Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 26, 2017

Business & Politics

Lumber Pricing: What comes up, must come down

By Paul Quinn
RBC Capital Markets
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Following the US Department of Commerce’s announcement for the preliminary countervailing duties (CVD) imposed on Canadian lumber producers, we believe NA lumber prices have peaked… We believe that the strong rally across the Canadian lumber names today was more than overdone… It appears investors believed that the preliminary CVD rates would be much higher. We now believe that the consensus forecast for the combined duty rate (CVD + AD) is 25% to 30% in 2017/18/19 financial forecasts… Lumber prices poised to correct – A big part of the recent run-up in lumber prices was the expectation of high softwood lumber duties combined with the usual strong seasonality impact…Now that CVD is known and we are almost in May, we expect lumber prices to retreat through the balance of Q2 and bring the share prices of Canadian lumber names back to reality.

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Has the US started a lumber trade war with Canada?

By John Mervin
BBC News
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

President Trump is finding it difficult to turn campaign rhetoric into government action in in many arenas, but particularly so in overseas trade. He won the presidency, in part, with a strong and simple message of “winning” trade deals and being “tough” with the US’s biggest trading partners. In the real world, that turns out to be a risky approach. The president has notably declined to follow up on any of his harsh rhetoric about China, for example. Nevertheless he needs some way of showing how he can be tough. A dust up with Canada about lumber is probably a safe fight to pick. The lumber business is worth a fraction of the overall trade with Canada and set against so much shared history and thousands of miles of border, it’s hardly likely to undermine US-Canadian relations on its own. However it doesn’t auger well for a smooth renegotiation of the North America Free Trade Agreement if that’s really what President Trump wants.

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‘Softwood V’ could become Canada’s toughest trade fight

By Lawrence Herman – senior fellow of the C.D. Howe Institute in Toronto
The Globe and Mail
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

It haunts us still. Softwood lumber is back, the defining Canada-U.S. trade dispute of the ages. The preliminary duties announced Tuesday are designed to affect billions of dollars of Canadian exports. Even ahead of final duties to be announced in June, these will decimate Canadian exports and affect the livelihood of many thousands of Canadians. Over the coming months, softwood lumber will dominate the front pages of our newspapers (though relegated to the back pages in U.S. media). As if there wasn’t already enough tension in the bilateral relationship, softwood lumber adds even more stress, with President Donald Trump’s demand for NAFTA renegotiations (which he describes as the most “disastrous” trade agreement ever signed by the U.S.) and his recent slamming of Canada’s dairy regulations under the system of supply management.

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Conservative candidate Kevin O’Leary warns US not to pick a trade fight with Canada

By Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
CNBC News
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Canadian Conservative candidate Kevin O’Leary said Tuesday that the U.S. should not pick a trade fight with its northern neighbor. “By the time it’s over softwood lumber, automotive parts, milk would all need to be renegotiated,” the “Shark Tank” star who is running to lead Canada’s Conservative Party said on CNBC’s “Halftime Report.” O’Leary, who is one of more than a dozen candidates vying to lead the party in a May 27 election, used the possibility of President Donald Trump picking a fight with Canada over a high tariff on imported dairy products to highlight his concern. “If all of a sudden we have to say let’s get rid of supply-side management in Canada, you have to do it in Vermont. You have to do it in Wisconsin. And by the way, the milk market in the United States is 10 times bigger. You will wipe out millions of farmers and the supply chain and all the people they work with.”

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Softwood lumber dispute fires up trade fight between Canada, U.S.

By David Ljunggren
Reuters
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The United States and Canada faced off on Tuesday in a renewed battle over softwood lumber that threatened to spill over into multiple other sectors, though President Donald Trump said he did not fear a trade war. Canada vowed to resist Washington’s move on Monday to impose tariffs on lumber that mostly feeds U.S. homebuilding, noting trade authorities have consistently sided with Ottawa in the long-standing dispute. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Trump on Tuesday to reject “the baseless allegations” against Canada’s industry and the “unfair decision” to impose tariffs, said a statement from Trudeau’s office… A White House statement said the two leaders had a “very amicable call” about lumber imports and the U.S.-Canada dairy trade… In a telephone call earlier in the day with the premiers of Canada’s 10 provinces, Trudeau said Ottawa would use litigation to press its case, a separate statement from his office said.

