This summer has started with a series of curtailment and closure announcements from several major lumber producers in Western Canada.
Canfor is temporarily reducing production capacity in British Columbia by 200MMBF, curtailing operations at all BC sawmills, except WynnWood. The majority of mills will be curtailed for two weeks or the equivalent, with extended curtailments of four weeks at Houston and Plateau, and six weeks at Mackenzie. The curtailments are scheduled to run from June 17 through July 26. The company says the curtailments are due to poor lumber markets and the high cost of fiber.
West Fraser is permanently closing its Chasm lumber mill and eliminating the third shift from its 100 Mile House lumber mill, both to occur during third quarter 2019. The company says this is the result of timber supply constraints due to the devastating Mountain Pine Beetle infestation, recent record wildfires, price declines in lumber markets and high sawlog costs. Also, the company states, it’s a result of reduced harvesting levels set by the Chief Forester of BC. Lumber production is anticipated to be permanently reduced by more than 300MMBF.
Western Forest Products Inc. announced temporary production curtailments at three of its sawmills (Duke Point, Saltair, Chemainus). “The challenge of weak markets is compounded by the disproportionate impacts of softwood lumber duties on high value products, including western red cedar,” the company states.