Industry News

Aug. 14, 2018 - With forest companies industry wide faced with fibre accessibility challenges, the name of the game today is supply chain optimization. A technology company based in Vancouver believes the solution is in forestry-specific data collection and analytics.
Aug. 10, 2018 - Inevitably in a cyclical industry during the up swing companies work furiously to bring in as much profit as possible, and during the hard times sit around and ponder, what can we do to fix this?
Aug. 9, 2018 - Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) has shared with the federal government its recommendations to enhance Canadian competitiveness, accelerate innovation, and ensure future forests remain healthy in its 2019 pre-budget submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. To support family-supporting jobs in rural and northern Canada, and to ensure a vibrant Canadian forest products sector for tomorrow, FPAC is calling on the federal government to support key investments in research and development and the commercialization of new technologies, continue with its aggressive trade diversification agenda, and to consider reforms to secure a healthy forest for future generations. FPAC is calling on the federal government to: Build on the momentum of successful innovation programs and initiatives like those through FPInnovations, and the Investment in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) Fund. Continue its aggressive promotion of the use of Canadian wood, pulp and paper, and emerging bioproducts through long-term programs such as Expanded Market Opportunities (EMO) Fund. Support the further engagement of our Indigenous partners in forestry operations through programs such as the Indigenous Forestry Initiative. Establish an industry-government working group on regulatory competitiveness to address cumulative regulatory burden facing Canada’s forest sector in the face of increasing competition from markets like Brazil, Russia, Scandinavia, and the United States. Alleviate infrastructure bottlenecks and address increasingly frequent transportation service interruptions through the implementation of the Transportation Modernization Act. Address the overall tax burden, including investment depreciation treatments. Ensure that during the renegotiation of NAFTA, that enhanced trade facilitation and trade remedies are key objectives. Ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, ensuring further access to the Asian market for the industry. Guarantee greater market access for the Canadian forest products, through the broad network of Canada’s trade offices and promoting “Brand Canada” around the world. In the face of growing fires, pests, and other disturbances, to support a detailed vision and action plan that will help us secure healthy forests for future generations. Currently, while enjoying strong world markets in most product areas, the competitiveness of Canada’s forest products sector against its global competitors is being challenged because of trade disputes, lack of reliable transportation infrastructure, and policy and regulatory uncertainty related to carbon and forest operations.  Maintaining our industry’s strong Canadian brand in in the world is essential in order to maximize sector contributions to economic growth for Canadian workers, businesses, and communities.  “We have a working forest in Canada — one that provides real economic, environmental, and social benefits to our Canadians,” says FPAC chief executive officer Derek Nighbor. “Our 2019 Budget recommendations are rooted in supporting our sector and its workers so we can achieve our shared goals of advancing innovation, enabling business expansion, and supporting win-wins for our environment and the economy,” Nighbor added. Please visit fpac.ca to view FPAC’s full 2019 pre-budget submission: http://www.fpac.ca/recommendations-for-2019-federal-budget/
Aug. 9, 2018 - Forestry asset management company Remsoft announced on Thursday that Franc Roxo has joined the company’s Brazilian subsidiary, Remsoft Soluções Ltda, as director general. Roxo will be responsible for growing and managing Remsoft’s business in South America, including the Brazilian market, where Remsoft Soluções Ltda is headquartered. “We are thrilled to welcome Franc to Remsoft. His in-depth business experience in the South American forestry sector provides an important addition to the Remsoft Soluções team,” said Remsoft chief executive officer Andrea Feunekes. “Our Brazilian clients are important to us, which is why we’re continuing to grow and invest. The move to bring in a business leader was an important one, as it allows our team to spend more time with our clients while working to offer solutions that reflect the Brazilian forestry market.”Roxo joins Remsoft from Trimble Forestry, where he was director of operations in South America, a position he also