Dec. 12, 2017 - Bandit Industries will spend all of 2018 celebrating its 35th anniversary at its mid-Michigan facility, with a world-wide dealer network, and with many thousands of customers spanning multiple industries. “Thirty-five years is a long time to be in business,” said Bandit president and co-owner Jerry Morey. “That’s why we’re going to take some time in 2018 to appreciate where we’ve been, what we’ve accomplished, and how we want to keep innovating and evolving – for our employees, for our customers, and for our industry.” Bandit Industries started out as Foremost Fabrications in a small one-room shop by Mike Morey Sr. and Diane Morey. The first chipper was a Model 100 Brush Bandit. That chipper caught on in the industry, backed by our commitment to quality and our customers. It became so popular in the industry that most people knew Foremost Fabrications as “Bandit,” so in 1986, we took the name officially as Bandit Industries. Bandit has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 35 years, continually refining our machines, adding new models, new product lines, growing our dealer network and customer base. Today, more than 60,000 Bandit machines are in use all around the world, and more than 200 dealer locations serve our customers in six continents. During the growth over the last three decades, Bandit never lost sight of who it is and what is does, said Morey. “Bandit is a company dedicated to producing the highest quality equipment for the hardest working men and women,” he said. “For the last 35 years, we’ve worked tirelessly to build the best equipment, and in 2018, we reaffirm our commitment to them, and to our industry.” Learn more about Bandit’s complete lineup of hand-fed chippers, stump grinders, skid-steer attachments, whole tree chippers, The Beast horizontal grinders, and more by visiting www.banditchippers.com.
Dec. 12, 2017 - The Canadian Woodlands Forum's 99th annual general meeting is taking place April 4 and 5, 2018 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Moncton, N.B.Don't miss the BIGGEST meeting of forestry professionals in Atlantic Canada!It's show year so BOOK YOUR ROOM NOW! For reservations call: 506 854-6340 Don't forget to mention you are attending the Canadian Woodlands Forum Spring Meeting to get the negotiated room rate of $132.00/night, single or double occupancy (plus tax). Watch for registration and program details coming in the new year! Plan to also attend the Atlantic Heavy Equipment Show on April 5th and 6th at the Moncton Coliseum!
Dec. 6, 2017 - Do you have ideas the bioeconomy world needs to hear? Do have what it takes to communicate those ideas to senior executives, elected officials, academics and other industry leaders? Can you captivate an audience? If so, then we want to hear from you. The Canadian Bioeconomy Conference and Exhibition is looking for speakers who can bring ideas to life.The theme for the 8th Canadian Bioeconomy Conference and Exhibition is: The new bioeconomy: Adding value to biomass.Conference topics: Growth in the use of woody biomass in new applications Opportunities and challenges in the low carbon economy Governments’ role in promotion and regulation of the bioeconomy New products, new places: new technology and local deployment Presentation ideas should include the name and biography of the presenter and a one-paragraph summary of what you propose to present.Submit your presentation idea to:
Dec. 4, 2017 - John Deere has completed its global rollout of a new company website that places those who shop for and own John Deere equipment as the number one priority for information offered on its pages. The site design is mobile responsive and works on a variety of screen sizes, from smart phones and tablets to traditional desktop computers. “Our customers are often on work sites, farms, and other locations when they need information quickly about products and services offered by John Deere,” said Sean O’Hanlon, director, Global Internet Strategy, Deere & Company. “We worked extensively with customers to create a new website that meets their needs.” He said the improved JohnDeere.com contains: · Concise product information and easy-to-use navigation. · More useful tools for those who shop for and own Deere products and services. · A product-centric focus on helping users accomplish key activities such as identifying the right machine for their use or locating a dealer. · Easy spec-to-spec comparisons across John Deere and competitive models. “This redesign benefits all of our customers whether they are farmers, ranchers, construction contractors, landscapers, loggers and all others whose work is linked to the land,” O’Hanlon said. “All of our customers want to quickly find the information they need, whether they are searching from their desk or from a jobsite.” The global launch included 33 John Deere sites in 16 languages and approximately 2,300 product pages. About 2.5 million visitors view information each month at the company’s website www.JohnDeere.com.
