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HomeNews100 Mile HouseWest Fraser to reduce lumber production by 18% at western Canadian sawmills

West Fraser to reduce lumber production by 18% at western Canadian sawmills

Updated: Due to the declining demand for forest products, West Fraser will be implementing a number of changes.

West Fraser announced late Thursday afternoon it will be reducing lumber production at Western Canadian sawmills by approximately 18% or 12 million board feet per week. Lumber production at West Fraser’s U.S South sawmills will be reduced by approximately 24% or 15 million board feet per week.

“These reductions will be implemented through various means including reduced operating hours, elimination of overtime, elimination of shifts and curtailment of operations,” West Fraser stated in a news release. “Shipping will be maintained as needed to fulfill order commitments. These temporary reductions are expected to stay in place until at least April 6.”

In the Cariboo, plywood production will be temporarily suspended at the company’s Quesnel plywood facility effective Monday, March 23 until at least April 6. This will reduce the company’s plywood production by 5,000 msf per week.

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Scheduled maintenance shutdown for Cariboo Pulp and Paper mill in Quesnel has been deferred due to risk stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak. 

“Absences due to COVID-19 policy are increasing at some of the Company’s other pulp mills and it is possible that curtailment of operations at these mills may be necessary due to key technical resources not being available,” West Fraser stated.

With the COVID-19 crisis threatening to further impair staff availability and create market volatility, West Fraser added it is monitoring the situation closely and it is possible that additional reductions in production or operating curtailments may be necessary.

“Actions are underway to reduce planned capital spending for 2020 by $75 million through the delay and deferral of projects that had not yet been started.”

MyCaribooNow has reached out to USW 1-2017 for further comment.

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