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

Remember When: Recognizing the people of Bashaw’s St. Peters Church

It took the dedication of the Bashaw St. Peters Anglican Church congregation to make it all work

Idea spawned to help ripples into project to assist Bashaw residents

Bashaw School students love the new idea spawned out of a need for some help

Bashaw peewee club’s season comes to an abrupt end

Players decide not to go into playoffs without one of their teammates

Guarded but encouraging outlook for Canadian crops in 2019

Annual forecast for prices and production still high for producers despite challenges

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Ponoka host to Bayer Crop Science seed innovations trade show

The company held a trade show with seed crop science industry partners at the ag event centre

Peter Tork, Monkees’ lovable bass-guitar player, dies at 77

Tork, Micky Dolenz, David Jones and Michael Nesmith formed the made-for-television rock band

Lacombe welcomes ‘Napalm Girl’ to discuss journey from hatred to forgiveness

Latest Herr Lecture to feature Kim Phuc Phan Thi at LMC

Millennial men least likely to have a family doctor: Statistics Canada

Report found more women have primary care physicians, compared with men

Alberta to play for gold in wheelchair basketball

Action-packed first week of Canada Winter Games nearly a wrap

Most Read