Pulp and Paper Canada

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Thinking “Bigger”


April 1, 2008
By Pulp & Paper Canada

The sub-prime mortgage mess and economic woes have seen the American housing market go for a long, long walk. When and if the demand for construction-grade materials will ever return in volume, no one…

The sub-prime mortgage mess and economic woes have seen the American housing market go for a long, long walk. When and if the demand for construction-grade materials will ever return in volume, no one can be certain.

One of British Columbia’s largest forestry companies isn’t waiting around to find out. Western Forest Products is switching its focus from US markets and second-growth dimensional lumber to higher-value, first-growth specialty exports outside of North America.

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Western Forest Products president Reynold Hert says offshore demand for first-growth wood products, cedar especially, is keeping the company’s Vancouver Island sawmills in operation. Markets for higher-grade window and door components are especially strong in Europe. In Japan, the improving economy and changes to ‘Western-style’ construction standards have improved market potential, and have drawn the attention of internationally competitive wood suppliers.

For Western Forest Products, it’s a bit of brightness in what has been a difficult time for the company, as it continues to sell off non-core assets, pay off debt and restructure.


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