Recently, West Fraser announced it will introduce variable operating schedules at five of its British Columbia sawmills that will result in an estimated decrease of production in the range of 15-25% of current B.C. lumber production. The operating schedules at these sawmills will vary and be adjusted from time to time depending on then market conditions. The potential effect of the revised operating schedules could be an aggregate reduction by up to an estimated 100 million board feet through to the end of the year.
West Fraser also announced that it would curtail B.C. plywood production for two weeks reducing output by approximately 9 Msf.
The variable operating schedules for sawmill operations and the curtailment of plywood operations in B.C. are expected to commence September 16, 2019.
These production reductions and curtailments are a result of sustained weak markets, pricing in wood product markets and high log costs. West Fraser anticipates continuing the variable operating schedules at its B.C. sawmills until market and economic conditions support a return to full production.
West Fraser has previously implemented temporary and permanent capacity curtailments of approximately 125 million and 614 million board feet respectively in 2018 and 2019.
West Fraser is a diversified wood products company producing lumber, LVL, MDF, plywood, pulp, newsprint, wood chips, other residuals and energy with facilities in western Canada and the southern United States.