Canada/US Softwood Lumber Agreement will have resounding impacts on regional economy

Last week Conifex announced it would be stopping production at its sawmill in Fort St. James for two weeks due to poor market conditions

Last week Conifex announced it would be stopping production at its sawmill in Fort St. James for two weeks due to poor market conditions and an increase on import dues on lumber exports to the Unites States.

Last week Conifex announced it would be stopping production at its sawmill in Fort St. James for two weeks due to poor market conditions and an increase of 15 per cent on import dues on  lumber exports to the United States. This temporary closure comes close on the heels of the announcement of the closure of the Tl’oh lumber mill last month.

In 2014, increased housing starts in the United States propelled forestry industry growth in the Nechako, according to a report by the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC (CPABC). Although the US market continues to recover, timber supplies are dwindling.

With declining timber supplies and salvage efforts to recover mountain pine beetle damaged trees coming to an end; poor market conditions and the impending expiration of the Canada/U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement in October, the region’s operators sit in limbo unsure of the future of exports to the United States.

The 2006 trade agreement was a solution to US industry claims that Canadian forest policies subsidize sawnwood production. The agreement specifies higher duties on Canadian exports when softwood sawnwood prices are low.

The $235-million Western Bioenergy project in Merritt, once in operation, will consume approximately 200,000 metric tonnes of biomass fuel annually and provide more than 40,000 homes under a 30-year purchase agreement with BC Hydro. Fort St. James and the Nechako region will provide the bulk of the biomass to that and other plants currently under construction.

With Conifex Power Limited Partnership completing a continuous 72 hour run test at its 36 Megawatt biomass power plant at Mackenzie, B.C. in April this year, there seems to be some future for the lumber industry, but what will happen to the sawnwood side of the industry remains to be seen come October.

 

Just Posted

Teen sexually assaulted at Radley Beach

A sexual assault took place at Radley Beach in Burns Lake on… Continue reading

Australian gold mining giant acquires Red Chris mine

Newcrest now owns 70 per cent of the mine south of Iskut and operatorship

Pride crosswalk too expensive to install says municipal council

Mayor and council have asked staff to investigate whether a bench with a plaque supporting the LGBTQ+ community is feasible

Skeena Watershed reopened for recreational pink and coho

Four sections and tributaries remain closed

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Most Read