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Alberta forestry industry fears job losses in wake of Trump lumber tariffs

By Stuart Thomson
Edmonton Sun
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

A United States decision to slap duties of up to 24 per cent on Canadian lumber is “very disappointing,” says Alberta Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier. “It’s too bad that we’re going to have to put up with this fight,” Carlier told a news conference Tuesday at the Alberta legislature. Carlier said all options are on the table as the province coordinates its response with the federal government. Canada has prevailed in tribunals in the past, but the tariffs will remain in place while the issue is resolved through litigation, doing damage to Canada’s lumber industry in the meantime. Paul Whittaker, CEO of the Alberta Forest Products Association, called the U.S. accusation about Canadian lumber subsidies “baseless and unfounded.” “We are fearful this will have an impact on jobs, but it’s difficult to quantify at this point,” said Whittaker.

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Canadian Lumber Industry Hits Back at ‘Unfair’ Trump Tariffs

By Jen Skerritt
Bloomberg
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Shares of Canadian lumber companies surged Tuesday after the U.S. administration’s tariffs on softwood lumber turned out to be less severe than some analysts had predicted. The tariffs of as much as 24 percent prompted a rally in Canadian lumber stocks. West Fraser Timber Co. rose as much as 10.5 percent, the biggest gain in six months. Canfor Corp. rallied 10.2 percent, the most since Jan. 22, and Interfor Corp. gained 4.7 percent. “There’s a bit of a relief rally today,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Paul Quinn said by phone. “There was always a fear in the marketplace and that led to higher lumber prices.” …The action is unwarranted and uses arguments previously rejected by North America Free Trade Agreement panels, West Fraser Chief Executive Officer Ted Seraphim said on an earnings call. The tariffs are “inappropriate,” said Seth Kursman, a spokesman for Resolute Forest Products Inc., the world’s largest newsprint maker, whose shares climbed as much as 3.6 percent.

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Fallout from U.S. tariff on Canadian softwood won’t be immediate, B.C. industry leaders say

By Gordon Hoekstra and Rob Shaw
Vancouver Sun
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Steep tariffs imposed on Canadian softwood lumber exports to the United States are not expected to create immediate problems for B.C. sawmills because demand remains robust and prices are high. That short-term reality, however, hasn’t quelled concern in forestry communities and among industry workers. There is not likely to be any immediate fallout because the tariff has already been absorbed in the price of lumber in the U.S. due to a 30-per-cent rise in the past three months, Interfor president and CEO Duncan Davies said Tuesday during an industry news conference. Canadian producers are also helped by a Canadian dollar that is much lower than the U.S. currency, as lumber is priced in U.S. dollars. “For us, (the new tariff is) a negative on our business, but the real loser in all of this is the U.S. homebuilder and the U.S. consumer,” said Davies, chair of the lumber trade council.

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U.S. slaps Canada with tariffs on lumber

By Rick Barrett
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

A week after President Donald Trump called Canada a “disgrace” for policies that hurt Wisconsin dairy farmers, he’s slapping tariffs on Canadian lumber. “It has been a bad week for US-Canada trade relations,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Tuesday. The tariffs, of up to 24%, are aimed at Canadian exports of softwood lumber into the United States – material that’s used in the building industry. The National Association of Home Builders, based in Washington, D.C., said the tariffs could drive up the cost of new homes. “NAHB is deeply disappointed in this short-sighted action by the U.S. Department of Commerce that will ultimately do nothing to resolve issues causing the U.S.-Canadian lumber trade dispute but will harm American consumers,” the association said in a statement. But the U.S. timber industry, including Wisconsin loggers and sawmills, says Canada has provided unfair subsidies to its lumber companies.