held with Savcor prior to their acquisition by Trimble. Roxo is an executive with 20 years’ experience in technologies for the forest, pulp and paper production chain in the South American market. He has a strong business background working with international teams in the areas of big data analytics and forest management systems. Roxo has experience with start and growth of businesses across South America, including Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina. In addition, Roxo holds MBAs in both Enterprise Management (FundaçãoGetúlio Vargas) and Forest Management (Universidade Federal do Parana). He is trilingual in Portuguese, English, and Spanish, and has had works published in both industry magazines and academic media, including his last MBA: “Brazilian Carbon Offsets Market and the Forest Sector Participation.” “I am very glad to be part of Remsoft, a highly respected company with solid technology and business reputation. The company has an outstanding team and a clear strategy to continuously create value for their clients in order to leverage their business competitiveness,” Roxo said. “Remsoft is recognized as the preferred partner in the forest industry in planning solutions under complex scenarios. It is a privilege to join Remsoft!”Roxo will be working alongside Dr. Cesar Santana, a PhD in forest planning and optimization, to continue expanding Remsoft’s presence in the South American market, while ensuring the company is delivering solutions that reflect the realities of the Brazilian and South American business climate. Remsoft first launched Remsoft Soluções Ltda in 2016. Since 1992, Remsoft has been a key partner to public agencies, leading products companies, timber investment management organizations (TIMOs), and appraisal consulting companies by balancing conflicting priorities and goals to more effectively manage risks, costs and decision complexities, while creating sustainable value. Headquartered in Canada and with a subsidiary in Brazil, Remsoft services global markets directly and through strategic partnerships with solutions providers. More information about Remsoft’s solutions can be found at www.remsoft.com or by calling 1-506-450-1511. Follow Remsoft on LinkedIn and Twitter @RemsoftInc.
Aug. 2, 2018 - Environment Canada issued special air quality statements on Thursday for northern Ontario residents.
July 30, 2018 - Members of Unifor Local 1403 have voted to ratify a new three-year collective agreement with the employer, Canadian Kraft Paper (CKP)."Thanks to the hard work of Unifor members, the CKP mill is successful and critical to the economy of this region," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National president. "CKP is a great example of how unions, employers, and government can work together to help rural economies thrive."Local 1403 represents 200 workers at the mill. After three months of talks, the bargaining committee secured a contract that improves wages and working conditions as well as providing stability to the mill and town.In the fall of 2016, Tolko announced it was closing the mill in December when it could not find a buyer. A U.S.-based company approached the former owners and the union and bought the mill on condition workers take a 10 per cent wage rollback. The province also approved a three-year moratorium on special payments to the pension plan as part of the sale.Now operating as Canadian Kraft Paper (CKP) the company has reinvested in the mill and the workers have achieved record production levels. The signing bonus and two per cent increases in each of the following years of the no-concessions agreement, show a recommitment by the workers and the mill owners to the rebirth of the mill and the town."Unifor is Canada's foremost forestry union," said Joie Warnock, Unifor western regional director. "Forestry is a critical industry to communities large and small across the country."Other changes include improved bereavement leave for 12-hour shift workers, a 10 per cent training premium, improved paramedical benefits, and increased safety equipment allowance. Workers studying to get trades accreditation will now receive more paid time off to write exams.Unifor Local 342, which represents the supervisors at the mill, supported Local 1403 during the negotiations. "Solidarity among workers at the mill helped us secure a fair contract," said Unifor Local 1403 president Joel Fouillard.Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
Aug. 10, 2018 - Conifex Timber Inc. has reported results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2018.
Aug. 9, 2018 - Rising home prices and interest rates pushed housing affordability to a 10-year low in the second quarter of 2018, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) released today.
Aug. 8, 2018 - Stella-Jones Inc. has announced financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2018.
