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Oct. 24, 2017 - West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. reports third quarter 2017 results:

Highlights
• Completed acquisition of six sawmills and a finger-joint mill in Florida and Georgia.
• Adjusted EBITDA of $269 million for the quarter.
• Quarter ending net debt to capital ratio of 16%.

Gilman acquisition
On August 31, 2017 we completed the acquisition of the Gilman Companies for net cash consideration of $525 million (US$418 million). The Gilman Companies are comprised of six sawmills and a finger-joint mill in Florida and Georgia as well as an administrative office in St. Marys, Georgia. Ted Seraphim, our President and CEO said, “We are delighted to welcome the - 2 - Gilman leadership and employees to the West Fraser family. This acquisition is a major step in our growth strategy as we expand our lumber business in the United States.” 

Forest fires in British Columbia and hurricanes in the U.S. South
A number of wildfires throughout the interior region of British Columbia resulted in a provincial state of emergency being declared from July 7 to September 15, 2017. Our operations in 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Chasm were briefly suspended due to the wildfires, reducing our production by 55 MMfbm of lumber and 15 Msf of plywood. The 2017 hurricane season was more severe than normal causing significant damage to areas in South East Texas and Florida. We were fortunate that our facilities were undamaged and that disruptions to our operations were minimal. 

Operational results
Our lumber segment generated operating earnings of $126 million (Q2-17 - $171 million) and Adjusted EBITDA of $195 million (Q2-17 - $240 million). This quarter’s results were negatively impacted by lower product pricing and lower SPF production as a result of the British Columbia forest fires. Countervailing and antidumping duties, which commenced in the previous quarter, resulted in an expense of $31 million for the current quarter. Our panels segment generated operating earnings in the quarter of $45 million (Q2-17 - $23 million) and Adjusted EBITDA of $48 million (Q2-17 - $26 million). Improved plywood pricing was the primary driver of improved results. Our pulp & paper segment generated operating earnings of $21 million (Q2-17 - $32 million) and Adjusted EBITDA of $30 million (Q2-17 - $42 million). The major factors contributing to the decrease in operating earnings were lower Canadian dollar pulp prices and increased maintenance costs from our Hinton pulp mill major maintenance shutdown.

Softwood lumber dispute
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s preliminary review resulted in a West Fraser specific countervailing duty rate of 24.12% effective April 28, 2017 and an antidumping duty rate of 6.76% effective June 30, 2017, resulting in an expense of $31 million for the current quarter and $65 million for the first nine months of 2017. The requirement that we pay countervailing duties was suspended on August 24, 2017 until final determination is determined by the U.S. International Trade Commission.
Oct. 24, 2017 - Canfor Pulp Products Inc. has reported net income of $12.6 million, or $0.19 per share, for the third quarter of 2017, compared to $20.2 million, or $0.31 per share, for the second quarter of 2017 and $22.4 million, or $0.34 per share, for the third quarter of 2016. For the nine months ended September 30, 2017, the Company’s net income was $56.9 million, or $0.86 per share, compared to $47.7 million, or $0.70 per share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2016.

The Company reported operating income of $21.1 million for the third quarter of 2017, down $10.4 million from the $31.5 million reported for the second quarter of 2017. While pulp shipments and production were both up quarterover-quarter, the related increase in operating income was more than offset by the impact on unit pulp and paper sales realizations of a significantly stronger Canadian dollar.

Entering the third quarter of 2017, global pulp markets showed signs of weakness; however, as the quarter progressed, demand and pricing rebounded particularly in China, in part due to China’s new regulations restricting the import of recycled mixed paper. The resulting positive price momentum will largely be realized in the fourth quarter of 2017, reflecting the timing of shipments (versus orders). As a result average Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft (“NBSK”) pulp US-dollar list prices to China were consistent quarter-over-quarter; however, NBSK pulp unit sales realizations experienced a moderate decrease, due to a 5 cent or 7% stronger Canadian dollar. Bleached Chemi-Thermo Mechanical Pulp (“BCTMP”) US-dollar list prices trended positively through the third quarter of 2017, but BCTMP unit sales realizations were also negatively impacted by a stronger Canadian dollar. Energy revenues were well up in the current quarter reflecting a return to more normalized power generation levels.

Pulp shipments and production volumes were up 10% and 11%, respectively, from the previous quarter, principally reflecting a decline in scheduled maintenance outages. In the current quarter, the Company completed a scheduled maintenance outage at the Intercontinental NBSK pulp mill which reduced pulp production by approximately 10,000 tonnes. In the second quarter, a scheduled maintenance outage at the Company’s larger Northwood NBSK pulp mill resulted in approximately 33,000 tonnes of reduced production. Shipments for the third quarter of 2017 were also impacted by a 14,000 tonne vessel slippage into early October. Pulp unit manufacturing costs improved from the previous quarter, largely reflecting the lower quarter-over-quarter scheduled maintenance outages coupled with seasonally lower energy prices and usage.

Operating income in the Company’s paper segment at $4.9 million was down $1.7 million from the second quarter of 2017, largely reflecting a modest decline in paper unit sales realizations, due to higher market-driven US-dollar paper pricing being more than offset by the stronger Canadian dollar. Partially offsetting this decline in paper unit sales realizations was a moderate improvement in paper unit manufacturing costs, primarily driven by lower slush pulp costs, combined with a decline in maintenance spend.

