Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lumber

West Fraser Timber Co said on Thursday it would cut back production at several Canadian and U.S. sawmills because the collapse of the U.S. housing market has hurt demand for lumber.

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based firm it would close five of its sawmills in the province for a week starting Feb. 9, then implement reduced work weeks at those mills where the measures haven't already been introduced.

BuzzWest Fraser said weekly production at the mills is now about 25 million board feet and that the reduced work weeks are projected to cut about 446 million board feet of production on an annualized basis.

The lumber producer said it also planned to reduce production at several of its U.S. sawmills by about 20 million board feet, which come on top of production cuts announced in December.

The collapse of the U.S. housing market has pummeled lumber producers in both Canada and the United States and International Forest Products .

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