Canfor mill closed again

Week long shutdown began April 29

Canfor’s mill here is closed for one week as part of a company-wide shutdown due to low prices and high costs. (File photo)

Canfor’s mill here is closed for one week as part of a company-wide shutdown due to low prices and high costs. (File photo)

Canfor workers here are home this week for the fourth time since last fall in a continuing company-wide move to reduce production in the face of lower prices and high logging costs.

The April 29 to May 3 closure is in place at all of the company’s 13 B.C. mills producing dimension lumber. Two of the mills are to be closed an additional week.

Canfor employs approximately 385 workers in the community, including its woodlands operations.

Care and maintenance of the mill’s facilities will continue.

Employees went through a closure last November, an extended Christmas closure at the end of 2018 and were off the job again for a week in February.

In the past, Canfor cited a constrained log supply and log costs, including decreasing annual allowable cut, increased competition for fibre and the effects of past wildfire seasons as contributing factors to its closures.

The closures this week will reduce Canfor’s system-wide production output by approximately 100 million board feet of dimension lumber. Its annual production capacity is 3.8 billion board feet.

The February closure period reduced production by approximately 40 million board feet and fourth quarter 2018 cuts reduced production by 150 million board feet.

The Houston facility has been owned by Canfor since 1999 and after an extensive expansion program, was unveiled in 2004 as the world’s largest sawmill with an annual production capacity of 600 million board feet of dimension lumber.

She said two other mills in Mackenzie and Isle Pierre will be down for a second week in May.

This is the fourth curtailment that has been announced by Canfor since November of last year.

Executive Director and Economic Development Officer, Maureen Czirfusz said, “Concerning the announcement of Canfor shutting down for another week, I have spoken to several businesses in town and they say that sales are similar to last year. Some have seen a slight increase while others have seen a slight decrease. It is really too soon to say if no work next week will affect their sales. Anytime you see a decrease in a paycheque it will have an effect on local people and local business.”