West Fraser says COVID-19 pandemic clouds production outlook
April 30, 2020 | 10:59 am CDT

VANCOUVER – West Fraser Timber Company has withdrawn its production outlook for 2020 due to the uncertainties created by the coronavirus outbreak.

In releasing its Q1 financial report, West Fraser said, “We expect that production schedules will be variable for the foreseeable future and will continue to adjust operations as necessary.  At this point, it is not possible to predict when all operations will return to normal schedules or whether production schedules will be further changed.  At this time, we are withdrawing the production outlook for 2020 provided in our 2019 annual MD&A and are not able to provide any further guidance.”

West Fraser said it made a number of adjustments to its operating schedules in March. “The impact of these adjustments on our first quarter production was a reduction of approximately 50 MMfbm for lumber and 10 MMsf for plywood,” the company said. West Fraser reported first quarter profits of $12 million compared to a $5 million loss for the first quarter of 2019.

“We expect production to continue to be negatively affected over the coming months due to the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the supply chain and market demand,” the company said. “As previously announced, we have been operating below capacity in SPF, SYP and plywood.”

Ray Ferris, president and CEO of West Fraser, said, "Our well capitalized balance sheet along with our low-cost manufacturing operations and product and geographic diversification, provide us with a strong platform to manage through the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic." 

West Fraser is a diversified wood products company producing lumber, LVL, MDF, plywood, pulp, newsprint, wood chips, other residuals, and energy with facilities in western Canada and the southern United States.



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Rich Christianson | President/Owner/C-Level

Rich Christianson is the owner of Richson Media LLC, a Chicago-based communications firm focused on the industrial woodworking sector. Rich is the former long-time editorial director and associate publisher of Woodworking Network. During his nearly 35-year career, Rich has toured more than 250 woodworking operations throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has written extensively on woodworking technology, design and supply trends. He has also directed and promoted dozens of woodworking trade shows, conferences and seminars including the Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo and the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference & Expo, Canada’s largest woodworking show.