Aug. 3, 2018 - Interfor Corporation has recorded net earnings in Q2’18 of $63.8 million, or $0.91 per share, compared to $33.0 million, or $0.47 per share in Q1’18 and $24.5 million, or $0.35 per share in Q2’17. Adjusted net earnings in Q2’18 were $68.9 million or $0.98 per share, compared to $36.8 million, or $0.52 per share in Q1’18 and $28.7 million, or $0.41 per share in Q2’17.Adjusted EBITDA was a record $123.8 million on sales of $619.9 million in Q2’18 versus $81.1 million on sales of $527.6 million in Q1’18.Notable items in the quarter included:• Higher Lumber Prices The key benchmark prices improved quarter-over-quarter with the SYP Composite, Western SPF Composite and KD H-F Stud 2x4 9’ increasing by US$73, US$61 and US$94 per mfbm, respectively.  Interfor’s average lumber selling price increased $65 from Q1’18 to $753 per mfbm.    • Increased Production and Shipments Total lumber production was a record 688 million board feet or 22 million board feet more than the prior quarter. Production in the U.S. South region increased to 325 million board feet from 302 million board feet in the preceding quarter. The B.C. and U.S. Northwest regions accounted for 215 million board feet and 148 million board feet, respectively, compared to 218 million board feet and 146 million board feet in Q1’18, respectively. In Q2’18, the B.C Interior operations were negatively impacted by seven days of downtime at the Grand Forks mill, due to severe flooding in the region. Total lumber shipments were 700 million board feet, of which 689 million board feet were Interfor produced volumes, with the balance of 11 million board feet being agency and wholesale volumes. Total lumber shipments were 52 million board feet higher than Q1’18, as Q1’18 shipments were negatively impacted by industry-wide logistics issues, and particularly by weather-impacted rail constraints in B.C. The company’s lumber inventory volume at June 30, 2018 was comparable to March 31, 2018.    • Strong Cash Flows and Liquidity Interfor generated $123.2 million of cash from operations before changes in working capital, or $1.76 per share.  Total cash generated from operations was $133.7 million. Net debt ended the quarter at $34.4 million, or 3.4 per cent of invested capital, resulting in available liquidity of $542.3 million.  Capital spending was $23.3 million on a mix of high-return discretionary, maintenance and woodlands projects. • Softwood Lumber Duties Interfor expensed $14.8 million of duties in the quarter, representing the full amount of countervailing (CV) and anti-dumping (AD) duties incurred on its Canadian shipments of softwood lumber into the U.S. at a combined rate of 20.23 per cent. Strategic Capital Plan• Interfor continues to make progress on its multi-year strategic capital plan that involves a number of discretionary projects designed to capture the opportunities within its current operating platform and to pursue opportunities for further growth. The strategic capital plan was advanced over the past quarter, including site preparation and mill readiness initiatives for the previously announced US$65 million of projects at the Meldrim, GA and Monticello, AR sawmills. The projects remain on track for completion in Q1’19. These projects are designed to increase production capacity by approximately 150 million board feet per year, as well as generate other benefits related to costs and product mix.• In addition, the company has received Board approval to proceed with three new strategic capital projects totaling US$240 million at its Thomaston, GA, Eatonton, GA and Georgetown, SC sawmills. These projects include major modernizations and rebuilds, and are designed to increase production capacity by approximately 275 million board feet per year, as well as substantially reduce cash conversion costs, improve lumber recovery and enhance grade outturns and product mix. The projects are expected to generate a pre-tax cash payback of less than five years, using conservative lumber price assumptions. The projects are expected to be completed in various phases during 2019 to 2021.• The company is also undertaking a number of machine center upgrades at certain mills in B.C., the U.S. Northwest and the U.S. South. These projects are planned for completion over the next 12 to 18 months.    • The timeline for assessing and deciding upon greenfield sawmill opportunities in the Central Region of the U.S. South has been extended beyond mid-2018, as the company focused on completing plans for its strategic capital projects. With those projects now underway, the company is in a position to further develop greenfield opportunities over the coming months. A decision is dependent upon satisfactory conclusion of due diligence and assessment against Interfor’s investment criteria.Debt FinancingIn conjunction with the planned increase in capital spending over the coming several years, Interfor modified its debt financing arrangements in order to further enhance its financial flexibility. In particular, the company entered into an agreement to extend US$84 million of its 2021 to 2023 term debt maturities to 2027 to 2029. This