Commenting on the Company’s third quarter of 2017 results, CPPI’s Chief Executive Officer, Don Kayne said, “Despite the stronger Canadian dollar, market conditions were somewhat better than anticipated, allowing us to generate solid results for the quarter. With global pulp markets strong as we head into the fourth quarter, and our major NBSK pulp maintenance shutdowns now behind us, we are very focused on optimizing our production performance and sales mix through the balance of the year.”

For the month of October 2017, the Company announced increases of US$105 per tonne and US$30 per tonne for NBSK pulp list prices to China and North America, respectively, reflecting a surge in demand, principally from China, News Release Canfor Pulp Products Inc. 2 as well as supply disruptions. Global pulp markets are anticipated to remain strong through the fourth quarter of 2017.

Results in the fourth quarter of 2017 will reflect a scheduled outage at the Taylor pulp mill to complete preliminary work associated with the previously announced energy project, with a projected 3,000 tonnes of reduced BCTMP production as well as lower projected shipment volumes.

On October 20, 2017, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.0625 per share, payable on November 9, 2017 to the shareholders of record on November 2, 2017.
Sept. 26, 2017 - Sales of newly built, single-family homes in August fell 3.4 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000 units from an upwardly revised July reading, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. This was the lowest sales reading since December 2016. However, year-to-date, new home sales are 7.5 per cent above their level over the same period last year.

"This month's report is another reminder that builders need to manage rising supply-side costs to meet consumer demand for affordably priced homes," said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas.   

"The year-to-date growth shows that new home sales are continuing to make consistent, long-term gains," said NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz. "However, we may see more volatility in the next few months as communities affected by the recent hurricanes experience construction delays and other economic disruptions."

The inventory of new homes for sale was 284,000 in August, which is a 6.1-month supply at the current sales pace. 

Regionally, new home sales remained unchanged in the Midwest. Sales fell 2.6 per cent in the Northeast, 2.7 per cent in the West and 4.7 per cent in the South.
Production cost margins for sawmills in Brazil, Russia and Finland have fallen during the first half of 2017, while they increased to their second highest level in 13 years in the US South in the 2Q/17, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly.

Sept. 19, 2017 - Nationwide housing starts fell 0.8 per cent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.18 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department.

Single-family production rose 1.6 per cent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 851,000 after a downwardly revised July reading. Year-to-date, single-family starts are 8.9 per cent above their level over the same period last year. Multifamily starts dropped 6.5 per cent to 329,000 units after an upward July revision.  

"This month's report shows that single-family starts continue to move forward at a gradual, consistent pace," said NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz. "The three-month average for single-family production has reached a post-recession high, but the months ahead may show volatility given that the building markets affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma represent about 14 per cent of national production."  

"We are playing close attention to the communities affected by these hurricanes, and are helping them start on the rebuilding and restoration process," said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas.  

Regionally in August, combined single- and multifamily housing production rose 22.0 per cent in the Midwest and 4.0 per cent in the West. Starts fell 7.9 per cent in the South and 8.7 per cent in the Northeast. 

Overall permit issuance in August was up 5.7 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.30 million units. Single-family permits edged down 1.5 per cent to 800,000 units while multifamily permits rose 19.6 per cent to 500,000.

Regionally, overall permits rose 15.3 per cent in the West, 8.8 per cent in the Midwest and 3.7 per cent in the South. Permits fell 13.0 per cent in the Northeast. 
Sept. 14, 2017 - International trade of softwood lumber is on pace to a new record high in 2017 if the trend from the first six months of 2017 continues in the second half of the year.
Sept. 11, 2017 - As negotiators for Canada, the United States, and Mexico revealed last week they’ve made little progress on revising the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the latest public opinion survey from the Angus Reid Institute finds Canadians increasingly looking to partners other than the U.S. to safeguard international trade.
Aug. 29, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Commerce has postponed its final determinations in the anti-dumping duty (ADD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of softwood lumber from Canada until no later than Nov. 14.
Aug. 24, 2017 - Sales of newly built, single-family homes in July fell 9.4 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 571,000 units from an upwardly revised June reading, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. This was the lowest sales reading since December 2016. Meanwhile, year-to-date, new home sales are 9.2 per cent above their level over the same period last year.
Aug. 22, 2017 - The trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada over softwood lumber has caused a clear jump in U.S. imports of lumber from overseas, specifically Russia and Germany.  
Aug. 16, 2017 - Nationwide housing starts fell 4.8 per cent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Single-family production slipped 0.5 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 856,000 after a strong, upwardly revised June reading. Year-to-date, single-family starts are 8.6 per cent above their level over the same period last year. Multifamily starts dropped 15.3 per cent to 299,000 units.
Aug. 16, 2017 - With no softwood lumber agreement in the near future and the NAFTA discussions to begin shortly, the talks on each issue will remain separate but run parallel, Canadian and U.S. officials says.
Aug. 15, 2017 - Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose four points in August to a level of 68 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).
Aug. 11, 2017 - Wood costs for the pulp industry in Europe were generally lower in the 1Q/17 than in the previous quarter, continuing a downward trend that, depending on the country, has lasted for four to six years. The biggest price declines for pulplogs and sawmill residues in early 2017 occurred in Germany and France, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). The price reductions occurred mainly because of an oversupply of pulplogs, unchanged demand for wood fiber from the pulp industry, and reduced usage of raw-material by the competing wood pellet sector.
Aug. 10, 2017 - Conifex Timber Inc.'s has posted second quarter results that show record earnings due to an improved lumber segment in spite of U.S. countervailing duties and seasonally low revenues for its bioenergy segment.

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