CANADA - Ontario-based Kenora Forest Products (KFP) and British Columbia's Teal-Jones will both shut down production because of weakened lumber markets.
KFP's two-week shutdown will begin September 23. Staggered layoffs have already begun and more than 115 workers will be affected. Kenora Miner & News reports the curtailment is a result of weakened lumber markets both domestically and internationally, as well the U.S.-imposed softwood lumber duties. More than 95 percent of the company's lumber is destined for the U.S.
Once again citing weak markets, Teal-Jones will shut down its harvesting operations on the coast of British Columbia. CBC News reports that a "substantial" number of employees will be out of work.
British Columbia - Canada's largest lumber-producing province - exported just over 514 million board feet of lumber to the U.S. in October 2018, down from 645 million board feet from the same time 2017. It has also seen more than 20 mill closures and curtailments. Many Canadian lumber leaders have taken a hit - including West Fraser, Canfor, Interfor, and Conifex - and have either shut down plants or restricted production, with West Fraser and Canfor curtailing production more than once.
All cited challenging lumber markets, high log costs, log supply constraints, falling lumber prices, and U.S. import tariffs as factors.
Softwood lumber import tariffs of around 21 percent were levied onto Canada last year. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) told MarketWatch that those tariffs are restructuring the entire lumber global supply chain - incentivizing U.S. buyers to import from overseas rather than ship lumber across the Canadian border.
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