Plunging lumber prices hurt B.C. business

Interfor cutting back B.C. Interior production as lumber prices plunge

Interfor Corp. plans to cut production by about 20 per cent across its sawmills in the B.C. Interior as it faces declining lumber prices and higher log costs.

The Vancouver-based company said Friday that the scale-back is a temporary measure planned for the fourth quarter.

RELATED: Logging beetle-killed wood bad for small, at risk fisher: B.C. forest board

The cuts will be achieved through reduced operating days and extended weekends and holiday breaks spread across its three mills in the Interior, said chief financial officer Martin Juravsky.

“We’re trying to do it as smooth as possible under the circumstances from an employee perspective.”

The pullback comes as lumber prices for Western softwood have plunged from over US$650 per thousand board feet in June to under US$400 as concerns mount about the U.S. housing market.

The higher lumber prices had insulated mill operators like Interfor from rising log costs brought on by higher stumpage fees and other pressures, said Juravsky.

RELATED: Fisheries officials puzzled over missing Shuswap sockeye

“We obviously saw some very strong lumber markets in the first part of this year, and the higher log costs didn’t have as much of an impact when there were higher lumber prices.”

The drop in lumber prices has sent industry stock prices lower for a variety of Canadian players since the June high. Canfor Corp. is down 38 per cent, West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. is down 34 per cent, and Interfor is down 39 per cent.

Interfor’s share price closed Friday down 54 cents or 3.16 per cent to $16.55 on the Toronto Stock Exchange for a 52-week low.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Freestyle motocross riders bring death-defying tricks to SOEC

Freestyle Motocross World Tour is coming to the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton

South Okanagan emergency department closing overnight

Limited physician availability temporarily closes emergency at South Okanagan General Hospital

Hearts and Hands conference to celebrate health care assistants

The Victoria-based WorkSafeBC conference is happening in Penticton on Oct. 17

Weekend activities to take care of your FOMO

See what’s going on the region this weekend

Video: Okanagan Fest of Ale Society doles out $60,000

The society has given out over $60,000 to Penticton and area not-for-profits since 1996

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

South Okanagan man alleged to have exposed genitals to children

Penticton RCMP said incident occurred at the Kiwanis Park

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

Most Read