Dec. 12, 2017 - Record high prices for softwood lumber in North America in the 3Q/17 and rising lumber export prices in Sweden, Finland and Russia as lumber demand picks up in key markets, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. Global Lumber TradeDemand for imported softwood lumber to the U.S. has fallen by six per cent during the first nine months of 2017 as compared to the same period in 2016. In contrast, Chinese import volumes have been up 21 per cent year-over-year. The lumber trade in Europe has also picked up in 2017 with the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Spain having increased imports the most so far in 2017. Countries in the Middle East and North Africa, also known as the MENA countries, have sharply reduced consumption of lumber this year, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). In the first eight months of 2017, Egypt and Algeria (the two biggest lumber consumers in the region) have decreased their imports by 24 per cent and 39 per cent respectively as compared to the first eight months of 2016. Lumber markets – North AmericaLumber consumption in the U.S. did not change much during the first eight months of this year as compared to the same period in 2016, according to the Western Wood Products Association. However, there was an increase in demand during the third quarter, which was met by higher domestic production both in the South and the West. U.S. lumber production has gone up by 3.2 per cent year-over-year, and the only region of North America that saw a reduction in lumber production this year was British Columbia. In August when the forest fires were at their peak, production was 8.7 per cent lower than in August last year. Increased lumber demand in the Western U.S. and Asia pushed Douglas-fir lumber prices to record highs in the 3Q/17. In the U.S. South, prices for pine lumber were stable during the summer but picked up in the fall after the two hurricanes impacted both the log flow and lumber demand. Lumber markets – Northern EuropeShipments of lumber from the Nordic countries slowed in the 3Q/17, with export volumes for Finland and Sweden being down 13 per cent and 18 per cent respectively from the previous quarter. The biggest change in destinations for exported lumber for both countries over the past two years has been the expansion in sales to Asia. In 2017, 20 per cent of the export lumber volume from the Nordic countries was shipped to China and Japan. Lumber prices in both Finland and Sweden strengthened in 2017, and in August, reached their highest levels since early 2015. Lumber markets – ChinaChinese softwood lumber importation is likely to reach a new record high in 2017. During the first nine months, imports were 21 per cent higher than in the same period in 2016, with volumes in the second and third quarter being the highest quarterly imports on record. Russia has been increasing its share of the Chinese lumber market, accounting for 57 per cent of total imports in the 3Q, up from 52 per cent in 2015, according to the WRQ. Average import prices to China have continued their three year climb this fall and were 19 per cent higher in September than in early 2016 when they were at an eight-year low. Lumber market – JapanThe lumber market in Japan has been very stable in 2017. In fact, import volumes have consistently ranged between 1.5 and 1.6 million m3 per quarter over the past few years. There have been small shifts in supply sources, with a slight decline in Canadian lumber supply and an increase in shipments from Finland. Prices for domestic and imported lumber to Japan have remained unchanged throughout 2017 in Yen terms except for prices for imported Douglas-fir, which have gone up six per cent from January to November. Lumber market – RussiaThe Russian sawmilling sector continues to add capacity in Siberia and the Far East, targeting the expanding demand for lumber in China. Just during the first eight months of this year, Russia increased shipments to China by 23 per cent as compared to the same period in 2016. Although Russian lumber prices have not changed much in Ruble terms over the past two years, there has been a steady increase in export prices as measured in U.S. dollars.This is an excerpt from the newly released market report Wood Resource Quarterly. To read the full 56-page quarterly report, please visit www.woodprices.com to initiate an annual subscription.Global lumber, sawlog and pulpwood market reporting is included in the 56-page quarterly publication Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). The report, which was established in 1988 and has subscribers in over 30 countries, tracks sawlog, pulpwood, wood chip, lumber and pellet prices, trade and market developments in most key regions around the world. To subscribe to the WRQ, please go to www.woodprices.com.
Nov. 16, 2017 - Roughly half of all hardwood chips traded in the Pacific Rim have been destined for Chinese ports in the 1H/17 with Vietnam and Australia being the major suppliers, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. Pulpmills in China and Japan continue to rely on large volumes of imported hardwood wood chips from a number of countries around the Pacific Rim. The biggest changes in trade over the past five years, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly, have been the increase in chip exports from Vietnam, record import volumes to China and a shift in Australian export shipments from Japan to China.Shipments of hardwood chips in the Pacific Rim have increased for six consecutive years and reached a record-high of 22.9 million odmt in 2016. Last year was also the year when China took over Japan’s role as the world’s largest importer of hardwood chips - roughly half of all hardwood chips traded in the Pacific Rim were destined for Chinese ports in 2016. Based on import volumes