transaction is expected to close in mid-August, upon which Interfor’s weighted average interest rate on its term debt will be 4.47 per cent. In addition, Interfor recently extended the maturity of its US$50 million U.S. Operating Line by two years to June 15, 2021. LiquidityBalance SheetInterfor maintained a strong financial position throughout Q2’18. Net debt at June 30, 2018 was $34.4 million, or 3.4 per cent of invested capital, representing a decrease of $183.8 million from June 30, 2017, and a decrease of $84.9 million from Dec. 31, 2017. The majority of the decrease in net debt in Q2’18 is attributed to strong cash flows generated from operations. Net debt was negatively impacted by a weakened Canadian Dollar against the U.S. Dollar as all debt held was denominated in U.S. Dollars; this was partially hedged by the Company’s U.S. Dollar cash balances. As of June 30, 2018, the company had net working capital of $417.1 million and available liquidity of $542.3 million, including unrestricted cash and borrowing capacity on operating and term line facilities. On June 15, 2018, the company extended the maturity of its U.S. Operating line from May 1, 2019 to June 15, 2021, with no other significant changes. On July 10, 2018, Interfor entered into an agreement to extend US$84 million of its 2021 to 2023 Senior Secured Note maturities to 2027 to 2029. Upon completion of this transaction, which is expected in mid-August, Interfor’s weighted average interest rate on its term debt will be 4.47 per cent.   These resources, in addition to cash generated from operations, will be used to support capital expenditures, working capital requirements and debt servicing commitments.  We believe that Interfor will have sufficient liquidity to fund operating and capital requirements for the foreseeable future.Capital ResourcesAs of June 30, 2018, the company had commitments for capital expenditures totaling $44.9 million. Interfor is a growth-oriented lumber company with operations in Canada and the United States.  The Company has annual production capacity of approximately 3.1 billion board feet and offers one of the most diverse lines of lumber products to customers around the world.  For more information about Interfor, visit our website at www.interfor.com.The Company’s unaudited consolidated financial statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis for Q2’18 are available at www.sedar.com and www.interfor.com. 
Aug. 3, 2018 - Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. has reported second quarter 2018 net income of $54 million, or $0.83 per diluted common share compared to $5 million, or $0.03 per diluted common share in the second quarter of 2017.
Aug. 3, 2018 - Western Forest Products Inc. has reported adjusted EBITDA of $50.2 million in the second quarter of 2018, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $47.1 million in the second quarter of 2017, and $43.0 million reported in the first quarter of 2018.
July 5, 2018 - With eight staff listed on Ontario’s Lobbyist Registry, the David Suzuki Foundation has twice the number of lobbyists in Ontario than the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA). Ontario Nature has three registered lobbyists, including the main author and one of the reviewers of the opinion piece entitled, “From Climate to Caribou: How Manufactured Uncertainty is Affecting Wildlife Management.” We are asking governments and the public to reject the campaign rhetoric from anti-forestry lobbyists as science.  Opinions, motherhood statements, and value-laden language belong in fundraising campaigns, not scientific literature. Having more in common with a press release, the article referenced in David Suzuki’s July 3, 2018 Chronicle Journal article offers no original data or novel research, only a thinly-veiled rant with footnotes. As such, this commentary was published in the “In My Opinion” section of the Wildlife Society Bulletin.  The 2008 Environment Canada and Climate Change (ECCC) caribou disturbance model has well-known flaws, particularly when applied to Ontario’s Caribou herds, (Sleep and Loehle 2010; Fortin et al. 2017; Rudolph et al. 2017) suggesting that disturbance alone is not sufficient to predict caribou responses to management. However, this house of cards caribou policy is being built on across the country and something that the authors believe shouldn’t be questioned.  Two of the authors of the opinion piece were former professors of mine, who taught our class that science was about testing hypotheses, collecting data, discussing and questioning the results. Why are they now suggesting that those who actually follow this method are “caribou science deniers”? The OFIA agrees with David Suzuki; science matters, but we cannot support dogma or muzzling debate.  There is no denial from industry that woodland caribou are in trouble, Masood et al. (2017) found that caribou range extent was projected to contract by 57.2–99.8 per cent by 2050, and a complete loss of boreal caribou in Ontario if winter temperatures increase by more than 5.6C by 2070, regardless of change to human disturbances. This reinforces the need to manage the landscape holistically, for all species, and to acknowledge the multiple factors at play.  