Submitted by Canfor Corporation
Canfor Corporation (TSX:CFP) is undertaking additional temporary reductions in production capacity due to the impact of COVID-19 on the price of lumber and demand.
“Canfor is experiencing a significant decrease in customer demand due to the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in the difficult decision to take additional downtime in Canada. Our top priority continues to be supporting our employees through this challenging time. We are encouraged by the financial relief programs the provincial and federal governments are implementing to support all impacted workers,” said Canfor Corporation President and CEO Don Kayne.
The following changes to Canfor’s operating schedule are in addition to the capacity reductions announced on March 26. Canfor does not anticipate announcing further operating adjustments before releasing the Company’s first quarter results. We will continue to assess operating rates on a weekly basis and will adjust as needed in response to the rapidly evolving market conditions, changes in customer demand and the global COVID-19 response.
Effective April 13, Canadian lumber production will be curtailed by approximately 100 million board feet through to May 1, resulting in a total production run rate of approximately 30%. These reductions will be achieved by taking downtime at the majority of our British Columbia sawmills.
US and European Operations
As previously announced, our Canfor Southern Pine and Swedish facilities will continue to operate at less than full capacity with variable operating schedules and downtime, which will be adjusted to align production with market demand as required. These reduced operating rates are expected to remain in effect through May 1.
As the global impacts of COVID-19 continue to evolve, there is the potential that further adjustments to operating plans may be required.
Elected officials comment
By Dauna Ditson, Columbia Valley Pioneer
The Pioneer asked Radium mayor Clara Reinhardt and Area G director Gerry Wilkie for their comments following Canfor’s earlier announcement on March 26.
At the time Reinhardt said: “Of course this kind of news is always disappointing for the employees, the community and the employer, but given what is going on in the world, the news is not totally unexpected. The environment for the lumber industry has been challenging for a long time and the markets are now slowing down to almost none.”
Wilkie said: “Given the effects of the pandemic, the mill shutdown is not surprising. Canfor is the largest corporate employer in the valley, and I trust they will be doing their part to help their employees and contractors get through this tough time. Many other local businesses have closed and there will be difficult socio-economic times ahead. What will help to carry us through this is looking out for each other in our neighbourhoods and communities.”