to China in the first nine months of 2017, it is likely that Chinese imports will hit a new record high of over 11.5 million odmt in 2017, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). There have been a number of alterations in the trade flows of hardwood chips in the Pacific Rim over the past decade based on price fluctuations, chip quality preferences and changes in business relationships. In the latest issues of the WRQ we have chosen to highlight how the chip trade has evolved from 2012 to 2016 as an example of the shifting market that exists in this part of the world. The major changes over the past five years have been Vietnam’s expansion in exports to both China and Japan, Australia’s increase in shipments to China (equal to Vietnam’s volumes in the 2Q/17), Chile’s diversion of volumes from Japan to China, and Japan’s increasing reliance on hardwood chips from Vietnam and South Africa, at the expense of Australia and Chile. The top-five trade flows of hardwood chips in 2016 were (more details in the WRQ): 1. Vietnam – China 2. Australia – China 3. Vietnam – Japan 4. Chile – Japan 5. Australia – JapanDuring the first half of 2017, hardwood chip shipments from most of the major supplying countries in the Pacific Rim have gone up with the notable exceptions of Australia, Thailand, Brazil and Uruguay, which reduced their export volumes by between four and twenty-one percent as compared to the first half of 2016. The biggest increases in chip supply to Japan and China year-over-year have been from Chile and Indonesia. Chilean chip exports are likely to reach a new all-time high in 2017 and the country will remain the third largest chip exporter in the world.Global lumber, sawlog and pulpwood market reporting is included in the 56-page quarterly publication Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). The report, which was established in 1988 and has subscribers in over 30 countries, tracks sawlog, pulpwood, lumber and pellet prices, trade and market developments in most key regions around the world. To subscribe to the WRQ, please go to www.woodprices.com
Nov. 10, 2017 - Conifex Timber Inc. has reported results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2017. Adjusted EBITDA*, including countervailing ("CVD") and anti-dumping duty ("ADD") deposits of $3.4 million, was $12.1 million, compared to $10.2 million in the second quarter of 2017 and $8.5 million in the third quarter of 2016.Our lumber segment operating results include CVD and ADD deposits on exports to the U.S. of $3.4 million in the third quarter of 2017 and $4.6 million in the second quarter of 2017. On November 2, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce ("USDOC") announced that the final CVD and ADD rates would be reduced from the preliminary rates by a total of 5.92%. In the third quarter of 2017, we recorded an adjustment to reflect the reduction in CVD rates on shipments made during the second quarter of 2017. Approximately $1.3 million of the $4.6 million in CVD deposits expensed in the second quarter of 2017 was reversed, which led to reduced CVD and ADD deposit expenses of $3.4 million in the third quarter of 2017. Compared to the previous quarter, the improvement in lumber segment adjusted EBITDA of $1.2 million and bioenergy segment adjusted EBITDA of $1.5 million was partially offset by an increase in corporate costs and a variance in foreign exchange translation loss. Compared to the third quarter of 2016, lumber segment adjusted EBITDA improved by $3.0 million and bioenergy segment adjusted EBITDA improved by $2.2 million. Adjusted EBITDA for the nine month period ended September 30, 2017, which included CVD and ADD deposits of $8.0 million, was a record $28.5 million. Adjusted EBITDA was $24.3 million for the first nine months of 2016. Start-Up of El Dorado Mill In October 2017, we completed construction of our sawmill, two continuous dry kilns, and planer mill in El Dorado, Arkansas (the "ED Mill") on schedule and on budget. We are operating the sawmill and conducting evaluations as the sawmill goes through a customary "ramp-up" period. We expect to begin testing and commissioning of our planer mill this month and commence commercial operations in December. We will initially operate the ED Mill on a one-shift basis and expect to ramp-up production to approximately 90% of capacity by December 2018. The ED Mill is designed to have annual production capacity of 180 million board feet on a two-shift basis, representing approximately 25% of total lumber capacity of our mills at this level. We believe our planned expansion into the U.S. South will provide an important new source of revenue diversification not subject to punitive trade actions on Canadian softwood lumber recently initiated by the U.S. Overview Our revenues totaled $120.3 million in the third quarter of 2017, an improvement of 3% over the prior quarter and 16% over the same quarter last year. Our revenue growth over the previous quarter was mainly attributable to a slight increase in our lumber segment revenues, and a 30% increase in revenues from electricity sales. Compared to the third quarter of 2016, our lumber segment revenues increased by 15% and our bioenergy segment revenues by 24%. Our operating income for the third quarter of 2017, which includes the CVD and ADD deposits, was $8.8 million compared to $6.4 million in the previous quarter and $3.3 million in the same quarter last year. Compared to the prior quarter, an increase in lumber segment operating earnings of $1.4 million and bioenergy segment operating earnings of $1.6 million was partially offset by an increase in corporate costs of $0.6 million. Lumber segment operating earnings increased by $2.9 million and bioenergy segment operating earnings by $3.0 million compared to the third quarter of 2016. Net income for the third quarter of 