will cease to exist. This change is just the first of many exciting changes for New Zealand's aluminium industry. Watch this space!'
Kennards Hire finds itself quite at home in New Zealand. So much so that they continue to build the family-owned business with the acquisition of Tauranga Hire - its 17th branch in New Zealand.
Kennards Hire is an equipment and tool hire company with almost 170 branches across New Zealand and Australia. Following their recent branch opening in Hamilton in August this year, the Tauranga branch opened as Kennards Hire on Monday, 31 October and characterises Kennards Hire’s aim to offer New Zealanders the best of the hire and rental industry.
Tom Kimber, General Manager of Kennards Hire New Zealand said, “Being the largest city in the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga is an exciting step for our network of hire equipment branches. By extending our footprint into Hamilton’s neighbouring region, we are well-situated to help make our customers job easy.
“Infrastructure projects, housing and commercial construction are all projected to see strong growth over the next few years. This is a great opportunity for us to invest in and grow our brand and equipment hire service offering in one of the fastest growing population areas in New Zealand,” said Tom.
In true Kennards Hire form, the current team will be joining the family. Tauranga Hire customers will be pleased to know that the friendly and knowledgeable Kris Wright and the team will still be behind the counter. The name above the door may have changed but the faces and excellent customer service remains strong.
The team at the Tauranga branch will continue to give their customers, both current and new, great customer service and a wide range of well-maintained, modern and reliable equipment designed to make every job easy.
Kennards Hire customers in New Zealand can also take advantage of their industry-leading online hire website. Hire online day or night and pick up your equipment at your local branch or have it delivered direct to your door.