The South Canterbury forestry industry is ripe for investment, while plantation owners who are keen to expand face various challenges, an industry expert says. Competing against dairying and pastoral crops for viable land, as well as overseas investment requirements, are just some of the factors cited as making investment challenging for both domestic and international markets. Laurie Forestry managing director Allan Laurie said the industry was heading into a peak for the next eight to 10 years and, if younger, he would be planting trees right now. …The improvement in the market was due to the stable economy in China, a key export market for New Zealand, making prices stable. In previous years the market had been unpredictable and prices were “volatile”, which made investment risky, he said.