2017 was $6.2 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, compared to $4.2 million or $0.16 per diluted share in the previous quarter and $1.4 million or $0.07 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2016. Year to date net income was $9.0 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, compared to a normalized net income of $3.7 million or $0.18 per diluted share for the same period last year. Unusual items totaling $61.4 million were included in net income in the first six months of 2016. Including these unusual items, net income was $65.1 million, or $3.08 per basic and $2.85 per diluted share for the first nine months of 2016. Lumber Segment Lumber segment adjusted EBITDA, which includes CVD and ADD deposits, was $12.0 million in the third quarter of 2017, compared to $10.8 million in the second quarter of 2017 and $9.0 million in the third quarter of 2016. Lumber segment adjusted EBITDA was $27.9 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 and $22.2 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2016. Prices for the bell-weather WSPF #2 & Btr product averaged US$406 during the third quarter of 2017, an improvement of 5% over the previous quarter and 26% over the third quarter of 2016.1 The U.S. dollar, which averaged US$0.798 for each Canadian dollar during the third quarter of 2017, appreciated by 7% over the previous quarter and 4% over the same quarter last year.2 1 As quoted in Random Lengths Publications Inc. 2 Source: Bank of Canada, www.bankofcanada.ca. Revenue from Conifex produced lumber was $73.3 million in the third quarter of 2017. The 4% increase over the previous quarter was generally attributable to 5% higher shipment volumes offset by a modest decline in unit sales realizations. The slightly lower sales realizations reflected stronger lumber prices which were more than offset by the appreciation in Canadian currency. The growth in revenue of 15% over the third quarter of 2016 was mainly due to improved sales realizations from higher lumber prices. Our wholesale lumber revenues were largely consistent in the second and third quarters of 2017 and increased by 8% over the third quarter of 2016. The growth in revenue from the third quarter of 2016 was primarily attributable to improved sales realizations due to higher lumber prices. Our lumber production totalled approximately 133 million board feet during the third quarter of 2017 representing an annualized operating rate of 102%. Year to date production was 4% lower compared to the same period last year, largely as a result of the implementation of a capital project at the Mackenzie sawmill and, to a lesser extent, inclement weather conditions in Western Canada which led to lower productivity in the first quarter of this year. Unit log costs declined by 3% compared to the previous quarter and increased by 9% over the same quarter last year. Compared to the third quarter of 2016, the higher log costs were mainly attributable to higher market based stumpage and purchased log costs. Higher operating rates contributed to an improvement in unit cash conversion costs of 3% over the previous quarter. Unit cash conversion costs were in line with the same quarter last year, although production volumes modestly declined. We expensed CVD and ADD deposits of $3.4 million in the third quarter of 2017, and $4.6 million in the second quarter of 2017, on lumber shipments to the U.S. As previously noted, approximately $1.3 million of the adjustment made to reflect lower final CVD and ADD rates in the third quarter of 2017 was attributable to shipments made during the second quarter of 2017. Including the CVD and ADD deposits expense, the lumber segment recorded operating income of $8.5 million in the third quarter of 2017 compared to $7.1 million in the previous quarter and $5.6 million in the third quarter of 2016. Compared to the previous quarter, the benefits of stronger lumber prices, increased shipments of Conifex produced lumber, improved productivity, lower unit log and cash conversion costs, and lower softwood lumber duties, partially due to an adjustment related to previous quarter shipments, outweighed the impact of appreciation of the Canadian currency. Compared to the third quarter of 2016, the benefit of higher lumber prices and shipments of Conifex produced lumber in the current quarter was partially offset by the expensing of CVD and ADD deposits, stronger Canadian currency, lower production volumes, and higher unit log costs. Year-to-date lumber segment operating earnings were $17.4 million, an improvement of $5.2 million over the same period last year. Bioenergy Segment Operating Results The Mackenzie Plant sold 55.2 gigawatt hours of electricity under our Electricity Purchase Agreement ("EPA") with BC Hydro in the third quarter of 2017, which represents approximately 100% of targeted operating rates, compared to 95% in the prior quarter and 70% in the third quarter of 2016. The reduced production in the third quarter of 2016 was mostly attributable to maintenance downtime taken to effect certain operating improvements. On a year to date basis, electricity sales were 3% higher than over the same period last year. Electricity sales and plant operating costs in the first quarter of 2017 were impacted by some unplanned outages and challenging weather conditions, which impacted feedstock quality and deliverability. Electricity revenues in the current quarter were $6.1 million, an increase of 30% over the previous quarter, which was mostly attributable to higher seasonal rates and, to a lesser extent, an 8% increase in production. The improvement in electricity revenues of 24% compared to the third quarter of 2016 was largely due to higher production volume, somewhat offset by lower seasonal rates and discounted prices earned during the dispatch period. Cash operating costs