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Softwood lumber tariffs will hit small firms hard: B.C. envoy

By Justine Hunter and Ian Bailey
The Globe and Mail
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

…David Emerson, B.C.’s special envoy on the softwood lumber dispute, said the province’s smaller, independent mills and manufacturers are vulnerable now that they have to pay a new duty to get their exports to the U.S. Major forestry companies will be able to manage their books because lumber prices are rising. But the smaller companies could be challenged, he said. “I think we are a ways from seeing a bloodbath in the woods,” Mr. Emerson told reporters. …“Some small independents are going to feel the pain relatively quickly,” Mr. Emerson said. …While the former prime minister Brian Mulroney said softwood is a federal matter, he noted the decision by the B.C. government to appoint Mr. Emerson to work on the file was wise. “She couldn’t have done better,” he said. “He’s outstanding and he can enhance the position of the Canadian team by bringing the British Columbia position and perspective to the national bargaining team.”

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Nova Scotia softwood lumber exports to U.S. to be hit with 20% tariff

By Paul Withers
CBC News
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

After a day of uncertainty, the Nova Scotia government admitted late Tuesday afternoon it has lost a long-standing exemption from U.S. border taxes on softwood lumber exports from the province, at least for now. “Needless to say, we are disappointed,” said Trade Minister Michel Samson… Nova Scotia and two other Atlantic provinces even had support from the U.S Lumber Coalition, the industry lobby group pushing for punitive tariffs on Canadian softwood. On April 3, it amended its petition asking to maintain the exemption for softwood from Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador. The U.S. Commerce Department said Tuesday it is considering the U.S. industry’s request for an Atlantic region exemption.

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Canadian forest industry should shift focus to China: Trade Minister

By Nathan Vanderklippe
The Globe and Mail
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Stung by new U.S. softwood lumber duties, Canada’s International Trade Minister wants the forest industry to turn its attention west to China rather than continuing its heavy reliance on the United States. “What we need to achieve as a country is we need to have a far more diversified market,” François-Philippe Champagne said in an interview Tuesday in Beijing near the end of a five-day visit to China. …China is hungry for forest products, averaging 19-per-cent annual growth in wood demand over the past decade, according to Eric Wong, managing director of Canada Wood China, the Shanghai arm of an organization working to increase Canadian forestry exports. “China is to a high degree a potential alternative market for Canadian softwood exports,” Mr. Wong said. But China may not be a panacea for sellers outside B.C. Companies in other provinces are “restricted by transportation costs,” said Fred Spoke, the former head of Canada Wood China and now a consultant on Canada-China trade.

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Family-owned mills prepare for hefty softwood lumber bills

By Andrew Kurt and Will Fundal
CBC News
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Small forestry companies are bracing for a big bill as the United States prepares to charge them retroactive duties on softwood lumber exports. “That’s all I’ve been doing all day is talking to people about what this might mean,” said Glen Sawkins, sales manager at Dunkley Lumber which employs roughly 250 people at its mill south of Prince George. “That’s a pretty big chunk of money that nobody was expecting or wanting to put up.”… While the four largest exporters — Canfor, Resolute, Tolko and West Fraser — will not have to pay retroactive duties, smaller companies like the family-owned Dunkley will be billed retroactively for the last 90 days. “It’s a kick in the teeth,” said Bill Kordyban of Carrier Lumber, which has one mill in Prince George and another in Prince Albert, Sask.

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Get ready for ‘mother of all negotiations’ says Brian Mulroney

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

If the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been as disastrous for the American economy as U.S. President Donald Trump says it was, it should be cancelled, former prime minister Brian Mulroney said Tuesday at a speech at the Canadian Club of Vancouver. But the trade and employment figures over the last 30 years show it hasn’t been, said Mulroney, who negotiated both the initial Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. and NAFTA with the U.S. and Mexico… But the most immediate threat to the Canadian economy is not NAFTA, but softwood lumber duties, he said… “It is not, as alleged, about subsidies in Canada,” he said. “It is really about restricting supply and increasing prices and profits for a few in the United States at the expense of home builders and potential homeowners.”… Mulroney said he expects negotiations with the U.S. when NAFTA is reopened will be tough. “We’re getting ready for the mother of all negotiations,” he said.