The forest industry is committed to managing and protecting woodland caribou (see my Feb. 23 op-ed in the Toronto Star, Forest Industry Also Committed to Protecting Caribou). This isn’t new or ground-breaking, in northwestern Ontario forestry companies have been legally required to protect and renew caribou habitat since 1994.  Forestry will continue to play an essential role in caribou management and, as a 75-year-old organization, we remain accountable to our members, the public, and our stakeholders for any public statements we make. The convenient hyperbole and emotionally-charged rhetoric from the Wildlife Society Bulletin editorial might generate fundraising dollars, but it does not belong in active forest management.  Ian Dunn lives in Toronto and is a registered professional forester. He has a masters in forest conservation and is the director of forest policy at the Ontario Forest Industries Association.  Literature Cited  Fortin D, Barnier F, Drapeau P, et al (2017) Forest productivity mitigates human disturbance effects on late- seral prey exposed to apparent competitors and predators. Sci Rep 1–12. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-06672-4  Masood S, Zuiden TMV, Rodgers A, Sharma S (2017) An uncertain future for woodland caribou (Ranger tarandus caribou) The impact of climate change on winter distribution in Ontario  Rudolph TD, Drapeau P, Imbeau L (2017) Demographic responses of boreal caribou to cumulative disturbances highlight elasticity of range-specific tolerance thresholds. 1179–1198. doi: 10.1007/s10531-017-1292-1  Sleep DJH, Loehle C (2010) Validation of a Demographic Model for Woodland Caribou. J Wildl Manage 74:1508–1512. doi: 10.2193/2009-474
June 12, 2018 - A federal investment of $23.8 million is set to help the people of Prince Edward Island improve energy efficiency in their homes, businesses, industries, and farm operations across the province, as well as reduce carbon pollution in the forestry sector. This joint investment between the Canadian government and P.E.I., totals $47.8 million.
June 12, 2018 - FPInnovations, the Laurentian Forestry Centre (LFC) of Natural Resources Canada, Université Laval and its faculty of forestry, geography and geomatics have announced the signature of collaboration agreements aimed at developing the full innovation potential of the wood and forest sectors.
May 23, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that domestic manufacturers and importers of softwood lumber have voted overwhelmingly to continue the efforts of the Softwood Lumber Board (SLB).   In the referendum conducted by USDA from April 17 to May 14, 2018, to determine the future of the softwood lumber industry’s market promotion check-off known as the Softwood Lumber Board, a super-majority of manufacturing and importing companies established a strong new mandate to advance the program for another term.  In a notice to the trade issued today, USDA reported that 78 per cent of companies participating in the referendum representing 94 per cent of volume voted to continue the program. For comparison, when the program began in 2011, 67 per cent of voting companies and 80 per cent of voting volume, respectively, voted to establish the program. Additional details will follow. This super-majority mandate to continue the program reflects strong industry confidence in the diligence, determination, and effectiveness of the SLB and its staff to increase market demand for softwood lumber by supporting pro-wood communications (Think Wood and Wood, Naturally), code and standards expansion (American Wood Council), educating and assisting architects, engineers and construction specifiers (WoodWorks), and supporting innovative new applications and markets for softwood lumber products. “This vote shows the softwood lumber industry’s strong support for a nation-wide promotion program," said chairman of Idaho Forest Group and chairman of the SLB Marc Brinkmeyer. "The vote affirms the industry’s view that the Softwood Lumber Board is an effective investment vehicle to grow the market for the benefit of all producers.” “The industry has realized that we all have common competitors in the form of other building materials," said president and chief executive officer of Sierra-Pacific Industries George Emmerson. "The SLB has unified the industry’s efforts to compete in the marketplace — something that none of us can do acting individually.” “With these changes the SLB is ready to move to ‘version 2.0’ and expand its activities to take advantage of new trends to more off-site construction and factory-built housing, the opportunities awaiting with mass timber applications and expansion to off-shore markets," said Don Kayne, president and chief executive officer of Canfor and chair of the SLB Programs Committee. "We are posed to build on our strong and successful campaign results of the last six years to ensure that softwood lumber is the material of choice not only in residential construction but also non-residential market segments.” 
