Canfor extends sawmill curtailments

Lumber prices in the U.S. have halved, prompting sawmill curtailments throughout BC

Canfor is extending production curtailments at its B.C. sawmills, like this one in Prince George, due to falling lumber prices.

B.C. sawmill workers will have plenty of time off over the Christmas holidays, as curtailments at B.C. sawmills continue into the New Year.

Canfor Corporation (TSX:CFP) first announced temporary curtailments at its B.C. sawmills on November 1. On Friday December 14, it announced those curtailments will be extended.

It also plans to reduce operating hours at some of its mills throughout the first quarter of 2019. The company said its sawmills will resume production on January 7, 2019.

Canfor isn’t the only forestry company in B.C. to announce curtailments and layoffs. In fact, all the majors have announced curtailments in recent weeks, due to falling lumber prices in the U.S., and high log cots in B.C., as well as log shortages.

B.C.’s largest forestry company, West Fraser Timber Co. (TSX:WFT), announced in mid-November that it would  eliminate a third shift from its sawmills in Quesnel and Fraser Lake, resulting in 135 layoffs.

On November 30, West Fraser announced more temporary production curtailments at four B.C. sawmills for the holiday period.

Lumber prices in the U.S. reached record levels of US$655 per 1,000 board feet in the early part of 2018, but by the end of the year had fallen to US$298.

nbennett@biv.com

@nbennett_biv