Pulp and Paper Canada

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Sector struggling: PwC


October 6, 2008
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Western Canada’s forest industry lost $500 million during the first six months of 2008, the recently released Price…

Western Canada’s forest industry lost $500 million during the first six months of 2008, the recently released PricewaterhouseCoopers Global Forest & Paper Industry Net Earnings Summary report confirmed.

The figure is up substantially from the first half of 2007, where producers incurred losses of $73 million. Results are worse in the eastern part of the country, where companies parted with $700 million, up from $100 million during the first six months of 2007, which were cushioned by a $221 million refund reported by Tembec in relation to the Softwood Lumber Agreement.

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Sales revenues, however, increased between 2007 and 2008. Unit prices are higher, as are sales volumes, PWC noted. Contrarily, lumber producers are struggling to contend with slumping U.S. housing starts. Operating costs were of significant concern, the report confirmed, with prices of fossil fuels exerting the largest impact.

Mercer International is the only Canadian forest products company to post a positive bottom line for the first six months of 20008.


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