were consistent in the third and second quarters of 2017 and improved by 21% over the third quarter of last year. Amortization expense was lower compared to the third quarter of 2016 as idled components were not depreciated during dispatch periods. Bioenergy segment adjusted EBITDA was $8.0 million for the first nine months of 2017 compared to $7.7 million for the first nine months of 2016 and reflected an adjusted EBITDA margin of 45%, which was consistent with the comparative period last year. Adjusted EBITDA margin is defined as adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of sales. The Mackenzie Plant achieved hourly production of 105% of our operating target over the first 12 months of commercial operations. The Mackenzie Plant resumed operations in September 2017 (after the dispatch period, discussed below) and operating rates approached historic levels during the first month of operations. Dispatch Notice Our EPA with BC Hydro, similar to electricity purchase agreements with other independent power producers, provides BC Hydro with the option to "turn down" electricity purchased from us during periods of low demand by issuing a "dispatch order" outlining the requested dispatch period. In April 2017, BC Hydro issued a dispatch order with respect to, among others, the Mackenzie Plant, advising of a dispatch period of 122 days, encompassing the months of April, June, July and August. Last year, the Mackenzie Plant, among others, was dispatched for 61 days in the second quarter. During the dispatch period, we only produce electricity to fulfill volume commitments under our Load Displacement Agreement with BC Hydro. We continue to be paid revenues under the EPA based upon a reduced rate and on volumes that are generally reflective of contracted amounts. Liquidity and Capital Resources Our net debt to capitalization ratio was 42% at September 30, 2017 compared to 38% at December 31, 2016. Excluding the effects of borrowings for our wholly-owned power subsidiary that are non-recourse to our other operations, our net debt to capitalization ratio was 27% at September 30, 2017 compared to 16% at December 31, 2016. At September 30, 2017, we had total liquidity of $55.7 million, compared to $22.3 million at December 31, 2016 and $43.6 million at September 30, 2016. Lumber Market and Operations Outlook Through the closing months of 2017, we expect sustained steady demand in the U.S. and Canadian lumber markets will result in average benchmark Western SPF prices that are somewhat higher than average levels achieved in the first nine months of this year. We expect that continued uncertainty around the softwood lumber dispute will contribute to further volatility in U.S. market conditions and pricing. We expect demand and pricing to continue to remain solid in the Chinese and Japanese markets through the balance of the year. We expect the further strengthening of WSPF prices early in the fourth quarter of 2017, the continued suspension of CVD, a solid order file, and relatively flat unit log costs will contribute to a sequential improvement in cash flow generation in our lumber segment. We expect the ED Mill to begin production in the fourth quarter of 2017 and lumber shipments to commence in December. In our bioenergy segment, we expect higher seasonal electricity rates and operating rates at the Mackenzie Plant near targeted levels will lead to a quarter over quarter improvement in operating results. Subsequent Event On November 2, 2017, the USDOC announced final determinations in its CVD and ADD investigations. As a result of its findings, the USDOC lowered the final CVD rate from 19.88% to 14.25% and the final ADD rate from 6.87% to 6.58% for "all other" Canadian lumber producers, including Conifex. The final CVD will not be collected until final injury determination by the United States International Trade Commission ("USITC"), which is expected to occur in December 2017. On November 2, 2017, the USDOC also made a final determination that critical circumstances did not exist for CVD, but did exist for ADD. We have not accrued any retroactive ADD, which could total approximately US$1.5 million, in the current or previous quarters. Management believes that the critical circumstances finding for ADD by the USDOC will not be upheld by the USITC in its final determination, consistent with the result of past softwood lumber disputes.*Adjusted EBITDA is calculated to exclude unusual items or items that are not ongoing and do not reflect our ongoing operations. Our adjusted EBITDA calculation represents earnings before finance costs, taxes, depreciation and amortization, and gains or losses from asset sales, disposals or revaluations. Adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter of 2017 previously included $4.6 million representing CVD deposit expense based upon the USDOC preliminary rates. As the USDOC recently made its final determination of CVD and ADD rates, we are no longer including an adjustment for duty deposits in adjusted EBITDA. We disclose EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin as they are measures used by analysts and by our management to evaluate our performance. As EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin are non-GAAP measures that do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by International Financial Reporting Standards, they may not be comparable to EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin calculated by others and are not a substitute for net earnings or cash flows.
Nov. 10, 2017 - Taiga Building Products Ltd. has reported its financial results for the three and six months ended September 30, 2017.
Nov. 7, 2017 - Lucrative log markets in China have resulted in a tripling of softwood log export volumes from Australia the past four years, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly.
