Interfor to Cut Production in Q4
Vancouver-based Interfor (IFP) will cut lumber production by 17 per cent or 200 million board feet of wood for the fourth quarter of 2022. The temporary pullback responds to global economic conditions that have seen the company’s share price fall by 41 per cent, down to $23.51 currently, over the course of the year.
Interfor is now the world’s largest lumber producer following the February 2022 acquisition of Eacom Timber Company and its sawmills in northern Ontario and northwestern Quebec. With a workforce of about 3 500, Interfor expects to return to its normal production schedule in the winter 2023.
The past 18 months have been volatile for the industry, with U.S. prices falling by more than 70 per cent from the March 2021 peak of $1 700 per 1 000 board foot. U.S. lumber futures in early October 2022 were back to the pre-pandemic range at roughly $410 per 1 000 board feet.
Meanwhile, the lumber pricing service, Random Lengths, saw its composite price index, tracking spot sales, fall to $529 in September, representing a 60 per cent decline since March this year.