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Montana timber industry leaders applaud efforts to tax Canadian products

By David Erickson
The Missoulian
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Timber industry leaders in Montana are applauding the results of a federal investigation that found Canada unfairly subsidizes its timber business, allowing Canadian companies to undercut U.S. businesses with lower prices and lots of volume. To level the playing field, Canadian lumber is now expected to face new countervailing duties – an import tax – ranging from 3 percent to 24 percent, starting next week… Julia Altemus, the executive director of the Montana Wood Products Association, said 7,000 jobs in Montana depend on the timber industry, including loggers, truck haulers and approximately 800 people directly employed by lumber mills and other manufacturers like Roseburg Forest Products in Missoula. “This has definitely paved the way for a better negotiated agreement and gives us some leverage,” she said. “We’re happy.”

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“We are not going to be rattled”- says Head of BC Lumber Trade Council

By Elaine Macdonald-Meisner
250 News
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Prince George, B.C.- “This long standing fight needs to end” those are the words of Susan Yurkovich, President of the BC Lumber Trade Council in reaction to the countervailing duties levelled against Canadian lumber exports to the U.S. “These duties are unwarranted, and this determination is completely without merit,” said Yurkovich, “This new trade action is driven by the same protectionist lumber lobby in the U.S. whose sole purpose is to create artificial supply constraints on lumber and drive prices up for their benefit, at the expense of American consumers.”… Yurkovich says it’s not uncommon when you are trying to negotiate a deal that one side tries to rattle the other “We are not going to be rattled. We are resilient and we are going to continue to fight this fight and we are ultimately going to be successful.”

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Lumber and Dairy Trade Disputes: No Need to Freak Out

By Simon Lester
CATO Institute
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

U.S. – Canada trade relations are in the news, and not in a good way… This is a long-standing U.S. – Canada trade dispute, and it is picking up again, as the Department of Commerce made a preliminary determination of countervailable subsidies on imports of softwood lumber from Canada… Before anybody panics, let me reiterate that this is nothing new… While there are a lot of potentially system-destroying trade actions from the Trump administration to worry about, this one is just the usual, routine kind of trade remedy action. Not that I support this sort of thing, of course, but it’s part of the system. What will happen is that Canada will challenge the decision to impose duties, through complaints at the WTO and under NAFTA, and there will be a ruling on whether the Commerce Department acted consistently with trade rules in imposing the duties. This is trade litigation, not a trade war. 

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Trudeau’s Reward for Courting Trump Is a Trade War on Lumber

By Josh Wingrove
Bloomberg
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Justin Trudeau has always played nice with Donald Trump. The refugee-hugging liberal bit his tongue, flooded Washington with envoys, feted Ivanka Trump on Broadway and relentlessly talked up Canada-U.S. ties. It hasn’t worked… “Think of this as the violin Trump gets to play and set the mood of the place,” said Eric Miller, a former Canadian diplomat who is now a Washington-based trade consultant with the Rideau Potomac Strategy Group. “It’s a great way to underline America First to the Europeans, Japanese and others, if you actually take a hard line with Canada.” Canada is hardly a poster-child trade offender for Trump. It’s the number-one buyer of U.S. goods with a largely balanced trade relationship (totaling $635 billion in 2016, according to U.S. census data), a peaceful next-door neighbor and among the closest U.S. allies.

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Loonie, peso fall on fears of U.S. trade war

By Patti Domm
CNBC News
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The Canadian dollar fell to a 14-month low and the Mexican peso was under pressure, after the U.S. slapped tariffs on the Canadian lumber industry, sparking fears the U.S. will get tougher on trade with the neighbors on its northern and southern borders. However, analysts say the fears appear overblown since the U.S.-Canadian dispute over soft lumber dates back to the 1980s and has previously involved tariffs. They also say this is not an indication of broader protectionism that markets had feared could come from the Trump administration. The Canadian dollar fell nearly 1 percent against the U.S. dollar, while the peso was down more than 1.2 percent… Besides currencies, U.S. homebuilder stocks moved on the news, declining in early trading Tuesday. But Canadian lumber companies, like Canfor, Norbord and Interfor were all higher, after the tariffs were seen as less severe than expected.

