Pulp and Paper Canada

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Fraser Papers loss prompts potential closure extensions


October 31, 2006
By Pulp & Paper Canada

On the heels of the release of its third quarter results, Fraser Papers is turning its attention to possible sawmil…

On the heels of the release of its third quarter results, Fraser Papers is turning its attention to possible sawmill closures.

The company recently posted a loss of U.S. $6 million, from U.S. $5 million in the same period a year ago. Quarterly sales fell to $185 million from $226 million, which Fraser attributes to a number of sales, such as the divestiture of its paperboard operations and the closure of its Berlin pulp mill, in April.

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However, weak lumber prices are inciting the company to investigate the possibility of extending the shutdowns at its Plaster Rock and Juniper sawmills in New Brunswick, which are affecting roughly 340 employees.

‘Should prices not improve, it is anticipated that the current closures in effect at the company’s two Canadian sawmills will have to be extended during the fourth quarter,’ Fraser confirmed.

The fourth quarter will also witness a seven-day shutdown of the company’s cogeneration facility in Edmunston, NB, costing $2 million. The annual maintenance shutdown of its pulp mill in Thurso, QC will set the company back an additional $4 million.

Of North American price increases in the first three quarters of 2006, the company said, ‘momentum appears to be slowing. However, Fraser Papers expects to benefit from announced price increases in its specialty printing and packaging grades which become effective over the fourth quarter and the beginning of the first quarter of 2007.’


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