Nov. 6, 2017 - Resolute Forest Products Inc. has reported net income for the quarter ended September 30, 2017, of $24 million, or $0.26 per share, compared to net income of $14 million, or $0.15 per share, in the same period in 2016. Sales were $885 million in the quarter, essentially unchanged from the third quarter of 2016. Excluding special items, the company reported net income of $31 million, or $0.34 per share, compared to net income, excluding special items, of $15 million, or $0.17 per share, in the third quarter of 2016. "This quarter's solid performance builds on the momentum established earlier in the year," said Richard Garneau, president and chief executive officer. "Our results benefitted from continued strength in our market pulp and wood products segments as well as from substantial improvements in the cost position of our paper segments following capacity closures and restructuring of operations announced earlier this year. In tissue, our sales effort continues to progress, but our results were negatively impacted by Hurricane Irma." Non-GAAP financial measures, such as adjustments for special items and adjusted EBITDA, are explained and reconciled below. Operating Income Variance Against Prior Period Consolidated The company recorded operating income of $48 million in the quarter, an improvement of $95 million compared to the second quarter of 2017, as adjusted EBITDA increased to $118 million from $83 million in the previous quarter. The company's operating results were positively impacted by increases in sales of market pulp and wood products, where shipments and pricing improved compared to the previous quarter. Profitability was also supported by lower manufacturing costs and savings derived from the closure of a high cost machine in our specialty papers segment, resulting in operating margin improvements that offset volume declines. The company incurred $21 million of closure costs, impairment and other related charges, and inventory write-downs in the third quarter linked primarily to the permanent closure of two paper machines at Calhoun (Tennessee). This compares favorably to the $65 million recorded in the second quarter. Market Pulp Operating income in the market pulp segment was $19 million, $3 million more than the second quarter. Realized prices continued to rise from the lows of 2016, reaching $650 per metric ton, an increase of $18 per metric ton, or 3%, when compared to the previous quarter. Shipments to third parties rose by 12,000 metric tons, largely resulting from reduced annual maintenance outages. The operating cost per unit (the "delivered cost") rose by $12 per metric ton, reaching $595 per metric ton. This was the result of the relative strengthening of the Canadian dollar and a lower contribution from cogeneration operations. EBITDA per unit was $78 per metric ton compared to $71 per metric ton in the previous quarter. Finished goods inventory rose by 6,000 metric tons. Tissue In our tissue segment, which includes only the former Atlas tissue operations in Florida, the operating loss increased by $2 million compared to the second quarter. While pricing remained essentially unchanged, the delivered cost increased by $160 per short ton, mostly as a result of facility damage and approximately 10 days of business interruption associated with Hurricane Irma. Overall shipments were largely unchanged, with inventories drawn down by 2,000 short tons. Wood Products The wood products segment recorded operating income of $64 million for the quarter, an improvement of $19 million compared to the previous quarter. With supply disruptions owing mostly to forest fires in British Columbia, shipments increased by 22 million board feet, reaching 531 million board feet for the quarter. The average transaction price rose by $27 per thousand board feet to $413. The delivered cost improved by $8 per thousand board feet, mostly a result of higher volumes. EBITDA for the segment was $73 million, a $21 million increase from the previous quarter, and equivalent to $137 per thousand board feet, compared to $102 in the second quarter. Finished goods inventory declined by 3 million board feet to 122 million board feet. Newsprint The newsprint segment incurred an operating loss of $6 million in the quarter, compared to a loss of $7 million in the second quarter. Pricing increased slightly to $511 per metric ton. Shipments fell by 9,000 metric tons, mostly due to downtime at Baie-Comeau (Quebec) and Augusta (Georgia). The delivered cost in the segment was largely unchanged compared to the previous quarter, as lower maintenance costs and higher contributions from cogeneration were mostly offset by the impacts of the strengthening Canadian dollar. EBITDA was unchanged at $10 million for the quarter, equivalent to $26 per metric ton. Finished goods inventory fell by 16,000 metric tons. Specialty Papers The specialty papers segment recorded operating income of $7 million during the third quarter, an improvement of $14 million from the previous quarter. The average transaction price rose by $8 per short ton. Despite continued declines in demand and the closure of a coated paper machine in Catawba (South Carolina) at the end of the second quarter, shipments of specialty papers fell by only 16,000 short tons in the third quarter. The segment's delivered cost decreased by $34 per short ton. This was mostly derived from the elimination of $11 million in cost associated with the restructuring at Catawba in the second quarter. EBITDA was $18 million in the quarter, equivalent to $54 per short ton, an improvement of $43 per short ton compared to the previous quarter. Finished goods inventory declined by 8% to 86,000 short tons. Consolidated Quarterly Operating Income Variance Against Year-Ago Period The company recorded operating income of $48 million for the third quarter, compared to operating income of $10 million for the same period in 2016. The difference is mostly a result of higher volumes and pricing in our market pulp and wood products segments, which benefited from favorable market dynamics when compared to the year-ago period, as well as improvements in operating costs, particularly in our paper segments. Overall, pricing gains were $50 million, as $58 million from our wood products and pulp segments was slightly offset by reductions in specialty papers ($4 million), newsprint ($3 million) and tissue ($1 million). Combined volume growth in wood products and market pulp was equivalent to $7 million in the quarter while decreased volumes in newsprint, specialty papers and tissue, resulted in a negative variance of $13 million during this same period. Our overall cost position, net of volume impacts, improved by $18 million compared to the third quarter of 2016 and is mostly attributable to reductions associated with capacity closures in our paper segments. Corporate and Finance The company invested $20 million on capital expenditures in the quarter. $7 million was spent on the Calhoun tissue project. We made countervailing duty deposits of $19 million in the third quarter which were recorded on our balance sheet, of which $14 million were attributable to softwood lumber and $5 million to supercalendered papers. Despite higher net pension and OPEB contributions due to timing as well as a seasonal increase in working capital, which were $37 million and $28 million, respectively, the company repaid an additional $7 million on its revolving credit facilities. We repaid a further $30 million since the end of the third quarter. However, due mainly to additional letters of credit required in connection with trade disputes, total liquidity declined by $14 million and stood at $400 million at the end of September.
