David Nunes, president and CEO of Rayonier, Inc. (NYSE: RYN), joined Nareit in New York for a video interview at REITweek: 2019 Investor Conference.
Nunes said that trade tensions with China have not necessarily impacted Rayonier’s export market outlook, and that China still has a large need to import wood. Since the REIT has exclusive exposure in New Zealand, in fact, he said that country has benefited from some of the trade issues.
“As it relates to the U.S., it’s somewhat of a different picture [with] the Pacific Northwest,” Nunes said, noting that the region had a 5% tariff placed on it, and the uncertainty that the tax might increase was a concern. “All last fall, we saw that market going in stops and starts.”
Nunes said that because Rayonier is a pure-play timber operator, the REIT has some flexibility in either accelerating or decelerating planned harvest levels. After experiencing a lot of wet weather in 2019, Rayonier chose to move up a harvest that was planned for later in the year, he said.
Turning to acquisitions, Nunes talked about why smaller deals have worked well for the REIT this year.
“They tend to be negotiated transactions [and] they’re under the radar screen of a lot of larger competitors,” he said.