Feb. 6, 2018 – N.B. Premier Brian Gallant is travelling to Washington this week to meet with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. The agenda items include trade, softwood lumber, and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). “New Brunswick is Canada’s most trade-driven province and the United States continues to be our province’s biggest trading partner. This economic relationship is important to New Brunswickers,” Gallant said in a statement. “New Brunswick’s and Maine’s integration of softwood lumber is a great example as to how the tariffs imposed on New Brunswick softwood lumber will hurt the American economy. This is Gallant’s third meeting with Ross in the past year.
Jan. 4, 2018 – Canada is now in the appeals stage of the softwood lumber dispute after the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed final duties on Wednesday. The International Trade Administration (ITA) published documents outlining the Commerce Department’s decision of final countervailing and anti-dumping duties on certain softwood lumber products from Canada. Canada responded by saying it will not back down. “The Government of Canada will continue to vigorously defend our industry and its workers against protectionist trade practices,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland said in a statement. “U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber are unfair, unwarranted and troubling. “They are harmful to Canada’s lumber producers, workers and communities, and they add to the cost of home building, renovations and other projects for American middle-class families,” Freeland said. U.S. Congress-themed newspaper The Hill reported that the U.S. Lumber Coalition’s co-chairman Joe Patton called the duties “a fair enforcement of U.S. trade law.” Patton also said that, “For decades, the Canadian government has abused the law and provided massive subsidies to its lumber industry, harming U.S. producers and workers.” The United States Trade Representative Tweeted, “We are completely confident that @CommerceGov and the U.S. International Trade Commission closely followed U.S. law and that their actions are consistent with our WTO obligations. We will of course defend this case and expect to prevail.” We are completely confident that @CommerceGov and the U.S. International Trade Commission closely followed U.S. law and that their actions are consistent with our WTO obligations. We will of course defend this case and expect to prevail. https://t.co/jsIcoo24gh — USTR (@USTradeRep) January 3, 2018 Amid the final duty announcement, Commerce also marginally amended West Fraser’s countervailing, and Canfor’s anti-dumping duties. West Fraser “submitted a timely, properly filed allegation that Commerce made certain ministerial errors,” according to the document. Commerce investigated and agreed that an error was made, thus decreasing West Fraser’s subsidy rate from 18.19 per cent ad valorem to 17.99 per cent ad valorem. The “all-others” rate was consequently decreased to 14.19 per cent ad valorem. Canfor also submitted an allegation citing errors in Commerce’s decision. Commerce agreed with Canfor’s submission as well and decreased its subsidy rate to 7.28 per cent. The “all-others” rate in this case was decreased to 6.04 per cent. Nevertheless, the fact remains that final duties were imposed and Canada said it will be taking legal action. “Canada has already begun legal challenges of these duties under NAFTA and through the WTO, where Canadian litigation has proven successful in the past,” Freeland said. “We will continue to work with the provinces and territories, as well as with Canadian industry and workers, to find an enduring solution. “Canada will also continue to engage with the U.S. Administration and with American legislators to come to a new agreement on softwood lumber,” she said.

Subscription Centre

 
New Subscription
 
Already a Subscriber
 
Customer Service
 
View Digital Magazine Renew

Popular Articles

Marketplace


We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. To find out more, read our Privacy Policy.