Conifex to temporarily stop production at Fort St. James
June 29, 2015 - Conifex Timber will stop production at its sawmill in Fort St. James, B.C., starting July 20. The sawmill will be closed for two weeks. The cause seems to be the 15 percent increase of import duties on lumber exports to the United States and poor market conditions.
The Fort St. James mill has a two-shift capacity of approximately 300-million board feet (707,000 m3) of Spruce-Pine-Fir lumber supported by an annual harvest of 640,000 cubic metres of sawlogs.
The agreement for Canadian exports of softwood lumber to the U.S. will expire in October 2015. The current trade agreement from 2006 was a solution to U.S. industry claims that Canadian forest policies subsidize sawnwood production. The agreement specifies higher duties on Canadian exports when softwood sawnwood prices are low.
The Canadian industry fears uncertainty if the trade agreement is not renewed. The U.S. has agreed to not launch legal battles for twelve months after the current agreement expires in 2015.