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West Fraser B.C. Sawmills Announce Temporary Production Curtailment

West Fraser announced temporary production curtailments at five British Columbia sawmills. According to company press release, all mill activities will be suspended for a period of one week at the following B.C. area sawmills- Chetwynd, Quesnel, Williams Lake, Smithers and Fraser Lake.

West Fraser cited weak global lumber prices and escalated log costs as the key reasons for the temporary reduction in mill production. The company expects lumber production to be impacted by approximately 30 million board feet due to this curtailment. Over the past six months, the company has announced temporary capacity curtailments of approximately 125 million board feet.

In addition, West Fraser has implemented permanent production curtailments of nearly 300 million board feet. Recently, it had removed third shift at Fraser Lake and Quesnel mills, which in turn impacted the first quarter results by the company. This contributed to the decline in lumber shipments by approximately 125 million board feet during Q1 this year, as compared with the prior quarter.

Earlier in May this year, the company had declared temporary production curtailments for a period of two weeks at its Chasm and 100 Mile House sawmills.

The significant log supply constraints and rising log costs have resulted in many lumber majors in the province including Interfor, Canfor, West Fraser and Tolko announcing temporary production cutbacks.

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