West Fraser substantially resumes lumber and plywood production in May

Lesprom– During May West Fraser have substantially resumed lumber and plywood production with only a few facilities operating at less than full schedules, company announced.

Since the middle of March and throughout April in response to rapidly changing market demand and to comply with mandated and recommended health and safety guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic, company significantly reduced lumber and plywood production.

The downtime at Cariboo Pulp was slightly extended to bring forward planned maintenance from the fall. Cariboo Pulp is in the process of restarting operations this week. West Fraser will continue to adjust its operating schedules in both the U.S. and Canada as necessary.

In respect of lumber, both prices and volumes have rebounded compared to the end of the first quarter, particularly for SYP. Notably, demand for repair and remodel and treating applications appears to have been very resilient. Company expects that demand for its wood products will be volatile over at least the balance of the year in response to the ongoing economic and other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tissue demand has been strong but the impact of reduced demand for printing and writing applications is starting to materialize, company noted.

Compared to the end of the first quarter, available liquidity has improved and inventories, particularly logs and lumber, have been significantly reduced. The previously announced Dudley, Georgia sawmill complete rebuild project remains on schedule.

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