Lumber shipments to China on upward trend


He says they’re not out of the woods yet, but credits new markets with increased demand.

West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. reported earnings of $10 million and a diluted loss per share of $0.09 on sales of $720 million in the second quarter of 2011.

For the first half of 2011, earnings were $29 million and diluted earnings per share were $0.68, on sales of $1.4 billion.

“Historic low housing starts and economic uncertainty continue to negatively affect lumber and panel prices,” West Fraser chairman, president and CEO, Hank Ketcham said.

“On a positive note, lumber shipments to Japan are stable while shipments to China are continuing to grow at a steady rate.”

In the quarter the lumber segment generated an operating loss of $8 million and EBITDA (operating earnings, plus amortization and asset impairments) of $11 million.

Sharp declines in lumber prices combined with higher Canadian log costs and a stronger Canadian dollar were the key factors in the decline in earnings from the previous quarter. SPF (spruce, pine, fir)  shipments to offshore markets increased in the first half of 2011 but North American markets remain weak.

The panels segment, which includes plywood, LVL (laminated veneer) and MDF (medium density fiberboard) generated an operating loss in the quarter of $5 million and negative EBITDA of $1 million.

Weak plywood prices and higher log costs adversely affected earnings during the quarter. MDF and LVL operations continue to operate on a curtailed basis.

Pulp and paper operations generated operating earnings of $21 million and EBITDA of $38 million.

Pulp prices increased in the quarter with the average NBSK (northern-bleached softwood kraft) benchmark price for the quarter increasing to US$1,025 per tonne, an increase of six per cent from the previous quarter.

Despite an eight-day unplanned shutdown at the Slave Lake pulp mill due to forest fires and a 13-day planned maintenance shutdown at the Cariboo pulp mill, total pulp production was marginally higher than in the previous quarter.

Without industry production curtailments, West Fraser expects lumber prices in the second half of the year  to be lower than in the first half of the year as low U.S. housing starts will continue to limit demand.

Although the pulp market appears to be slowing, the company anticipate demand will remain at levels that should support reasonable prices for the balance of the year.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A 100 Mile RCMP officer stands watch at the intersection of Highway 97 and Horse Lake Road. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
100 Mile RCMP in pursuit of a speeding vehicle

A half dozen police cars were seen heading north on Highway 97

(Tribune file photo)
Roses to Good Samaritans who helped me during theft

It restores one’s faith in human nature

Wyatt McCullough didn’t make it look easy, but he managed to succeed in the steer wrestling event at the High School Rodeo, held during in 2020 at Alex Fraser Park. This was the first rodeo event held in Quesnel in 2020 after everything else was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Saddle up: Quesnel Rodeo Club planning three 2021 events

Club president Ray Jasper said the rodeos could include rough stock events

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
B.C. has now vaccinated more people from COVID-19 than total confirmed cases

B.C. has reached a milestone, vaccinating roughly 1.6% of its population from the coronavirus

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a suspect who smashed the window of an adult toy store and made off with more than $1,200 in merchandise. (File photo)
Vancouver Island sex shop out $1,200 in merchandise after suspect steals ‘colossal’ product

Suspect smashed window of Nanaimo store, cutting himself in the process

Riverside Calvary Church in Walnut Grove. (Langley Advance Times file)
B.C. is ‘stereotyping’ churches as riskier for COVID than other spaces, lawyer argues

Judge said that freedom of expression, religion are not at issue in the case

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent comes first and last for B.C. industrial projects

Environment minister can still approve permits without consent

B.C.’s court of appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Kootenay man appeals 7-year conviction for New Year’s Eve kidnapping, beating

Brandon Coons, 27, was convicted on five charges, including assault with a weapon

An investigation is underway after two VPD officers were recorded posing for pictures near a dead body at Third Beach on Feb. 24. (Screen grab/Zachary Ratcliff)
Vancouver officers placed on desk duty after filmed posing next to dead body

Pair put in ‘non-deployable, admin positions’ as the investigation into their conduct continues

Most Read