Monday, February 11, 2008

Forestry Sector News

Some facts (2005 data):

- Logging operations employ 21,600 people in BC
- Logging and silviculture accounts for 2.9% of GDP

- Wood Product manufacturing employs 43,600 people in BC
- Wood Product manufacturing accounts for 3.6% of GDP

- Pulp and Paper manufacturing employs 12,300 people in BC
- Pulp and Paper manufacturing accouts for 1.5% of GDP

TimberWest to permanently close Elk Falls sawmill

TimberWest Forest Corp. has announced that it will permanently close the Elk Falls sawmill in Campbell River, B.C. The last full operating shift will be May 9. - 2/8/2008

Interfor's Adams Lake mill taking downtime

Interfor's Adams Lake sawmill and planer in Chase, B.C., were down this week and are scheduled to remain down the week of January 28, due to market conditions. The downtime will be re-evaluated early next week, according to a company spokesman. - 1/25/2008

Canfor to indefinitely close OSB, plywood mills

Canfor has announced plans to close its Polarboard OSB mill and Tackama plywood mill, both in Fort Nelson, B.C., for an indefinite duration due to market conditions. The mills will be closed once existing log inventories are utilized and finished products are shipped. This is expected to occur in April for the Tackama mill and during the summer for the Polarboard operation. The Tackama mill has an annual capacity of 270 million square feet (3/8-inch basis) of plywood, and the Polarboard mill has an annual capacity of 640 million square feet of OSB. - 1/18/2008

Tolko schedules downtime

Tolko has announced plans to take a temporary, two-week curtailment at the Manitoba Solid Wood Division between January 28 and February 8. "High log costs, the continued weakening of market conditions, and difficulty managing within the Softwood Lumber Agreement's quota restrictions are the three main factors which led to this decision," said Dave Neufeld, plant manager. The downtime will reduce the mill's production by 6.5 million board feet. The division expects to return to production on February 11. - 1/16/2008

Two AbitibiBowater sawmills shut down indefinitely

Two AbitibiBowater sawmills and two planers, all in Mackenzie, B.C., went down for an indefinite duration beginning January 11. Market conditions were cited. The two mills have an annual production capacity of 475-500 million board feet. - 1/15/2008

Winton Global extends downtime to March

Winton Global Lumber Ltd., Prince George, B.C., has extended the Christmas shutdown of all operations until mid- to late March. Market conditions, and flooding due to an ice jam on the Nechako River, were cited. Upon resumption of operations in March, the sawmill and planer may only operate until the log deck has been utilized and rough lumber processed and shipped. At that time, the operations would be subject to another temporary shutdown. The inventory of logs at the sawmill will allow for about three months of operations. - 1/15/2008

Tembec to reduce production

Tembec has announced plans to cut production via a reduced work week at its sawmill and planer in Elko, B.C., beginning January 14. The company also will reduce production at its Canal Flats sawmill starting the week of January 21. Over the next three months, Tembec will take the equivalent of three weeks of production downtime, through reduced shifts at the mills. The curtailments will reduce production by about 24 million board feet. Market conditions and exchange rates were cited. - 1/14/2008

Well I sure am glad we have a NEW ECONOMY in British Columbia that isn't dependant on the messy forestry sector for a big part of our economic output. The retail sector and the darling real estate sector combined with the uplifting effects of hosting a two week long sporting event in two years will replace this antiquated business of cutting down trees and sawing them into usable lumber to build things with. In the past, the effects of a forestry industry in its death spiral would have had disastrous consequences on our provinces economy. I'm sure glad that those baristas at Starbucks, the framers building lousy overpriced houses, and the real estate agents who consume the coffee and buy the houses will keep our economy afloat. Clearly real estate agents are the most beneficial purveyors of wealth in our provincial economy.


Gabriel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gabriel said...

The lack of credential requirements in the software industry doesn’t seem to have hurt it. At 74,590 folks, the province’s high-tech sector employs more people than forestry, mining, and oil and gas combined, according to a September 2007 report prepared by B.C. Stats for the ministries of economic development and advanced education. In 2006, high tech experienced its best year ever. Its economic output jumped 5.3 percent to more than $9.4 billion, the highest ever. The industry even managed to beat B.C. average wages by almost 50 percent.

(edited link)

jesse said...

"In 2006, high tech experienced its best year ever."

Yeah. Just remember hi tech is close to the most cyclical industry around. Tech certainly contributes to jobs but I'm not as confident the fruits of hi tech labour are claimed in BC. Hi tech is not very capital intensive so spinoff employment is generally less.

You're right hi tech contributes significantly to GDP, around 7%. Forestry is (er... was) twice that at 15% but employs 4 times as many people. The impact to family finances in aggregate will be more significant in the forestry sector.

Strataman said...

"Of those who are at work in BC’s high tech sector, approximately
four out of every five are employed in a service industry" Taken out of the report by --Gabriel--. This means they are not base industry jobs but rather ones that service other industries (They are not Microsoft types producing high tech which is only one out of five according to the same report). That would mean a large number would be employed in or servicing as sub-contractors the forest industry, mining and petroleum/natural gas, banks and communications firms (Telus), utilities (BC Hydro). Due to the fairly recent collapse of the base industries where these people are employed either directly or as subcontractors, I would suspect we will see a rapiud decline in this employment statistic. The base industries are just now feeling the fallout of the US reccession, thousands of high tech contracts will be cancelled in the following months,resulting in the typical lag effecting the overall competitive nature of the high tech business.

Strataman said...

Wood Product manufacturing employs 43,600 people across BC
gabriel my question how many high tech consultants / subcontractors would you hazard to guess would this industry employ? I would suggest they indirectly employ high tech personnel to the number of 5000 + when you include the high number of electro mechanical consultants used to maintain, program and install or upgrade facilities.

Gabriel said...

I don't really know, but if you're talking about miners we have a slew of head offices in Vancouver. Thou none of them actually operate many mines in BC.

I'd like to know the effect forestry jobs has directly on Vancouver as well. Most of the personal income generated in that sector stays outside of Vancouver, since most jobs would be out in the sticks.

patriotz said...

Ok folks, you can quit worrying.

B.C. on a roll, credit union group predicts

Now go out and buy a condo NOW!

Strataman said...
The full report is here an Adobe download. Good stats gabriel. I too would love to know who and what industries/clients high tech is servicing.

Strataman said...

Strataman said...

mohican; Another aspect of the entire forest industry including pulp and paper is our elecrical grid which BC Hydro has developed throughout the province. The major part of this grid is likely paid for by the forest industry, and mining. I would suspect residential and head office consumption in downtown Vancouver would not even pay 10% of the operations and maintenance of the grid. If our forest industry doesn't recover I could seehuge increases in electrical generation power. In addition a slow down in demand from th US could result in a double whammy. I'll snoop around and see if there is any stats on this.