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article imageCanada's Ailing Forestry Industry Takes Another Hit

By Bob Ewing     Jan 18, 2008 in Business
Canfor Corp has shut down two wood-products plants in Fort Nelson British Columbia as a perfect storm of a collapse in the U.S. housing market and a high loonie sweeps across the country.
From coast to coast Canada’s forestry industry is in trouble. The most recent blow came earlier today in Fort Nelson, British Columbia. Canfor Corp announced that it is closing two wood product mills in the B.C. town.
At the PolarBoard mill and the Tackama mill, approximately 435 workers will be out of work according to a CBC report. PolarBoard manufactures oriented strand board and Tackama produces plywood.
The company blames the high Canadian dollar and low wood-product prices for the closings.
"As the market slump continues without evidence of a turnaround, Canfor must continue to adjust its production to address the reduced market demands," said Canfor CEO Jim Shepard in a statement.
"While implementing prudent production reductions, we are striving to continue to meet the needs of our key strategic customers," he said.
This is not the first closing for Canfor on the west coast, earlier they shut down the sawmill in Chetwynd, B.C.
Analysts refer to a perfect storm which is a combination of low prices, a collapse in the U.S. housing market and a high loonie when assessing the reasons underlying the damage being felt across the country.
Between January 2003 and April 2007, the Canadian forest industry lost more than 22,000 jobs through temporary and permanent layoffs at 184 mills. Since then thousands of people have been laid off.
More about Canfor corp, Fort nelson, Forestry