May 23, 2018 - Remsoft, a leader in optimized planning and scheduling for sustainable resource management, has announced that the company has experienced continued growth while heavily investing in its new Remsoft RISE platform — the company’s next-generation cloud-native technology designed to improve value and find efficiencies throughout the forestry value chain.
May 22, 2018 - The Board of Directors of the Canadian Woodlands Forum (CWF) is proud to officially announce that its flagship event, DEMO International, will be held outside the Ottawa/Gatineau area, Canada, on September 24-26, 2020. SBC Cedar (SBC) with sawmills in Quebec and New Brunswick will host the event on one of their properties in Venosta, Que., located within a forty-five minute drive north along the Gatineau River.
May 18, 2018 - Recommendations from the Logging Contractor Sustainability Review will help improve relationships between logging contractors and forest licensees, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, has announced.“The report by George Abbott and Circle Square Solutions, and their 13 proposals, provide a good basis for the next round of facilitation,” said Donaldson.“The report notes that there are good relationships in place between contractors and licensees, based on best practices, but there is also room for improvement," said president and chief executive officer of the BC Council of Forest Industries Susan Yurkovich. "We need to be mindful of the analysis in the report that shows that our contractor costs in B.C. are higher than in the comparator jurisdictions. As such, we will want to ensure that any actions reflect the need for both licensees and contractors to be competitive, because we operate in a global industry and are competing with producers around the world.”“We are acutely aware of the challenges and opportunities presented in this review," said president of the Interior Lumber Manufacturers' Assocation Dan Battistella. "We look forward to continuing to work with our contractor community and the provincial government to implement changes that will help make both of our sectors stronger now and into the future.”The intent of the review process is to improve the overall competitiveness of both logging contractors and licensees. Common themes that emerged from the report were the need for better data and better communications.“We feel confident the review has captured the concerns that logging contractors across the province have raised for years," said executive director of the Truck Loggers Association David Elstone. "It validates there are problems in the relationships between contractors and licensees, and confirms the declining profitability of contractors." The report makes 13 recommendations that range from making better use of technology, improving communications, better information-sharing, to ensuring best practices for setting contractors rates of pay and dispute-resolution mechanisms."These 13 recommendations will make a meaningful and positive difference for loggers, communities and the industry," Elstone said in a news release. "Our hope is that all stakeholders will embrace these important recommendations for the betterment of our industry, and the province as a whole.”"From our view, the report and its 13 proposals confirms what the harvesting sector has been communicating for the past number of years,” said chair of the Interior Logging Association Randy Spence.The next steps are to hire a facilitator who will bring the parties together to identify where there is consensus on recommendations that should be acted on, and also assess the costs and benefits of adopting recommendations on which there may be differing opinions. These are to be complete by July 31, 2018.
May 15, 2018 - Just as farming feeds cities, forestry builds communities. Ontario’s forestry community is deeply rooted in every region of the province. Today, Ontario’s forest products sector provides well-paying jobs for 57,000 hard-working men and women in over 260 communities across the province. Other progressive and competitive jurisdictions around the world, such as Finland, embrace the sustainable use of their forests and are realizing the emerging opportunities of the bio-economy, the growing demand for new and existing solid wood products, and the positive role the sector can play in mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change. With workable public policy that fundamentally supports this renewable sector, Ontario can lead the way in forestry. “We need government to acknowledge the vital role that forestry plays in our communities across Ontario and for those hardworking families that are directly impacted by the sector,” president of NOMA and Mayor of Shuniah, Wendy Landry, stated. “We are the ones that depend on the long-term health and sustainability of our Crown forests as an important source of ecological, recreational, cultural and spiritual values. We look forward to receiving meaningful responses from the parties on how they will help make Ontario’s forest sector stronger.” “The recent investments our community has made in the forest sector has created significant opportunities and hundreds of new jobs for First Nations," Chief Ed Wawia of Red Rock Indian Band said. "Our forest operations generate wealth for our community that offsets the costs for social and economic development, so our community can be self-sustainable. Our future includes forestry and we hope that the next government will support our shared forestry interests.” “The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People states that Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development and use of their lands, territories