West Fraser beats Q2 expectations; nears full production

by / Woodworking Network

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – West Fraser Timber Co., a diversified wood products company, reported a better than expected second quarter profit of $48 million in spite of lower revenues due to COVID-19-induced production curtailments. In comparison, the company reported a loss of $58 million for the second quarter of 2019.

In reaction to the impacts of COVID-19, West Fraser adjusted its operating schedules beginning in March and into the start of the second quarter to reduce production. As a result, the company’s output dropped by approximately 140 MMbdf of SPF lumber, 80 MMfbm of SYP lumber, 60 MMsf of plywood and 19,000 tons of NBSK pulp.

As the second quarter progressed, however, West Fraser said “demand for lumber and plywood proved to be more resilient than originally estimated at the start of the pandemic. The higher demand levels, coupled with low inventories in the supply channel and production curtailments, led to an increased in pricing during the quarter.” The company said it is presently operating “as close to full capacity as possible to meet market demand.”