Canadian timber firms that weather current market conditions will be in a prime position to take advantage of the sector’s turnaround, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has said.

The Canadian dollar has increased in value 57% against its US counterpart since 2002, with the 5% increase since 2006 costing the Canadian forest industry C$2bn, according to Craig Campbell, leader of PwC’s performance improvement practice for the global forest and paper industry.

But he said the picture was “not all doom and gloom” and the industry needed to concentrate on preparing for a market upturn sometime in 2009.

“The tough economic times have reduced the number of producers, especially in North America, but those that focus on cost reductions and manage to weather the storm are poised to take advantage of the eventual turnaround in the sector that is expected some time beyond 2009,” he said.