Timber Industry– The COVID-19 virus is having an impact on Weyerhaeuser. The company announced it was shutting down its Kalispell plywood plant for one week.
“As we manage through this unprecedented pandemic, we are temporarily closing our Kalispell plywood mill in Montana for one week, beginning April 6, to better align our production volumes with market demand,” said Nancy B. Thompson, director of governmental affairs for he company in a release. “Weyerhaeuser has mills in both Kalispell and Columbia Falls. In Columbia Falls it operates a medium density fiberboard plant.
The company also announced it was making other steps strengthen its balance sheet.It said it was it was limiting or deferring non-essential operating expenses; reducing 2020 capital expenditures by approximately $70 to $90 million; and would increasing cash-on-hand by $550 million through a draw on its revolving credit, which expires in January 2025 and has $950 million of capacity remaining.In addition, it has $145 million in cash from the sale of its Montana timberlands. Weyerhaeuser also issued $750 million of 4% notes through a public bond offering, with proceeds to be used to refinance the company’s outstanding 2021 debt maturities, the company said.
At F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Co., the Columbia Falls mill was operating as usual, with precautions being taken to ensure the health of employees, Paul McKenzie, lands and resource manager for the company said.McKenzie said there’s a lot of uncertainty by buyers.
“People are being very cautious,” he said.Stoltze manufactures dimension lumber.Lumber futures were trading at about $278 per 1,000 board feet as of Wednesday, but they had been well above $400 at the end of February, according Nasdaq listings.