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Softwood firms seeking exemptions

By James Risdon
The Chronicle Herald
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

J.D. Irving’s lumber operations in New Brunswick — and its one mill in Truro —gained a competitive advantage over other Canadian forestry companies Tuesday as the United States imposed harsh countervailing duties on softwood lumber imports. Those countervailing duties levied by the U.S. Department of Commerce will hit Canadian softwood lumber exporters starting May 1. All but five big softwood lumber producers are being hit with countervailing duties of 19.88 per cent… Then, there’s Saint John, New Brunswick-based J.D. Irving. That company is being told it has to pay a countervailing duty of only 3.02 per cent… Despite the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision to hit all other Canadian producers with countervailing duties of 19.88 per cent starting May 1, many industry insiders and political leaders are hopeful Atlantic Canadian companies can be exempted from tariffs on softwood lumber exports to the United States.advantage.

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Updated: New U.S. levies on Canadian softwood “unwarranted”: industry official

By Gordon Hamilton
Business in Vancouver
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The Trump administration has imposed punishing duties on Canadian softwood lumber exports in response to complaints by the U.S. lumber sector that Canada subsidizes its forest industry. Sawmillers will begin paying countervailing duties averaging close to 20% on lumber shipments to the U.S. beginning May 1. The U.S. Department of Commerce department ruling of subsidy is the first of two blows expected by the Canadian softwood sector. A second anti-dumping duty determination is to be announced June 23. B.C. is expected to bear the brunt of the American trade action as its industry accounts for $4.6 billion a year in lumber shipments to the U.S. – more than half of total Canadian lumber exports to the U.S. …Council co-chair Duncan Davies, CEO of Vancouver-based Interfor, said the immediate impact on his company will be reduced profitability. He referred to the U.S. action as “a shakedown,” by U.S. producers.

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Softwood lumber tariff could hike U.S. single-family home prices by $1,236: study

By Jesse Ferreras
Global News
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The average price of an single-family home in the United States could jump by $1,236 due to U.S. President Donald Trump‘s tariff on Canadian softwood lumber exports. That’s according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), which acts on behalf of the building industry across the United States, in an economic analysis that it published on Tuesday. “NAHB respectfully disagrees with comments made by Commerce Secretary Ross that the tariffs on Canadian lumber imports into the U.S. will have little effect on the cost of housing,” NAHB chair Granger MacDonald said in a statement… Lumber prices have already grown by 22 per cent since January, and.. those increases have already added almost $3,600 to the price of a new single-family home. Dietz estimated that every time a U.S. home price increases by $1,000, it keeps approximately 150,000 households from being able to qualify for a mortgage. That means as many as 450,000 households have already been priced out of a mortgage this year.

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Forest sector will fight for jobs and communities affected by US duties

By Forest Products Association of Canada
Canada Newswire
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced preliminary countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber. …”These duties stand to hurt hard working men and women in our mill communities across Canada,” says Derek Nighbor, CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada. “The duties are unwarranted and without merit. We 100% support the federal government’s “Team Canada” position and we must have a fair and equitable trading structure for both our industry and U.S. customers.” …”We will stand up for our industry’s workers and impacted mill communities in Canada and call on federal and provincial governments to work with us to ensure they can maintain their livelihoods during this difficult period.” says Nighbor.

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Canada foreign minister on Trump tariffs: ‘We’re going to play hard’

By Patrick Gillespie
CNN
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

NEW YORK — Canada is ready to play hard ball with President Trump. Canadian leaders are pushing back after the Trump administration slapped 20% tariffs Monday night on Canadian lumber, along with individual tariffs on five specific firms that ranged from 3% to 24%. “When it comes to defending Canada’s economic interests, we’re going to play hard,” Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told CNN Tuesday. Freeland’s sharp reminder: We like to be nice, but don’t mess with us…  “The big losers in the softwood lumber dispute are American consumers,” Freeland argued. “This is going to cost middle-class Americans who want to buy a house a lot of money.” Freeland stopped short of saying Canada would retaliate with new tariffs against US exports to Canada. Instead, she pointed out that Canada has won every court case on lumber against the US, suggesting the tariffs would be challenged in court.

