Canfor Cuts More Jobs As It Restructures B.C. Operations

Lumber company Canfor Corp. (CFP) is laying off an additional 157 workers in northern British Columbia as it restructures its operations in the wake of falling demand.

Canfor announced that it is permanently closing its sawmill and pellet plant in Chetwynd, British Columbia.

The company is also shutting down an older sawmill in Houston, British Columbia while it builds a new facility in that town.

The Chetwynd closure is expected to be completed by the end of May of this year. The closure in Chetwynd comes days after that mill reopened following a holiday curtailment of its operations.

Canfor and other lumber producers in western Canada are adjusting their operations as demand for wood products falls sharply with the North American housing market cooling due to rising interest rates.

Earlier in January, Canfor announced that it is closing the pulp line at its Prince George, British Columbia operation, eliminating 300 jobs by the end of this year.

Canfor estimates that the Chetwynd and Houston shutdowns will remove approximately 750 million board feet of annual production capacity, which is enough lumber to build 46,000 houses.

The new mill planned for Houston is expected to produce higher-value products from a wood supply that has declined by more than 25% since 2008, in part due to ongoing wildfires in British Columbia.

Canfor’s stock has declined 9% in the past year to trade at $25.32 per share.