and other resources," said Chief Joe Ladouceur of Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek First Nation. "It is imperative that the next government fulfill this right and provide adequate information and meaningful consultation with First Nations communities when developing policy that impacts our communities.” “The Alliance is an extensive and diverse group of people that have been working together to advocate for the importance of the forest sector across every region of the province,” said Mayor Al Spacek of Kapuskasing and President of FONOM. “Now, we want to know how the next government will ensure that we, as northern and rural communities, will be proactively consulted with regards to policy and legislation that has a direct impact on us, and not have to continue to fight to have our voices heard.” “As thriving as Ontario’s forest sector is today, we can make it even stronger," said Jamie Lim, president and CEO of the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA). "By maximizing the full potential of Ontario’s renewable resource, we can create good-paying jobs, assist the province in transitioning to a low carbon economy, and support sustainable growth for future generations. We believe that we can provide a path full of opportunities to grow the sector and build Ontario up for everyone.” Key issues are outlined in The Alliance’s 2018 election commitment letters to all three parties. These issues need to be addressed by the next government of Ontario, as elected on June 7, 2018. The letter outlines how Ontario can develop a Provincial Forest Strategy that accepts and embraces the sustainable use of Ontario’s forests. The Alliance is asking for the following commitments: Develop a Provincial Strategy that makes Ontario’s forest sector stronger Develop a long-term, workable solution that demonstrates equivalency between the Crown Forest Sustainability Act (CFSA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Restore and maintain competitive restoration measures Create competitive energy use measures that will support forestry’s role in mitigating climate change Address market development challenges and enhance promotion of forest products Visit www.ofia.com to read The Alliance’s election commitment letters and for more 2018 Ontario election news and information.
May 11, 2018 - Firefighters are investigating after the logs on a loaded logging truck caught fire in Kamloops, B.C., yesterday.
May 18, 2018 - Cargotec has signed an agreement with JCE Invest AB to establish a joint venture, Bruks Siwertell Group, specialised in dry bulk handling. The new joint venture will own Siwertell AB (previously part of Kalmar Business Area within Cargotec) and BRUKS Holding AB (previously part of JCE Group).
May 17, 2018 - Total housing production fell 3.7 per cent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.29 million units after an upwardly revised March reading of 1.34 million, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. The March report marked an 11-year high for housing production.
May 16, 2018 - Conifex Timber Inc. (Conifex) has announced that it has reached an agreement with BW SLC Holdings, LLC (BW SLC), an affiliate of Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC (Blue Wolf) and the minority shareholders of Caddo River Forest Products, LLC to purchase all of the outstanding membership interests of Suwannee Lumber Holding Company, LLC, Suwannee Timber Management, LLC and Caddo River Forest Products, LLC (collectively, the "BW Group"). The BW Group owns the Suwannee sawmill in Cross City, Fla., and the Caddo River sawmill in Glenwood, Ark., which both primarily produce Southern Yellow Pine (SYP) softwood lumber and specialty products like decking. The Suwannee Mill and Caddo River Mill each have an annual dimension lumber capacity of approximately 185 million board feet on a two-shift basis. As a result of this transaction, Conifex's annual lumber production capacity will increase by approximately 50 per cent to 1.1 billion board feet while its dimension lumber platform in the Southern U.S. will increase by 200 per cent to approximately 550 million board feet, representing approximately 50 per cent of the company's total pro forma lumber capacity. Further, the acquired mills add premium priced SYP decking products to our current product mix, along with long established customer relationships in Florida and the Southern and Eastern U.S.Both the Suwannee Mill and Caddo River Mill have had significant modernization projects completed in recent years. Most recently, a US$12 million modernization and optimization project was completed at the Suwannee Mill in 2017 and approximately US$14 million of capital expenditures were completed at the Caddo River Mill in connection with its re-start in May 2017.In the first quarter of 2018 and for the full year in 2017, the BW Group generated Adjusted EBITDA of US$5.5 million and US$14.0 million, respectively, on sales of US$32.6 million and US$101.1 million, respectively.Conifex estimates that integrating the acquired mills with its existing operations will generate over US$5 million in synergies through procurement opportunities, cost benefits, customer service rationalization, and providing business support services to an expanded number of mill locations. Conifex believes these annual run-rate benefits will be achieved within 12 months of closing the transaction. In a statement from Conifex president and chief executive officer Ken Shields, he said:"This is a highly strategic and transformative transaction for Conifex. It brings together two successful growth oriented companies to create a leading SYP lumber producer.The Suwannee