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Homebuilders slide after Trump administration announces a 20% tariff on Canadian lumber

By Jonathan Garber
Markets Insider
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Homebuilding stocks are sliding on Tuesday morning, with the S&P 500 Homebuilding Index down 1.4%, after US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said his agency will impose a 20% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber imports. “It’s about 31.5 percent of the total U.S. market, so it’s a pretty big deal in terms of the Canadian relationship,” Ross told Reuters by phone ahead of the announcement.  While most of the index is seeing some selling in early US trade, PulteGroup is the biggest laggard, down about 4.8% after reporting its first-quarter results.  Here’s a look at the performance of some of the other major homebuilders in early Tuesday trade: DR Horton 1.85%, KB Home -2.47%, Lennar -1.43%, Toll Brothers -1.34% [END]

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Financial pain from lumber tariffs but no job losses at Okanagan forestry company

By Blaine Gaffney
Global News
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The countervail duties imposed by the United States on softwood lumber products from Canada are going to hurt the financial bottom line for West Kelowna’s Gorman Bros. Lumber. “The fact is it’s money taken from us,” says company spokesperson Nick Arkle. “It’s very significant. Anytime you get hit with a 20 per cent duty it’s considered punitive.” But the new duties shouldn’t hurt the finances of Gorman’s 1200 employees, including 300 at the West Kelowna operations. …The company has reduced its reliance on the American market by finding new, off-shore customers. “Ten years ago we were selling to 15 countries around the world. Today we sell to 30 countries,” says Arkle who expects the duties will eventually be reduced through negotiations.

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Canfor Reports Results for First Quarter of 2017

By Canfor
Canada Newswire
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Canfor Corporation today reported net income attributable to shareholders of $66.1 million, or $0.50 per share, for the first quarter of 2017, compared to shareholder net income of $38.0 million, or $0.29 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2016 and a net income attributable to shareholders of $26.0 million, or $0.20 per share, for the first quarter of 2016. The Company’s adjusted shareholder net income for the first quarter of 2017 was $59.3 million, or $0.45 per share, compared to an adjusted shareholder net income of $37.7 million, or $0.29 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2016, and adjusted shareholder net income of $20.9 million, or $0.16 per share for the first quarter of 2016.

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Clark talking tough on timber in Maple Ridge mill

By Phil Melnychuk
The Abbotsford News
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. Liberal leader Christy Clark was talking tough Tuesday in Maple Ridge after the U.S. suddenly slapped duties of 20 per cent on Canadian lumber, starting next month. “We are here for you. We are going to fight for you and we are not going to give up this fight until it is won,” Clark said at Partap Forest Products on River Road. …C.J. Saini, supervisor at Partap Forest Products, doesn’t yet know the duties his company will face. But previously when the U.S. has imposed duties, it’s hurt the Canadian lumber industry. “It is premature to predict anything, but definitely it is going to affect,” Saini said. He was confident though that when the duties are challenged in court, “the results will come out positive. “Its immediate effect on the jobs is my concern.”

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U.S. duties on lumber shake Island industry

By Andrew Duffy & Lindsay Kines
Victoria Times Colonist
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The U.S.’s levying of “anti-subsidy” duties on Canadian lumber imports sent a shiver through the coastal forest industry and a tremor through the provincial election campaign Tuesday. …“Certainly we are concerned about it — it means higher lumber prices for the U.S., which could curtail business in Canada,” said Rick Wangler, vice-president of Steelworkers Local 1937, which counts 3,000 Island forest workers among its membership. “This certainly has everybody on edge.” …Rick Jeffery, president of the Coast Forest Products Association, which represents forest companies, said the industry has taken steps to ensure it can withstand this kind of trade action. “We have done a bunch of market diversification and invested hundreds of millions in our mills to make them technologically advanced and efficient, [and] we have developed new product lines,” he said. “We are not as reliant on the U.S. market.”

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U.S. softwood tariff hits home

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Williams Lake Tribune
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jordan Townsend, West Fraser Sawmill general manager in Williams Lake, said West Fraser is being represented by the BC Lumber Council which has vowed to vigorously defend the industry and workers against the U.S. trade action announced this week.” Forestry companies in Williams Lake are being hit with some of the highest softwood lumber tariffs announced by the U.S. Department of Commerce this week. …Paul French, president of United Steelworkers Local 1-425 that represents roughly 900 forestry workers in 100 Mile House and Williams Lake, said he was not surprised and actually thought the rates may have been even higher. “I won’t say I am relieved because we still have the anti-dumping tariffs further on,” French told the Tribune Tuesday. “We have some certainty with the numbers but where we are going to wind up is still out there.”

