Canfor cuts lumber production due to virus
March 27, 2020 | 9:11 am CDT

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Canfor Corp. is undertaking a series of significant measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, focused on protecting the health and safety of employees and communities, and adjusting business operations in response to rapidly changing global market conditions.

At their offices, facilities and work sites, they have implemented significant measures grounded in the recommendations of public health officials in each of their operating regions. These include restricting all travel, mandating self-isolation for returned travellers and any employees exhibiting symptoms or exposed to the virus, implementing physical distancing parameters between individuals, increasing cleaning and sanitization in workplaces, and where possible, instructing employees to work remotely to reduce interpersonal contact. 

The COVID-19 outbreak has negatively impacted global demand for forest products and disrupted supply chain networks. As a result, Canfor has implemented the following changes to its operating schedule. These curtailments and variable operating rates will be assessed weekly and adjusted as needed in response to rapidly evolving market conditions, changes in customer demand and the state of the COVID-19 response globally. 

Effective March 30, Canadian lumber production will be curtailed by approximately 70 million board feet, or approximately 40 percent, over a three-week period. These reductions will be implemented across several British Columbia sawmills through a combination of temporary plant curtailments and reduced operating hours. 

In the United States, Canfor Southern Pine operations will be taking a series of actions to reduce operating capacity by approximately 40 percent or 50 million board feet over a four-week period. The capacity reductions will be achieved through the implementation of variable shift schedules and reduced operating hours across the southern pine mills. 

Starting next week, Swedish lumber production will be curtailed at two sawmills by 50% over a four-week period, representing a decrease in production of approximately 17 million board feet. This is primarily in response to the lockdown announced in Britain, which has resulted in a suspension of UKbound shipments and a partial redirection of product to other global markets. See

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Karl Forth

Karl D. Forth is online editor for CCI Media. He also writes news and feature stories in FDMC Magazine, in addition to newsletters and custom publishing projects. He is also involved in event organization, and compiles the annual FDM 300 list of industry leaders. He can be reached at [email protected].