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.
Nov. 20, 2017 - A coalition of municipal and Indigenous leaders, chambers of commerce, unions, and forest professionals are coming to Queen’s Park on Wednesday, November 22nd to dispel misinformation about Ontario’s forest sector and to urge the government to avoid unintended consequences from rushed species at risk (SAR) policy. Recently, a co-ordinated effort by groups opposed to forestry has attempted to label Ontario’s forest sector as unsustainable. On Oct. 25 an opinion piece in the Toronto Star, authored by the David Suzuki Foundation and Environmental Defense, asked, “will anyone act to save the caribou? Ontario is not.” Similar comments were made by CPAWS Wildlands League and the American activist group Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC). In response, Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) president and mayor of Kapuskasing, Ont., Al Spacek said, “To claim Ontario has not acted to save caribou is conveniently ignoring over 20 years of work, 600 tracked animals and $11 million dollars of government research.” On Oct. 18, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream wrote a letter to provincial ministers and premiers to say that they are concerned about “unsustainable logging practices” in Canada’s boreal forest. Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) president and mayor of Shuniah, Ont., Wendy Landry, stated, “These attacks on forestry are extremely concerning. Decisions on policy need to be made on the best available science and informed by the people who are most impacted.” She went on to say, “Arguments presented by those with special interests and no skin in the game cannot be viewed as credible. We are forestry. This is our backyard and we deserve to have a say in the policy that governs it.” Chair of Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) and mayor of the Township of Rideau Lakes, Ont., Ron Holman, said, “Each day, we grow more concerned with how activist rhetoric may threaten forest sustainability. New policy based on misinformation will have unintended consequences for communities in every region of this province.” Chief Ed Wawia, from Red Rock Indian Band, stated, “The socio-economic impacts of the proposed species at risk rules have the potential to negatively impact Indigenous communities. If these proposed new regulations are implemented, the sustainable forestry businesses we have built and the jobs dependent on them will be lost.” Jamie Lim, president and chief executive officer of the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) said, “Since 2013, we have been asking the Ministry of Natural Resources to act on their commitment to establish a panel that would review the linkages between the Crown Forest Sustainability Act (CFSA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). A change in timelines and an extension to the current Section 55 Rules in Regulation is required to take the appropriate amount of time to get things right.” She continued, “These are the affected stakeholders that need to form the panel. 57,000 direct jobs in this province are at stake and we can’t let misinformation get in the way of evidence-based policy decisions.” Unifor’s research director, Bill Murnighan, concluded by saying, “Forestry is one of the most important sectors of the Canadian economy, shapes many of our communities, and affects a wide and diverse range of stakeholders. Policy can dramatically affect forestry and workers need to ensure their views are heard and their interests are represented. Their livelihoods should not be threatened and undermined by misinformation and policy should be based on solid science.”
Nov. 13, 2017 - Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, and his provincial counterparts discussed on Friday final determinations by the U.S. Department of Commerce in the countervailing and anti-dumping duty investigations into imports of certain softwood lumber products from Canada.Minister Carr and the other members of the Federal–Provincial Task Force on Softwood Lumber denounced the unfair and punitive duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports that threaten the livelihoods of workers and communities that depend on the forest industry across our country.The ministers and the Task Force discussed the economic impacts of the dispute and the rollout of the Softwood Lumber Action Plan, which made available $867 million to diversify Canada's forest products and international markets and support affected workers and communities.The ministers and the Task Force reaffirmed their commitment to forest workers and communities that rely on softwood lumber and reiterated the importance of coordinating and consulting with forest sector stakeholders and engaging with Indigenous communities and companies affected by the dispute. They also declared their continuing commitment to helping the industry transform and use wood in new ways, by selling to new international markets and continuing to lead as a major player in the low-carbon and bioeconomy. Market diversification for wood products will create Canadian jobs and benefit the communities that rely upon the forest industry.The ministers and the Task Force will continue to consult closely on Canada's response to these duties. Canada will remain in close contact with the provinces, territories, Canadian industry and its workers on this issue. The Government of Canada maintains the view that a negotiated agreement that brings stability to the softwood lumber industry is in the best interest of both countries. The government will also continue to engage our American counterparts to encourage them to come to a durable, negotiated agreement on softwood lumber.