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Premier Wynne Standing Up for Forestry Sector and Northern Communities

By the Office of the Premier
Government of Ontario
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Premier Kathleen Wynne issued the following statement responding to the announcement of new tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S.: “On behalf of the people of Ontario, I am disappointed with the U.S. administration’s announcement of new tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber. These tariffs unfairly target Ontario’s forest industry, putting it, and the workers and communities who rely on the sector, at risk. We stand firmly with Ontario’s forest products workers, and I am committed to continuing to fight hard for their interests. …This is a national problem that requires a national solution. Ontario continues to call on the federal government to establish a loan guarantee program, as well as programs to support communities and individuals that depend on Canadian companies negatively impacted by the lumber dispute. We will also work with the federal government to support Ontario companies affected by these tariffs.

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Quebec announces plan to help forestry sector in wake of U.S. duties

Canadian Press in the Montreal Gazette
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

QUEBEC – The Quebec government is offering as much as $300 million in loans and loan guarantees to help protect the province’s forestry sector against softwood lumber duties levied by the United States. Three cabinet ministers made the announcement Tuesday after the Americans had said they were imposing duties of up to 24 per cent on lumber imports. Economy Minister Dominique Anglade said the U.S. move, while expected, was both “unjustifiable” and “unreasonable.” …The Quebec aid could go to about 200 forestry firms and would help absorb the shock of the U.S. move, at least in the short term. At the same time, the Quebec government put pressure on Ottawa to spell out what kind of financial assistance it intends to give the province’s forestry industry, which employs about 60,000 people, to avoid the possibility of thousands of job losses.

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U.S. softwood lumber duties unjust – Ontario Forest Industries Association

CBC News
April 26, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada


A Toronto-based forestry group is calling on the federal government to support the country’s forestry industry in the wake of newly-imposed U.S. sanctions on softwood lumber exports. …”These unjust, unlawful duties that have just recently been announced, will absolutely hurt our middle class, the 57,000 hard-working men and women across rural and Northern Ontario, that depend on the forest sector for their livelihood,” said Jamie Lim, president and CEO of the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA). “This is about people. This is about hard-working people.” Lim says the OFIA wants the federal and provincial governments to launch a guaranteed loan program for forestry companies to help them weather the duties.

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Midwest timber industry welcomes tariffs on Canadian lumber

By Steve Karnowski
Associated Press in the Star Tribune
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

MINNEAPOLIS — The upper Midwest timber industry is welcoming the Trump administration’s announcement that it’s imposing tariffs averaging 20 percent on softwood lumber entering the United States from Canada. The industry has been struggling in Minnesota and Wisconsin in recent years. The housing market crash in 2008 cut demand for softwood lumber products such as pine 2×4 studs and other kinds of boards used to build homes, which are among the products affected by the administration’s move. So industry groups in both states saw Monday’s announcement as good news for communities with sawmills, and for loggers who supply them. …”It’s about time. This will be good for Minnesota and the timber industry. It’s been frustrating to the timber industry for years to see full rail cars heading south from Canada,” said Scott Dane, executive director of the Gilbert-based Associated Contract Loggers and Truckers of Minnesota.

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Scottish tree experts discover threatened conifer species in Chile

By Sarah Cosgrove
Horticulture Week
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics, Forestry
Region: International

Tree experts from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), Benmore Botanic Garden, and the Perthshire Conifer Conservation Programme have made new conifer discoveries in Chile and gathered significant seed collections from a range of species. The team discovered two previously unknown populations of the threatened Chilean Plum Yew (Prumnopitys andina), one in the Andes and one in the central depression. As many of the valleys where this species grows have been flooded for hydroelectric schemes, the global population is in decline, so finding the new pockets of the trees gives hope that there may be further as-yet undiscovered populations in isolated areas. …The seeds will now be grown on in specialist facilities at the RGBE, and Cano will study their population genetics for his PhD.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Cross laminated timber used as new Sequim classroom installation begins

