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NorSask moves to single-shift amid US lumber market uncertainty


March 25, 2020
By Maria Church


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NorSask Forest Products sawmill in Saskatchewan has an annual capacity of more than 140 mmbf. Photo source: norsask.ca

Meadow Lake, Sask.-based NorSask Forest Products is temporarily laying off workers and moving to a single-sift in early April as a result of lumber market uncertainty from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The spruce, pine, fir stud lumber mill, owned by the Meadow Lake Tribal Council, will be laying off 45 workers effective March 30, Al Balisky, president and CEO of Meadow Lake Tribal Council Industrial Investments, told meadowlakeNOW.

“As most industries are facing, markets have gone sideways and are uncertain,” Balisky said. “The U.S. housing market is no different and most of our lumber heads to the U.S.”

In a communication to employees, NorSask said it cannot continue to produce large volumes of lumber to a “dried up” market. The stud mill has an annual capacity of more than 140 mmbf.

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The company said it expects the market impact of COVID-19 to be five months, stretching to August.

Read the full article from meadowlakeNOW here.