Canfor closing B.C. sawmill

At a time when lumber prices are on the rise, Canfor Corporation reported that  it will close its Isle Pierre sawmill located near Prince George, British Columbia. 

The lumber and pulp producer said the closing will take effect in the third quarter of 2020.

Canfor said the move is a result of an insufficient supply of viable timber following the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic that has struck the region in addition to the global economic downturn caused by the  COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Unfortunately, the ongoing economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the urgent need for Canfor to make this difficult decision,” said Don Kayne, Canfor president and CEO. “We know today’s announcement will have a significant impact on our employees, contractors, their families and the local communities, which we deeply regret. We will work hard to redeploy as many employees as possible to other opportunities throughout the company.” 

The Isle Pierre sawmill is a one-shift operation with an annual production capacity of approximately 120 million board feet.

In March, Canfor announced several reduction moves to global lumber production in reaction to the COVID-19 crisis. At the time, Canfor said that the plan would reduce overall Canadian lumber production by nearly 40%. 

But in April, Canfor announced more temporary reductions across British Columbia sawmills. 

In recent weeks, lumber prices have pushed upward as a result of DIYers working on home improvement projects and suppliers limiting production during the crisis.

Canfor is based in Vancouver, British Columbia with manufacturing facilities in Canada, the United States and Europe.