Acadian Timber Income Fund, which manages 2.4 million acres of timberland in North America, has seen its net sales fall by US$4.1m during the first quarter.

The company made US$22.7m off sales of softwood, hardwood and biomass products, with log prices, the strong Canadian dollar and weak US housing market pegging it back.

It harvested 421,300m³ during the quarter, with 412,000m³ sold, compared with 508,400m³ harvested and 482,600m³ sold during the first quarter of 2007.

However, Acadian said the high value of softwood and hardwood pulpwood and biomass helped it table results “above our expectations”.

“Market conditions remain very challenging due to the high Canadian dollar and US housing slowdown, which have led to increased regional sawmill closures and curtailments,” said chief executive officer Reid Carter.

“Fortunately, as a diversified primary producer with considerable operational flexibility, we have been able to take advantage of strong demand and pricing for softwood and hardwood pulpwood and biomass, which have helped to offset continued weakness in softwood sawlogs.”

Acadian said that it expects the market for softwood and hardwood sawlogs to remain challenging for the rest of 2008, with reductions in harvesting volumes to help stabilise market conditions.