and Caddo River mills significantly increase our presence in the U.S. South, which we have identified as an important strategic area with proximity to high-quality and abundant fibre supply in addition to some of North America's fastest growing population centres and housing markets.The Suwannee and Caddo River mills' culture and operations provide an ideal fit to increase our profitability and provide a launching pad to scale our business and compete with the best sawmills in North America.We are also well positioned to realize upon the ramp up in production at the Caddo River mill and our El Dorado mill during the balance of 2018 and next year.The transaction positions us to capitalize on the continued recovery in the U.S. and, along with our current operations create a platform for growth and enhance returns for our stakeholders.We look forward to welcoming all Suwannee and Caddo River employees to the Conifex family.""After many years of investing in the sawmill industry in the Southeastern U.S., we are excited to join forces with the Conifex team, whose values and commitment to their employees, communities, and customers parallel our own," a partner of Blue Wolf Charles P. Miller said. "As a result of this transaction we will continue to be significant investors in Conifex and we firmly believe that the scale of our combined companies will make all of the mills in the system stronger, more competitive, and better able to continue a culture of investment, expansion, and continuous improvement."Transaction OverviewConifex's consideration for its acquisition of the BW Group consists of: US$150.0 million plus the net working capital of the BW Group at closing in cash; the value of US$50.0 million through the issuance of common shares of Conifex with an issue price of $6.50 per share (being the 20-day volume weighted average trading price), provided, however, that to the extent that such Common Shares issued to the Vendors would exceed 19.9 per cent of the issued and outstanding Common Shares, the excess amount shall be satisfied in cash; and 3.5 million warrants to purchase Common Shares for a period of five years after closing of the acquisition, at an exercise price of $8.78 per share. If any of the foregoing warrants cannot be exercised at the end of the five-year term due to the share cap restriction, then the term of such number of warrants will be extended for an additional one-year.In addition, Conifex and BW SLC have entered into customary governance provisions including standstill and nomination arrangements and a non-competition agreement.As part of the transaction, Charles P. Miller and George R. Judd shall be appointed to Conifex's Board of Directors on the closing of the transaction. Miller is a partner at Blue Wolf and Judd is a strategic advisor to Blue Wolf and a member of BW SLC’s board. Previously, Judd served as the chief executive officer of PrimeSource Building Products, Inc., one of the largest purveyors of fasteners and distributors of building materials. He also served as the chief executive officer of Snappy Air Distribution Products, Inc. and as president and chief executive officer of BlueLinx Corporation, a large distributor of building products. The completion of the transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including regulatory consents and approvals and financing. In connection therewith, Conifex has received from a U.S. bank a commitment for a new credit facility in the amount of US$220 million with a term of five years to partially finance the acquisition, replace its current facility and for general working capital. Conifex is also reviewing other supplemental funding for the acquisition.Pursuant to the requirements of the Toronto Stock Exchange, the issuance of shares and warrants are subject to Conifex obtaining shareholder approval, and Conifex will convene an annual and special meeting of shareholders to, among other things, consider and approve the transaction.The transaction is expected to be closed at or around the end of the second quarter of 2018.
May 14, 2018 - Western Forest Products Inc. (Western) reported adjusted EBITDA of $43.0 million in the first quarter of 2018, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $34.0 million in the first quarter of 2017, and $38.9 million reported in the fourth quarter of 2017.
May 4, 2018 - U.S. softwood lumber demand is expected to continue its upward trajectory from the lows of the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, reaching an all-time high by mid 2020s, according to a newly released US Lumber Outlook Study by ForestEdge LLC and Wood Resources International LLC. In the study’s base case scenario, lumber consumption in the end-use category “Non-Residential Construction” is forecasted to grow the fastest and increase its share of softwood lumber consumption from 11 per cent in 2016 to 14 per cent by 2030. However, the biggest end-use market will continue to be the residential housing sector, including repair and remodeling, at a total share of about 70 per cent of the total lumber consumption by 2030.
May 3, 2018 - Resolute Forest Products Inc. has reported net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2018, of $10 million, or $0.11 per share, compared to a net loss of $47 million, or $0.52 per share, in the same period in 2017. Sales were $874 million in the quarter, an increase of $2 million from the first quarter of 2017. Excluding special items, the company reported net income of $17 million, or $0.18 per share, compared to a net loss, excluding special items, of $30 million, or $0.33 per share, in the first quarter of 2017.
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.
