British Columbia’s sawmill production drops in the first quarter

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The softwood lumber dispute between the US and Canada has weighed very hard during the Q1/2017's forestry activity in British Columbia. According to Business in Vancouver, the sawmill production in British Columbia in March was up slightly from same-month 2016 at 2.8 million dry cubic metres, but followed an 8% drop in February and a series of significant declines in prior months. Through the first quarter, production fell 3%.

While preliminary countervailing duties averaging about 20% were not announced until April, and with anti-dumping still to be determined, the high likelihood of implementation – and unknown magnitude and degree of retroactivity – likely affected early-year production decisions. The one-year grace period after the expiry of the softwood agreement ended last October, giving way to duty determination, the source added.

Also, small businesses will find it even harder to absorb the duty, while as the production declines, there has already been reported a 4% decrease and 2,000 workers dismissed.

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