BC mill dedicates entire production to China27 January 2011
A sawmill in British Columbia (BC) is enjoying a new lease of life thanks to its refocusing on the Chinese market.
Western Forest Products’ Ladysmith mill was closed in April 2008 following the collapse of the US housing market. It reopened last September after re-tooling to produce metric-sized hemlock/fir lumber specifically for the Chinee market.
The 40 million board feet annual capacity mill (on single shift) now exports 100% of its output to China.
BC government forests minister Pat Bell said the mill’s reopening was a direct result of the provincial government’s work to open up the Chinese market for BC wood.
“Lumber manufacturers all around BC have benefited from the rapid growth and are now riding the swell of exports to China,” said Mr Bell.
“Ladysmith is the first major sawmill on the coast to dedicate its entire production output to China.”
He expects 2010 lumber exports to China to top 2.8 billion board feet and C$660m – more than double that of 2009.
“With four straight positive quarters, Western has clearly turned the corner from the very tough market of recent years,” said Western vice-chariman Lee Doney.