Outlook for B.C.’s forestry sector in 2024 not so rosy

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
April 27, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Russ Taylor & Paul Quinn

Canadian lumber output was down more than 20% for the better part of 2023, compared to 2022, and even lower in B.C. — a reflection of higher interest rates and muted global economic growth, according to a Global Consulting Alliance forest sector outlook. And the first half of 2024 may not be much better for the forest sector. Forest sector analyst Russ Taylor noted that lumber prices have recently fallen below US$400 per thousand board feet — the break-even point for many producers in B.C., as well as the U.S. “We’re sort of treading water,” Taylor said. “The U.S. south is losing money,” he added. “They’re below break-even. They’re in worse shape right now than B.C. mills are.” Lumber demand has not come back yet in 2024 the way he expected, Taylor said. …He expects more curtailments this year. “That will put supply and demand back into balance,” he said. “I think the second half of the year should be better.”

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