The Daily World
April 25, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Installation began Monday on a new modular classroom building made from cross laminated timber (CLT) at Greywolf Elementary School in Sequim. The panels were created from timber sourced from the Olympic Peninsula and were manufactured in Oregon, making the CLT project one of the first in Washington state to use local wood. …The classrooms are part of a statewide pilot project overseen by the Department of Enterprise Services to address the need to create more classrooms and pioneer the use of CLT in Washington State. Sequim School District is one of five districts — Mt. Vernon, Seattle, Wapato and Toppenish are the others — having classrooms built from CLT for kindergarteners through third graders. Four new classrooms will be open to Greywolf Elementary students at the start of the 2017-18 school year.

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Photos: UMass Amherst opens new Design Building, largest modern wood structure in the Northeastern US

Mass Live
April 25, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

AMHERST—The University of Massachusetts Amherst on Tuesday celebrated the official opening of its new Design Building, the largest modern wood building in the northeastern United States and one of the first institutional buildings in the region to employ an engineered timber structure. The building was designed by Boston architectural firm Leers Weinzapfel Associates and construction was managed by Suffolk Construction of Boston. Constructed with cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue-laminated columns, the 87,000-square-foot facility is the most advanced CLT building in the U.S. and saves the equivalent of over 2,300 metric tons of carbon when compared to a traditional energy-intensive steel and concrete building, according to the university. 

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Construction materials questioned in College Park fire

By Jayne Miller
WBAL Baltimore
April 25, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Fire investigators got their first look Tuesday at what may have led to a massive five-alarm fire in College Park that burned an apartment building under construction. Prince George’s County fire investigators were raised in a fire truck’s bucket early Tuesday afternoon to examine the area of the apartment building where Monday’s fire seems to have started. …Fire officials cite the type of materials used in construction — all permitted by code — as a factor in how hard the fire was to fight. “Our biggest challenge is access to the building. It’s a lightweight wood truss construction, and a majority of all the fire was in the roof area of the trusses, which immediately started to collapse,” Prince George’s County Assistant Fire Chief Alan Doubleday said. “Once they are loaded excessively by water or exposed to fire is when they have a large potential for collapse.”

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Forestry

Columbia River Revelstoke candidates talk forestry

By Carolyn Grant
Kimberley Bulletin
April 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

This week’s question is particularly timely given the recent softwood lumber decision by the United States. What are your plans to both protect the riding’s forestry industry as well as ensure sustainable stewardship over forestry lands? Samson Boyer, Green Party; Justin Hooles, Independent; Doug Clovechok, BC Liberals; Gerry Taft, NDP

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Report: Aging workers, forestry woes hinder Maine’s economy

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
April 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

PORTLAND, Maine — Watchful eyes on Maine’s economy have started to track the state’s prime working age population and the potential of its tree harvest alongside other metrics of socio-economic health. The Maine Development Foundation’s latest annual report added those measures to the assessment of the state’s economy, pointing to the decline in people between the ages of 18 and 64 as a broad economic threat. And the state’s recent balance of tree growth and harvesting, it found, is headed in the wrong direction. …The report also raised concern that the state’s not making the most of its forest resources, with still more room for sustainable harvesting, according to figures from state officials. The report said the change “may be related to a reduction in certain wood fiber markets.”

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Scottish tree experts discover threatened conifer species in Chile

By Sarah Cosgrove
Horticulture Week
April 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics, Forestry
Region: International

Tree experts from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), Benmore Botanic Garden, and the Perthshire Conifer Conservation Programme have made new conifer discoveries in Chile and gathered significant seed collections from a range of species. The team discovered two previously unknown populations of the threatened Chilean Plum Yew (Prumnopitys andina), one in the Andes and one in the central depression. As many of the valleys where this species grows have been flooded for hydroelectric schemes, the global population is in decline, so finding the new pockets of the trees gives hope that there may be further as-yet undiscovered populations in isolated areas. …The seeds will now be grown on in specialist facilities at the RGBE, and Cano will study their population genetics for his PhD.

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