Conifex Cuts Production: Fort St. James, BC, Sawmill

Another unfortunate addition to the list of permanent and temporary softwood lumber manufacturing sawmills in British Columbia, due to difficulties sourcing logs for timber processing, Tuesday Conifex, out of Vancouver, BC, announced another of it’s sawmills will be closing.

Conifex’ Fort St. James, BC,  sawmill will be temporarily reducing its production from January 1, 2019, according to a company press release Tuesday. The Northern BC sawmill cites log costs and market conditions for the production cuts, which will affect around 70 employees in Fort St. James.

“Moving to a single line configuration at Fort St. James in Q1 and Q2 lowers cash production costs and helps mitigate the combined impact of fibre supply issues and low lumber prices.”                                                                       — Ken Shields, Conifex Chair and CEO

The reduction in operations will last until around mid-2019, according to the news release, and will result in an estimated -25% reduction in Conifex’ BC lumber production, according to the Prince George Citizen.

Conifex expects that a majority of its lumber production will be sourced from the lower-cost US South supply region in the first half of 2019, the company added. As of November 30, kiln-dried western spruce pine and fir 2×4’s were selling for US$354 per 1,000 board feet, down form US$528 a year ago, according to Madison’s Lumber Reporter.                            — Prince George Citizen

Conifex has sawmills in Arkansas and Florida, as well as its Fort St. James and Mackenzie, BC operations.