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Lumber price surge a “false down”


September 11, 2008
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Improved lumber prices aren’t proving to be a large enough carrot to entice producers in BC’s Northern Interior to …

Improved lumber prices aren’t proving to be a large enough carrot to entice producers in BC’s Northern Interior to up their production levels, the Prince George Citizen reported. Improved price tags on lumber and a decrease in the value of the loony have done little to encourage Dunkley Lumber and Lakeland Mills to implement full shifts. Dunkley has scaled back its sawmill shift to three days a week, while Lakeland has cut back at its sawmill and planer mill, to four days a week.

Canfor has not made any alterations either, the Prince George Citizen confirmed. Its two sawmills and oriented strand board in the region remain indefinitely closed, and its facilities in Mackenzie, Chetwynd and Fort Nelson are facing the same fate. The company also cut the third shift at several of its mills in Prince George, Vanderhoof and Houston. West Fraser has followed suit.

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The companies say that despite an increase in lumber prices, the differential is not large enough to make much of a difference to bottom lines. “We’re still running a tight operation,” the Citizen reported manger of Dunkley Lumber Blair Mayes as saying.

Canfor president and CEO Jim Shepard referred to the surge in lumber prices as a “false down” and confirmed his company has no plans to restart closed mills or to add shifts to its working schedule.


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