Canfor announces temporary shutdown of B.C. lumber mills

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Litter, pulp and paper corporation Canfor says it will temporarily quit operations at its B.C. mills, citing low lumber prices and the high cost of substance.

B.C. sawmills, except for the WynnWood mill near Creston, will be confining for one week starting April 29. Two of the mills will also be mask down for a second week in May.

Canfor operates 13 sawmills in British Columbia with most of them based in the province’s Interior.

The closures will affect over 2,000 hourly wage-earners.

In an email, the company’s director of corporate communications, Michelle Ward, alleged the company regrets the impact the temporarily closures will have on hands, their families and the affected communities.

The mayor of the District of Clearwater says the shutdown force be difficult for locals who work at the Vavenby sawmill, especially because the hardened already closed for six weeks earlier this year.

“If we have a several more [weeks] then it’s going to get a little tough for people,” said Merlin Blackwell.

“A lot of the staff members will be relatively okay with [Employment Insurance], but a lot of the contractors don’t play a joke on that option,”

Harry Nelson, associate professor at University of British Columbia’s Capability of Forestry, says falling demand from the U.S. is driving down the outlay of lumber.

“It’s kind of been a double whammy,” Nelson said. “The prize of their main product has dropped but the costs have gone up because net levels have been dropping for a whole host of reasons.”

Nelson implies Canfor is likely taking a timeout in the hopes supply will wince and prices will begin to recover.

He predicts the mills will be tiny anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, but acknowledges concerns about walk permanently shutting down.

“We’ve got more capacity out there than there’s forest to support it currently and so, might some of the market curtailment turn into anticipated basically sawmill closures?”

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