Nov. 2, 2017 – Bad news for Canadian softwood lumber producers. The U.S. Department of Commerce just slammed a 20.83 per cent duty on most Canadian softwood lumber producers. The decision is final, following preliminary taxes that were announced in April. Anti-dumping taxes are required to be paid right away, but the decision on countervailing duties will be made in December 2017. “The U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision on punitive countervailing and anti-dumping duties against Canada's softwood lumber producers is unfair, unwarranted and deeply troubling,” Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, and Minister of Natural Resources, Jim Carr, said in a joint statement on Thursday. “We urge the U.S. Administration to rescind these duties, which harm workers and communities in Canada,” the statement read. A less dreary side of this decision is that the overall duty rates have been decreased from the preliminary round. They went down to 20.83 per cent from 26.75 per cent previously.“While I am disappointed that a negotiated agreement could not be made between domestic and Canadian softwood producers, the United States is committed to free, fair and reciprocal trade with Canada,” commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said in a news release."This decision is based on a full and unbiased review of the facts in an open and transparent process that defends American workers and businesses from unfair trade practices.” Ever since the softwood lumber agreement between Canada and the United States expired in October 2015, relations on this front – and chances for co-operation – have been dismal. The U.S. Lumber Coalition’s decision to launch a petition in November 2016 asking the U.S. Commerce Department to impose duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports only made matters worse. The coalition cited unfair subsidies for Canadian lumber producers. "We are pleased the U.S. government is enforcing our trade laws so that the U.S. lumber industry can compete on a level playing field," the coalition’s co-chair and co-president of Pleasant River Lumber Company Jason Brochu said in a statement. "The massive subsidies the Canadian government provides to their lumber industries have caused real harm to U.S. producers and their workers,” he said. “With a fair-trade environment, the U.S. industry, and the 350,000 hardworking men and women who support it, have the ability to grow production to meet much more of our country's softwood lumber demand." The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said the decision could not have come at a worse time amid rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of major hurricanes and wildfires in the U.S. “This tariff only adds to the burden by harming housing affordability and artificially boosting the price of lumber,” chairman Granger MacDonald said in a statement. “It is nothing more than a thinly-disguised tax on American home buyers, home builders and consumers.” "This is particularly disappointing given that NAHB met recently with commerce secretary Wilbur Ross to express our concerns on this issue,” he said. “Unfortunately, the administration is taking protectionist measures to support domestic lumber producers at the expense of millions of U.S. home buyers and lumber consumers.” In June 2017, the Canadian government announced it would be providing close to $870 million in support for all affected Canadian softwood lumber producers. "Canada and the U.S. need to work co-operatively to achieve a long-term, stable solution in lumber trade that provides for a consistent and fairly priced supply of lumber,” MacDonald said. The Alberta Softwood Lumber Trade Council’s co-chair Paul Whittaker said the council is deeply disappointed by Thursday’s announcement. “Unfortunately, the U.S. lumber industry appears to have blocked all attempts at a fair resolution of this issue and we remain at an impasse. It now appears that the only path to resolution is through litigation,” he said. The BC Lumber Trade Council echoed similar sentiments. “This trade action is being driven by the protectionist U.S. lumber lobby whose sole purpose is to constrain imports of high-quality Canadian lumber and to drive up lumber prices for their own benefit,” said president Susan Yurkovich. “Ultimately, this punishes American consumers who are now paying higher prices for Canadian lumber when they buy, build or renovate their homes.” The U.S. Department of Commerce announced final combined anti-dumping and countervailing duty rates as follows: Irving: 9.92 per cent; Resolute: 17.90 per cent; Tolko: 22.07 per cent; Canfor: 22.13 per cent; West Fraser: 23.76 per cent; All others: 20.83 per cent “We will forcefully defend Canada’s softwood lumber industry, including through litigation, and we expect to prevail as we have in the past,” Freeland and Carr said. “We are reviewing our options, including legal action through the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization, and we will not delay in taking action.” The Canadian government said Carr will convene the Federal-Provincial Task Force on Softwood Lumber in the coming days to discuss developments.
Oct. 31, 2017 - Unifor National president Jerry Dias and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross have agreed that addressing the core issue of low Mexican wages is the key to breaking the impasse at NAFTA renegotiations.“There is a clear understanding that Canadian and American workers have both been injured by the siphoning off of manufacturing jobs to Mexico,” Dias said. “We agreed that Canada and the U.S. must work together to pressure Mexico to drive up wages significantly or face joint retaliatory measures.”Unifor has previously called on both the Mexican government and on international corporations to end the exploitation of Mexican workers and create a level playing field for workers in all three countries. Dias and Ross believe that a united front is needed to raise Mexican living standards and forge a path to a new trade agreement.Monday in Washington D.C., the Commerce Secretary acknowledged the benefits of trade with Canada, telling Dias that the U.S. wants to negotiate a new NAFTA deal.During the meeting, the third between Dias and Ross, key trade issues were discussed including NAFTA, the auto sector and the unfair imposition of duties on Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S.“We had a frank discussion but were unable to find common ground on the softwood lumber issue,” Dias said. “Given the wide difference in our positions I don’t anticipate a resolution to the dispute anytime soon.”Unifor continues to maintain that all new trade deal must address the needs of workers and their communities.For more information visit unifor.org/NAFTA.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.
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