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Sinclar announces temporary curtailments at lumber operations

Lakeland Mills, Apollo Forest Products and Nechako Lumber Co. to shut down for two weeks effective January 30
Lakeland Mill
The interior of Lakeland Mill in Prince George is seen in a file photo.

Sinclar Group Forest Products Ltd. will be invoking temporary curtailments at three of its sawmills.

Effective January 30, Lakeland Mills in Prince George. Apollo Forest Products in Fort St. James and Nechako Lumber Co. in Vanderhoof will cease production for two weeks, the family-owned company said in a statement issued Monday.

“There are factors outside of our control that are having a detrimental impact on our business,” said Sinclar President Greg Stewart. “Regrettably, it is necessary to curtail our lumber operations at this time.”

Weak market conditions and constraints on an economical fibre supply are having a significant negative impact across the B.C. forest industry.

“Sinclar remains committed to the long-term sustainability of our operations, while continuing to support our employees, local First Nations, and communities,” said Stewart.

The Premium Pellet operation in Vanderhoof will continue to run, and Lakeland will continue to provide heat to the Prince George Downtown Renewable Energy System.

As of the week ending January 6, the benchmark price for Wester spruce-pine-fir kiln-dried 2x4s and better was US $352 per 1,000 board feet, down $38 from the week before, according to Madison's Lumber Reporter. Break even is about US$500 according to analysts.

About 360 employees across the three operations will be affected.