Premier John Horgan met with Interfor employees and staff in a visit to the Castlegar plant earlier this month. Photo: John Boivin

Interfor to reduce Castlegar, Grand Forks mill hours next month to cut production

Company says low lumber prices and high log costs forcing its hand

Workers at the Interfor sawmills in Castlegar and Grand Forks are getting some unexpected time off next month.

The company said Tuesday it was planning to temporarily reduce production across its operations in the southern interior of B.C. “due to a combination of weak lumber prices and continuing high log costs”.

“We’re taking a little bit of down time in each of our three mills in June. It doesn’t mean it’s down for the month of June,” said Martin Juravsky, a senior vice-president and CFO for Interfor.

The curtailment will see the mills shut down for several days in June, though Juravsky wouldn’t say what days the company will close. He also couldn’t say how many jobs would be affected.

Juravsky said the curtailment is expected to reduce production in the region by approximately 20 million board feet in June.

“It’s a very difficult environment in the B.C. Interior right now for all lumber companies,” he said. “This is a short-term issue that’s in the market right now.”

Interfor has three sawmills in the B.C. Interior, in Adams Lake, Grand Forks, and Castlegar. The company has a total annual capacity of approximately 750 million board feet.

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