British Columbia’s major lumber producers continue to book substantial profits on near record lumber prices almost a year after the U.S. Department of Commerce first hit Canadian producers with punishing duties. The benchmark price for 1,000 board-feet of top-quality western Canadian two-by-fours hit US$540 about a month ago… compared with US$315 at the start of 2017 before U.S. interests re-ignited the ongoing trade dispute. Bottlenecks in rail transportation are one reason lumber prices have spiked so high, but solid demand has also allowed producers to simply pass the price of tariffs along to consumers in prices, said Susan Yurkovich, president of the B.C. Lumber Trade Council. “Who knows how long these prices will hold, but for now (they are) mitigating the impact of duties for Canadian producers,” said Yurkovich. …“It just reminds everyone that the fact the U.S. industry is claiming it has been injured is just preposterous,” Yurkovich said.
By Derrick Penner