Softwood Duties Expected Next Week

Prince George, BC, Canada / CKPG News
Softwood Duties Expected Next Week

Lumber producers in Canada and the United States have ramped up production in anticipation of not only a robust home building and renovation season, but the counterveiling duties set to come down on Tuesday.
“We don’t know what they will be. That’s the first piece. There will be a second piece in June, which is the anti-dumping duties tat willbe levelled on us by the US industry,” says Susan Yurkovich, President and CEO of Council of Forest Industries. “What’s happening now, in anticipation of duties, the market is responding and [lumber] prices have been moving up ove rthe last number of weeks, very significantly. That’s, of course, is putting a burden on U.S. consumers.”
She says the dynamic of the trade dispute is different this time, as Canadian producers in British Columbia are not able to produce as much product, a consequence of th Mountain Pine Beetle and the downturn in Annual Allowable Cuts.
But demand for lumber products, particularly dimension lumber, is expected to slowly increase and American protectionist policies will only hurt the home builders south of the 49th Parallel.
“The  fact of the matter is, in 2016, the U.S. produced 32 billion board feet [of lumber] and consumed 47 billion board feet, ” says Yurkovich. “Most of the balance was provided by Canada. Canada’s always been part of the North American lumber market and they need our product and I think that’s very much the case in this round.”
She says, in light of numbers like that, U.S. claims of “injury” from an over-saturation of Canadian lumber is “laughable.”

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