Dec. 18, 2017 - Kate Lindsay is the Forest Products Association of Canada's vice-president of sustainability and environmental partnerships.She recently wrote a Letter to the Editor which was published in The Chronicle-Journal in response to an opinion piece criticizing the forest industry's views on saving caribou populations while still implementing sustainable forestry practices.In an excerpt from her letter she writes, "The misrepresentation of the purpose and content of our informational website at www.cariboufacts.ca is unfortunate. To be clear, on behalf of Canada’s forest sector and our 230,000 direct employees, we are asking for three simple things:1. Any land use decision must be based on the most recent and comprehensive science that looks at all factors, including incorporating unique local forest realities and the impacts of action on other species in the forest.2. All impacted groups should be meaningfully engaged in the discussion, including governments, Indigenous communities, scientists, industry, tourism and recreation groups, and labour organizations.3. Socio-economic analysis should be conducted to understand what, if any, impacts might be felt by local communities."Read the full piece here.
Dec. 12, 2017 - This fall, B.C.’s forest sector released a new economic study that highlights the fact that the B.C. forest industry continues to be a cornerstone of the provincial economy and a significant economic contributor to communities around the province.
Dec. 8, 2017 – The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) voted 4-0 unanimously on Thursday in favour of the U.S. lumber industry. The ITC holds the position that the Canadian government’s subsidies to its softwood lumber producers have harmed U.S. producers. The U.S. Lumber Coalition supports the decision. “The massive subsidies that the Canadian government provides to its lumber industry and the dumping of lumber products into the U.S. market by Canadian companies cause real harm to U.S. producers and workers,” said the U.S. Lumber Coalition’s Jason Brochu. “Now, with a level playing field, the U.S. lumber industry, and the 350,000 hardworking men and women who support it, can have the chance to compete fairly.” “With the enforcement of U.S. trade laws, lumber mills across the country will be able to make important investments in employees and mill operations so we can expand production to meet demand,” the U.S. Lumber Coalition’s Joe Patton said. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said the tariffs will increase the price of an average single-family home built in 2018 by $1,360. "We are disappointed by the ITC ruling and believe this is a protectionist measure designed to safeguard the interests of major domestic lumber producers at the expense of American consumers,” chairman Granger MacDonald said. “The U.S. and Canada need to hammer out an equitable agreement to resolve this ongoing trade dispute that will provide American consumers a steady supply of lumber at a reasonable price," he said. BC Lumber Trade Council president Susan Yurkovich said the decision “is completely without merit.” “The ITC finding of ‘injury,’ despite the current record-setting profitability of the U.S. lumber industry, makes it very clear that this was not an objective evaluation of the facts,” she said. "There can be no doubt that this process is biased in favour of the U.S. industry.” The BC Lumber Trade Council said it plans to fight the decision and initiate appeals as soon as possible. “The U.S. Coalition’s claims of injury ring particularly hollow given the extraordinary financial performance that the U.S. lumber industry is enjoying, and given that Canadian imports are at a lower level today than at the levels deemed non-injurious under both the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement and by the ITC itself in the last round of litigation,” Yurkovich said. The Lumber Coalition petitioned the U.S. Commerce Department in November 2016 to launch an investigation to determine whether or not the Canadian government was providing unfair subsidies to its lumber producers. The Commerce Department launched its official investigation in December 2016. Over the course of the investigation, preliminary countervailing and anti-dumping duties were applied to Canadian producers. The average preliminary countervailing tax was 19.88 per cent, while the average preliminary anti-dumping tax was 6.87 per cent. Combined, that meant most Canadian producers were paying 26.75 per cent in duties. West Fraser, Canfor, Tolko, Resolute and J.D. Irving were individually investigated and paid combined taxes ranging from 9.89 to 30.88 per cent. The Commerce Department ruled in November 2017 that the two softwood markets are unequal due to Canadian producers having unfair advantages over their American counterparts and announced its final duties. However, the overall rate dropped from 26.75 to 20.83 per cent for most Canadian producers. So far, Canadian companies are reported to be doing well thanks to record-high lumber prices and a steady demand for wood from the U.S.
Overwhelming support for continuation of the softwood lumber boardMay 23, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced…
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79th Maritime Lumber Bureau AGM
May 29-31, 2018
OptiSaw: Mill OPtimization & Automation Forum
June 5, 2018
Introduction to Process Safety
June 5, 2018