Plunging lumber prices hurt B.C. business

Interfor cutting back B.C. Interior production as lumber prices plunge

Interfor Corp. plans to cut production by about 20 per cent across its sawmills in the B.C. Interior as it faces declining lumber prices and higher log costs.

The Vancouver-based company said Friday that the scale-back is a temporary measure planned for the fourth quarter.

RELATED: Logging beetle-killed wood bad for small, at risk fisher: B.C. forest board

The cuts will be achieved through reduced operating days and extended weekends and holiday breaks spread across its three mills in the Interior, said chief financial officer Martin Juravsky.

“We’re trying to do it as smooth as possible under the circumstances from an employee perspective.”

The pullback comes as lumber prices for Western softwood have plunged from over US$650 per thousand board feet in June to under US$400 as concerns mount about the U.S. housing market.

The higher lumber prices had insulated mill operators like Interfor from rising log costs brought on by higher stumpage fees and other pressures, said Juravsky.

RELATED: Fisheries officials puzzled over missing Shuswap sockeye

“We obviously saw some very strong lumber markets in the first part of this year, and the higher log costs didn’t have as much of an impact when there were higher lumber prices.”

The drop in lumber prices has sent industry stock prices lower for a variety of Canadian players since the June high. Canfor Corp. is down 38 per cent, West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. is down 34 per cent, and Interfor is down 39 per cent.

Interfor’s share price closed Friday down 54 cents or 3.16 per cent to $16.55 on the Toronto Stock Exchange for a 52-week low.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

New roadside testing device can’t identify drug impairment says Vancouver lawyer

Lawyer says similar devices vulnerable to court challenge, testing for drugs different to alcohol

Victoria Police host Faith-Based Safety Forum in light of recent religious attacks

More than 35 faith-based leaders voice concerns, air questions

Still barriers to abortion access on Vancouver Island

Experts say transportation, support, doctors can be barriers to accessing abortion

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Most Read