In­ter­for cuts sawmill time

Times Colonist - - Business -

VAN­COU­VER — In­ter­for Corp. plans to cut pro­duc­tion by about 20 per cent across its sawmills in the B.C. In­te­rior as it faces de­clin­ing lum­ber prices and higher log costs.

The com­pany said Fri­day that the scale­back is a tem­po­rary mea­sure planned for the fourth quar­ter.

The cuts will be achieved through re­duced op­er­at­ing days and ex­tended week­ends and hol­i­day breaks spread across its three mills in the In­te­rior, said chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Martin Ju­ravsky.

“We’re try­ing to do it as smooth as pos­si­ble un­der the cir­cum­stances from an em­ployee per­spec­tive.”

The pull­back comes as lum­ber prices for Western soft­wood have plunged from over $650 US per thou­sand board feet in June to un­der $400 US as con­cerns mount about the U.S. hous­ing mar­ket.

The higher lum­ber prices had in­su­lated mill op­er­a­tors like In­ter­for from ris­ing log costs brought on by higher stumpage fees and other pres­sures, said Ju­ravsky.

“We ob­vi­ously saw some very strong lum­ber mar­kets in the first part of this year, and the higher log costs didn’t have as much of an im­pact when there were higher lum­ber prices.”

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