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Lumber prices see ‘big jump’ after wildfires in B.C.

The wildfires in a B.C. Interior that have forced some sawmills to hindrance operations have resulted in a boost in lumber prices during a time when forestry companies have been squeezed by softwood duties on exports to a U.S.

By Friday, a benchmark cost of Western spruce-pine-fir lumber rose 7.12 per cent to $406 US per thousand house feet from $379 US final Friday, according to total from Random Lengths, that marks lumber and row prices.

“It’s a large jump,” pronounced Shawn Church, Random Lengths editor.

Ketan Mamtora, an researcher with BMO Capital Markets, pronounced he expects prices will arise between 6 and 8 per cent over a subsequent integrate of weeks, partly due to a singular supply.

As early as Sunday, several companies temporarily sealed some of their mills as depletion orders, replaced employees, highway closures and other factors done operations unfit or difficult.

It’s probable for a attention to boost ability during other facilities, though Mamtora pronounced it’s doubtful they can make adult for all mislaid production. Fear over probable lumber shortages also “really pushes adult a prices,” he said.

If a fires insist for a prolonged time, that will have “a most some-more suggestive impact on pricing,” Mamtora added.

In a box of mills staying close for months or even nutritious damage, he estimates prices could arise between 15 and 17 per cent.

But Harry Nelson, an partner highbrow of forestry during a University of British Columbia, pronounced radically a province’s whole prolongation would have to be wiped out for such a spike to occur.

“At a finish of a day, whatever hole these wildfires emanate gets filled in somewhere else,” Nelson said.

Hit by U.S. duties

For weeks, Canada’s softwood lumber attention has been strike by U.S. duties, and companies handling in B.C. have been strike quite hard.

On average, a lumber attention faces tariffs of 27 per cent. But West Fraser Timber, Canfor and Tolko, all of that are headquartered in a province, have been charged duties of 31, 28 and 27 per cent, respectively.

The short-term lift in prices is good for producers, Nelson said, as it means some-more income in their pockets after tariffs are paid.

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